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Garden Jubilee pivots to town and country hybrid

Raymond's Garden Center was a popular stop on the 2020 Garden Jubilee Nursery & Orchard tour. Raymond's Garden Center was a popular stop on the 2020 Garden Jubilee Nursery & Orchard tour.

Hendersonville’s garden extravaganza on Memorial Day weekend has exciting plans for this year’s edition thanks to a successful pivot a year ago.

Last May, the event was renamed Garden Jubilee Nurseries & Orchards Tour and shifted from a downtown gathering to a countryside tour of nurseries and orchards. Brought about by the pandemic, the change received overwhelming approval. The 2021 Garden Jubilee Nurseries & Orchards Tour combines both worlds by blending the tour concept with a revamped Main Street experience scaled back for social distancing.

This new town-and-country format takes place Friday to Sunday, May 28-30, with the downtown portion available Saturday and Sunday. Main Street will be considered one of 15 stops on the tour.

“People loved the tour aspect last year, and we think it will be more appealing this year when combined with the traditional downtown experience,” says Karen Baker, Henderson County’s assistant tourism director. “Folks can start anywhere on the tour they wish. This spreads things out across multiple venues, as opposed to everyone congregating downtown.”

Garden centers and nurseries will sell annuals, perennials, shrubbery, herbs, trees, vegetables and hard-to-find plants. Orchards will offer produce, jams, jellies, honey, cider and baked goods. Nurseries and orchards will also host vendors selling garden accessories, crafts and additional plants.

Meanwhile, Hendersonville’s vibrant Main Street returns to the mix with smaller booths and a tripling of space between vendors. Attendees can shop for small plants, lawn and garden items and crafts while taking advantage of more than two dozen restaurants downtown, many offering outdoor dining.

“We want to expand on the success that was 2020,” says Debi Smith, chair of the Henderson County Tourism Authority. “It really opened our eyes to a new and better way to welcome gardeners and plant lovers to Hendersonville for Memorial Day Weekend.”

Many people opted to stay overnight, or even two nights, last year to visit multiple nurseries and orchards. Smith, who works in the lodging industry at Cascades Mountain Resort, says several area hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns provide space for guests to keep their new plants indoors.

“A lot of people prefer not to leave plants in their cars, and we provide storage, as do a lot of hotels and bed-and-breakfasts,” Smith explains. “We all want to make sure people can keep their plants safe overnight to allow for more exploring the next day.”

Safety modifications for this year’s Garden Jubilee Nurseries & Orchards Tour include mandatory federal and state guidelines for cleaning, social distancing, crowd sizes and wearing of masks. Pets are not permitted in the Garden Jubilee Nurseries & Orchards event areas.

Tour hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. Downtown hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only. For more information about this year’s Garden Jubilee Nurseries & Orchards Tour, go to or call (800) 828-4244.


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