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article imageHidden secret outside Charlotte, North Carolina Special

By Michael Bearak     Mar 29, 2010 in Entertainment
Tucked quietly outside of Charlotte, North Carolina in the little community of Belmont is a hidden treasure of beauty and life called the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.
Belmont North Carolina really has no claim to fame and probably doesn't even show up on many maps as it is situated just on the North Carolina side of the state line between South Carolina and North Carolina. It is minutes from the town of Gastonia and about 20 minutes from Charlotte, North Carolina and Rock Hill, South Carolina. To get there from Rock Hill you don't touch an interstate it is country roads across a section of Lake Wylie and after that you end up at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.
Daniel J. Stowe allocated roughly 400 acres of lakefront, woodlands and meadows in Gaston County with the intention of developing a world-class botanical garden. The vision of Daniel and his wife Alene was a site that would evolve over years to rival other world-renowned gardens.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The mission of DSBG is "Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is established to inspire all who enter to become partners with nature, by preserving and perpetuating a nurturing environment for horticultural excellence, aesthetic enjoyment, educational opportunity, research and appreciation of the botanical and agricultural heritage of this region."
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The gardens are opened seven days a week form 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. They are closed just three days out of the year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. As part of their growth over the years they opened the Robert Lee Stowe Visitor Pavilion in 1999 along wtih 110 acres of manicured gardens, woodland trail, lawns and numerous fountains. Later in 2003 the West and White Gardens were opened and a year later the 500-plus Encore Azalea beds were planted.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
In 2008 the latest addition was opened the Orchid Conservatory, which was part of the Garden's Master Plan. It houses a variety of orchids and other tropical plants that come from aroundthworld. In the fall in plays host to the Butterfly Festival. From January through March it lives up to its name with the Orchid Spectacular. In the winter it is decorated with holiday finery during Holiday Lights at the Garden.
This fountain warns passers-by to cross with care. Water cannons on either side of the center path s...
This fountain warns passers-by to cross with care. Water cannons on either side of the center path shoot water arching over the walk way spraying those who cross under, or get trapped and soak when the water turns off.
Visitors debate whether they have time to cross under the water arches without getting soaked.
Visitors debate whether they have time to cross under the water arches without getting soaked.
Most people in the Carolinas tend to turn to the Biltmore Plantation in Asheville, North Carolina for their gardens, light displays and plantings. Still, it is an hour and a half or more of a drive from the Charlotte area, with the quiet nature of Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens being just minutes from Charlotte and the surrounding area.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in bloom in late March of 2010.
The view when you first enter the gardens leading visitors down either side of a long pool wtih arti...
The view when you first enter the gardens leading visitors down either side of a long pool wtih artistic fish and flowers.
Visitors pass through the visitors pavilion and across a great lawn into the gardens.
Visitors pass through the visitors pavilion and across a great lawn into the gardens.
More about Daniel stowe botanical gardens, Charlotte, North carolina, Belmont, Gardens
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