March 3 MGCA Monthly Gathering

Philip Oglesby, Vineyard Manager, Biltmore Estate Wine Company will speak at our next club meeting.Philip has worked in the horticulture and viticulture fields for over 25 years and began his tenure at Biltmore in 1998 as a vineyard crew member, planting, tending, and harvesting the vines on the property’s west side. Managing the vineyards since 2013, he continues to care for Biltmore’s 40+ acres of European varietals (vitis vinifera), one of the first successful blocks of significant size in North Carolina. Philip and his dedicated fellow crew strive to produce high quality fruit in our Southern Appalachian environment which offers unique challenges and often surprising results in wine characteristics. Over the last two decades, he has witnessed and been party to numerous changes and adjustments in grape growing practices in the southeast as this relatively recent trend in farming continues to gain interest. Philip will be among the first of our WNC vineyard managers to admit that grape growing continues to be an especially experimental area of agriculture today, but that much of the knowledge and experience gained in vineyard science and practice can be beneficial to the home-scale viticulturist.

We will assemble for fellowship at 11:30 am, eat lunch at noon, and have the program following lunch. Club members will be contacted regarding luncheon reservations. Cost of the meal will be $12. Contact Walt Leginski at for meal reservations if you have not been contacted. As usual, guests interested in the talk are welcome, and people not eating lunch can arrive at 12:30 for the free presentation.

Spring Workday Schedule Announced

Ray Geiser, Director of the MGCA Hardesty-Faber Horticulture Center, announced at the Club meeting on February 4 that planting workdays for Club members are scheduled for March 7, 14 and 21. Planting on March 7 will be smaller than those of March 14 and 21. Please plan to assist with these important activities.

Additional workdays will be required later in the spring.

February 2020 Club Meeting

The Club will meet on Tuesday, February 4, beginning 11:30 am with the program to begin at 12:30 pm. Lunch arrangements are uncertain at this time. Club member, Ray Geiser, will speak about the 2020 goals for the work at the Hardesty-Faber Horticulture Center. This meeting is for members only.

October 1 Garden Tour

Men’s Garden Club meeting will be a field trip to enjoy the famous Gentling Garden on Tuesday, October 1. The gardens began in 1906 when Edwin Grove built his hilltop home and as well as Grove Park Inn.  In 197l, Jasmin & Peter Gentling bought the abandoned 15 acre property, with hidden garden terraces discovered during 40 years of their reconstruction. This fabled mountainside oasis with stunning gardens contain stone retaining walls for the elevation changes. Gentling Garden is located off Town Mountain Rd, on Bluebriar Rd. Parking is limited and carpooling will be necessary. As such, the field trip is open to members and their guests but not to the general gardening public.

Please note the earlier time for the meeting. We will gather for carpools at 9:30 am at the First Baptist Church parking lot, and the tour will begin at 10:00 am. Following the garden tour, we will have box lunches at noon.

Members should make reservations by October 26.


MGCA members and guests enjoyed our annual picnic and were honored last evening by a fantastic presentation by Jennifer Strules, a post-graduate student from North Carolina State University on her work with the Urban/Suburban Black Bear Study.

Ms. Strules presented on her very relevant research on urban black bears in the Asheville area. More information can be found at the following links: