Well over a hundred years ago, an employee of the Southern Railway was scouting land in southwest North Carolina. He would remember one particular place of beauty and was able to purchase it for his family homestead. Now known as Pearson's Falls, this property's mountain glen has been open to the public ever since the Tryon Garden Club acquired the 268 acres in 1931 in order to preserve this scenic attraction and its native woodland flora.
On the hike up to see Pearson's Falls I was intrigued by the large number of wild native hydrangea canes that seemed to crowd the trail- Hydrangea aborescens is also called smooth hydrangea. Dried brown clusters of the summer flowers still hung on, helping me make the positive identification. Come March I would wager there is a good show of early spring ephemerals between the massive mountain laurel shrubs that seem to clamber everywhere. I'd pay to see that.