Monthly Meeting

Meetings are held in the Dining Room for the First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak Street, on most first Tuesdays of the month. Exceptions will be noted below.

Meeting beginning with informal conversations at 11:30 am. An optional lunch starts at 12:00 noon followed by a program at about 12:30 pm. Reservations are required for lunch and the cost is covered by the member or guest. Reservations may be made by email to

March 3, 2020

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.

February 4, 2020

The speaker was Club member and Horticulture Center Director Ray Geiser.  Ray joined the Club in 2017 and has been very active at the Horticulture Center.  He succeeded longtime Director Ted Faber in 2019.

Working at the Horticulture Center is the core activity involved in producing plants for the Club’s Plant Sales.  Ray has initiated many changes and upgrades that will improve the facility and provide additional capabilities.  He discussed his goals for 2020 and appreciates member feedback on these ideas.

January 7, 2020

Members and guests heard a presentation by local author Peter Loewer talking on wildlife that has visited his garden.

December 10, 2019

The Club enjoyed it annual awards program with the installation of officers. In addition, presentations were given by representatives of the two colleges receiving scholarship monies for the Club, Mayland Community College and Blue Ridge Community College.

November 5, 2019

Club meeting  featured Matt Timmer of Reems Creek Nursery speaking on ‘Conifers’.

Matt says, ” I moved here in 1995 to attend Warren Wilson College. After a brief stint I left to pursue a 2 yr degree in Horticulture from Haywood Community College. By 2000 I was working full time as a Landscape Foreman for a company in Waynesville, NC. As my interest in plants grew, I shifted my attention to the re-wholesale of the industry. My back and sore muscles thanked me for that move. I have now spent the last 9 years as the Tree and Shrub Buyer as well as Green Goods Manager at Reems Reek Nursery in Weaverville, NC. I have enjoyed sharing plant stories, triumphs, and losses, as well as my passion for native plants and conifer with so many fine people in the WNC Region.”

October 1, 2019

Gentling Garden

Men’s Garden Club meeting was a field trip to enjoy the famous Gentling Garden.

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.

September 10, 2019

Discover Life in America (DLIA.)

The speaker was Todd P. Wilcher, Executive Director of Discover Life in America (DLIA).

In 1998, Discover Life in America, was formed to carry out a special mission in the Great Smoky Mountains Park called an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI),
which is a concerted effort to discover and understand ALL the species
that inhabit this 522,000-acre habitat.

Todd Wilcher gave an overview of the mission in our beloved Smokies’. Before becoming the ED at DLIA, he taught at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville for 16 years . He grew up in Tennessee with three degrees were in biology, business and education.

August 8, 2019

The annual MGCA picnic was held at the Governor’s Western Residence, off Town Mountain Road starting about 5:30 pm. The gates opened at 4:30 pm. Food was from BBQ from Okie Dokie Smokehouse.

Jennifer Strules, a post-graduate student from North Carolina State University, associated with the Urban/Suburban Black Bear Study being conducted in collaboration with NC Wildlife made a presentation.