Friday, July 16, 2010

Biltmore Summer Tour - The Rose Gardens

The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling~~~
every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.
John Muir

Every season at the Biltmore is a stunning portrait of nature. These photos were taken on our visit a few weeks ago when the roses garden was in glorious full bloom.

We will start our tour at the Conservatory - a beautiful home for plants and flowers with magnificent blooms and foliage.






We have just stepped outside the Conservatory and now we are walking up the stairs toward the mansion. These beautiful flowers are in the butterfly garden.






Just outside of the Conservatory is the magnificent walled garden. Always in bloom - this time the garden was full of roses whose beautiful blooms were filling the air with the most fragrant scent - so light and delicate - just floating all around us~~~

(sorry ladies - he's already taken!)






When you are driving, and you exit the Mansion, you pass through these gates which allows you to drive through the walled gardens. I absolutely love the stone archway and these gates.



The Gardener's favorite rose~~
It's name is Betty Boop.




Even at the Biltmore - there is evidence of garden work that needs to be done. But wait - where are the gardeners?

Oh there they are - having a bit of girl talk!



We have just left the walled garden and now we are walking up the steps to the tree lined path that leads to the Mansion. You can just see the house peeking out over the top of the trees.




Before we get to the house we come to one of the wisteria arbors. This one is alongside the Lily pond, another walled garden that lies just below the house.

If only these statues could talk - oh the stories that they could tell! Original to the house - they never cease to amaze me with their beauty. This one is my favorite.

There is always something in bloom - some sort of beautiful color from the trees and flowers. No matter how many times we visit here (and YOU know, we come here a lot!) we always see something different - some tree or flower that we had not seen before. This is such a perfect little trip for us - just about a 5 hour drive from our home - we feel like we can just come here whenever we want - sometimes we come inside the grounds just to have dinner in one of the restaurants. I jokingly say to the gardener that this "is my other house!".

The lily pond is just below the entrance to the house. That hillside at the end of the pond - is accessed by a lovely bridge that was made just for carriages. At the top of that hill is a beautiful gazebo and the statue of Diana, goddess of the Hunt. The view from the top of this hill - looking back towards the house - is incredible.



Just beside the house at the level of the entrance is another wisteria arbor. This is a wonderful and cool place to rest on a hot day - especially after you have been walking around all the gardens. One of my favorite things here is the reflections of the surrounding mountains in the windows of the house. I seem to always be taking this picture.

Can you see it?

This view out over the valley and Pigsah National Park mountains is from the wisteria arbor also. Can you even imagine that at one time all this, as far as you could see, belonged to the Vanderbilt family? After the early and unexpected death of Mr Vanderbilt, his wife donated all the surrounding area to the establishment of the Pigsah National Park.

Can you see that knoll way over there? You can take a carriage ride through the grounds and they make a stop over there for photo taking - looking back towards the house. It is so beautiful.

I call this the Lion King tree! Seriously - can you even imagine how old this wisteria vine is? Easily a hundred years old~~~

Here we are! We plopped ourselves right down here for a little rest in the cool shade of the arbor. It must be 20 degrees cooler under this wisteria canopy!


Yes - I do this every time we visit - I love these lions! The gardener says -"how many times are you going to have your picture made with these lions?" I say - "every!".

Really - I think they just sit there and wait for me to come back and visit! (they love me!)

On the other side of the house - (opposite to the lily pond) is the Carriage house. This courtyard outside the carriage house is where the Bakery and Ice Cream shops are now located. The Gardener loves to come here for the famous Biltmore ice cream sundaes. (Evil!)
I am mesmerized by this carriage house. This is the beautiful court yard just beside the ice cream shop and bakery. On the inside of the Carriage House are the Biltmore shops and the Stable Cafe Restaurant. The restaurant is actually housed in the old horse barn. Amazing!

Backing up just a bit - here are some more photos from the walled gardens. (and I thought I had these all organized so well!)




A little creative use of the Biltmore wine bottles!

Back at the Conservatory again!

The potting shed at the Conservatory. My MOST favorite place on the estate! (You already knew that didn't you!)

Ahh - now we're talking! We have left the house and driven over towards the winery. We are going to my favorite restaurant - The Arbor Grill.

The grape arbor covered path between the restaurant and the Winery. This path is covered with a combination of wisteria and grape vines. When the grapes start to form on the vines here - the gardeners cut all the grapes off from the vines. I said to them "WHY?" They said that as the grapes mature, the fall off and make a big fat mess. ( OK, I get it!)


Are you hungry? This place is wonderful!

Here we are back at the House again. Just below the Conservatory is the most wonderful shop of garden decor and plants. We could just stay here for hours - and sometimes we do! The Gardener frequently buys some of his plants here. I love to look around inside the shop - so fun!


Guess what! I finally found the perfect place to put that silly Gardener!

He looks right at home here - don't you think!
Well, you know how we do so love the Biltmore! Even as I am writing this, I am making plans to visit again in a few days with some girfriends - a GIRL TRIP! (Everybody say YEA!) So you know what that means - more Biltmore photos for you to see! I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. I will try to show some new perspectives with the next tour - there is sooo much more to see!
Coming up next - some adorable photos of our little "french speaking" grandson Mason. (Such a sweetie - I will tell you his little "french story" in a bit!)


Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Just recently I commented on another blog (she had posted the Biltmore too) that my husband and I were right there, drove by it..., and decided not to go! Don't ask me why..., I guess we couldn't wait to go up to Blowing Rock where we spent a couple of weeks..., well, I hope I get another chance and we'll be back in the area some time. It looks so incredible!!!

Rustique Gal said...

