4/21/09

The Lady on the Hill

Biltmore House (castle).
Biltmore Estate is one of the most beautiful estates in America. The house is truly a castle and the gardens are amazing. The descendants of George Vanderbilt have worked hard to maintain the house and grounds and are constantly restoring and preserving them. They have generously opened the estate to general public. No doubt it was a smart move on their behalf because it enables them to hold on to the estate but the fact is that many beautiful estates have not been so lucky. Many don’t have such savvy owners who cared or were willing to work as hard at keeping their families legacy intact. And you can rest assured that keeping and estate like Biltmore thriving is a full time job.


Can you imagine the time and effort
that went into the detail of just one window?

This spring there is the added bonus of 4 new rooms in the house, actually the house should more rightly be called the castle because it truly is a castle. In fact it’s bigger than some European castles. Unfortunately the owners of Biltmore house will not allow photos to be taken of the inside so I don’t have any of those to share but you can see some on their website. I have to tell you though that the website doesn’t do the rooms justice, they are much more beautiful in real life.

What a lovely place to just sit and enjoy the gardens.
In the 13 years that G and I have lived in NC we’ve visited Biltmore Estate often. Mere words cannot describe Biltmore, it’s is awe inspiring, stunning, majestic, overwhelmingly beautiful and yet none of those words truly describe or define Biltmore. Whatever your interest Biltmore something for you, be it homes of the rich and famous, architecture, art, craftsmanship, food and wine, gardens and much, much more. Its beauty and majesty draw people from all over the world and one visit is never enough.




At one point in history gargoyles were believed
to frighten away evil spirits.
There are many aspects of the house and grounds that draw me back over and over again but the one thing that always wins out are the gardens. Biltmore owners and staff put together stunning shows season after season and no two are the same. Frederick Law Olmstead designed the Biltmore gardens and grounds. He is considered the father and founder of American Landscape Architecture. He is also the designer of Central Park and Boston’s Emerald Necklace to name just a few of his many accomplishments. Olmstead designed an easy marriage between the causal and the formal garden styles for Biltmore so that there is something for every garden taste.

Looking towards the conservatory,
which is larger than most average American homes.

Our past visits have been mostly in the fall. The only thing that can hold a candle to Biltmore in the fall would be the Blue Ridge Parkway. But this year I wanted to go in the spring to see the tulips. I had seen pictures on their website and heard my gardening friends wax poetic over the beauty of the walled garden in spring. I wasn’t disappointed. The pictures don’t do the wall garden justice and much to my pleasure this year they featured black tulips. For me there is something intriguing about black flowers and most especially black tulips.



Pink and black;

one of my favorite color combinations





The stauary is amazing and something
I never tire of photographing.




Probably my favorite photo.

This little glass terririum was inside the conservatory.
It's a miniture world all it's on with little gazebo, creek and bridge.


Love this juniper; wanted one of these
for ages now.


G and me sitting amoung the tulips
just outside the winery.



Gate leading to the deer park. I'll have to explore this on our next trip.

2 comments:

Barb said...

Nice photos...tulips are so pretty!

Balwearie said...

Thanks for the lovely tour -- this is definitely on my list of places I'd like to see.