Goodness Vicki! What a marvelous tour. I'll have to have my Mom watch it because it is her dream place. And who is the handsome guy in the hat???
It's really nice to see you both in the pictures. I can't seem to do that on my own! Thanks!

Tami said...

Beautiful Vicki! That is on my list of places to visit...I tell my husband often that I would love to go there. One day!!


Dorthe said...

Oh sweet Vicki,
what a tour, you gifted us with, must be like in heaven ,seing this in real life. The castle looks like a "sleeping beauty" castle, and all the surroundings, are fantastic, and filled with beauty.And you both looks so happy, being there together, having houers of joy.
Here at last we had a storm this night with perhaps 10mm rain, but that is the only rain for one month now, so nothing looks so wonderfull and crisp like on your photoes, more like ,ver tired plants,all.Hope this helps for some dayes.
Dearest I hope you are doing great, and wishes you a happy week-end.
Love and hugs, Dorthe

FlowerLady said...

Thank you, thank you for this lovely tour of the Biltmore Estates. A great way to start the morning. I love the pictures of you and The Gardener also, you are a lovely, happy looking couple.

Have fun on your girls day at the Biltmore.

I look forward to seeing more pictures of this beautiful place.


*Ulrike* said...

I love the Biltmore! It is about 3 hours from where we live. We have not been during the summer mainly fall and spring so for the life of me I can't figure out why we haven't been to see it as your beautiful photos have shown it during the summer!! I see a trip in the near future!

Karen said...

Vicki, Thank you for the wonderful tour of the Biltmore. I really enjoyed looking at all your photographs. It felt like I was there, all that was missing was the scent from the gorgeous roses. You are going back with the girls? awesome! I hope you sit out on that lovely terrace and enjoy your girl talk.
Can't wait for your next post...

SuZeQ said...

Thank you so much for the glorious Biltmore tour. I would love to visit this place. The flowers, the buildings, the lions ... it's all eye candy. Oh yeah - the Gardner, too!

myriamkreativ said...

Oh dear Vicki,
I so muched enjoyed the summer tour through this wonderful paradise with you. It seems to be a magical place. How wonderful must it have been to live there, can you imagine? I hope you get rid of your summer cold and feel well again. I wish you a wonderful Girl tour Im sure you will have lots of fun. I am very exited to see your pics from that trip! Have a wonderful weekend Hugs Myriam

Deb said...

Hi Vicki ~ I didn't know that you were FIVE hours away from Biltmore!! You visit there so often I would have thought it was fairly close to you...and going again soon with girlfriends! It's such a wonderful place though isn't it?! I love seeing all the pictures you take of the flowers and grounds. I especially loved your comments on taking your picture with the Lions. :)

Patty C. said...

Beautiful photos
Just gorgeous !!!!

Jody Hammer said...

Wow! I love the gardens. They are amazing. I cannot fathom how much work it takes for the upkeep of all of it. You both look very comfy there! I hope to visit there one day.... You know, the Ringling Museum here in Sarasota has a beautiful rose garden. It is not as huge as the gardens at the Biltmore, but beautiful still. You should come see it!

Jules said...

Thanks for the tour, Vicki! I haven't been to Biltmore this year - in fact, I've only been to North Carolina once this year and it was snowing so I am long over due a visit - maybe in the Fall ... xxx

Carol Bass @ A Bird in Hand said...

I've always wanted to go there. Thank you for sending so many pictures. I enjoyed every single one of them. I had no idea the grounds were so lovely!! Thanks again!!!

canngil said...

Hi Vicki,
This is up in North Carolina, right?? we drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway last year and could see the estate in the distance. It is on our to-do list next time in the area. We are seriously looking at retiring to Greenville in a couple of years. Nice area!

Fearless Nester said...

Such an amazing place, and a great tour you gave us. I can imagine how glorious it must be with the scent of all those roses. You and the gardener are truly right in your element there! Loved seeing all the pictures of you both there. I love that you told us right where the ice cream and bakery areas were, I'm storing away that information for a future visit someday! xo ~Lili

Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing! Such beautiful pictures.

Jo said...

My brother (the one who lives in Denver) told me all about Biltmore and how beautiful it was. These photos really show that - I could almost smell the flowers. One day perhaps . . . . . . (a girl can dream).

Susan said...

Biltmore is has the most glorious gardens I've ever seen. What a breath taking place. Thank you so much for all the photos. You both looked like you enjoyed yourselves so much. I hope your girl trip out there will be a huge success for you all, too. I'm writing Biltmore down as one of the places I need to see within the next couple of years.

Low Tide High Style said...

Love your photos! The Biltmore is truly a spectacular place, and though I've only been there once, I would love to see it in every season!

Kat :)

Shelly said...

This is just "yummy!" I love all the gardens and the history!

And,,,I look at that old wisteria Vine and think of the one that I somewhat inadvertently planted in my sideyard,,,,that outgrew the Arbor and LAST year I had a pergola built,,,,Oh no! I may be in trouble!! LOL

Love it all,,,the Lions, the ponds, the Estate.....I can see why you have been here often!

NEXT week is our Historical Garden Tour..most assuredly no where NEAR this scale, but I get to attent the Preview and hopefully will get some fun photos!!! (More also at my friend Penny's who was our hostess for the French themed party, but I didn't want to post more or her gardens,,,because, well, thought it would just be tacky before the tour!)

My yard is sad this year...LOL too much cold and rain this late spring and early summer! Ackkk!
Next year, perhaps????

Thanks for sharing! Love it!

Hugs and love you to pieces!!!

(Okay, off to post your giveaway,,,,a BIT late!)

mary said...

I am so excited to get there and surround myself with the "magic" of the Biltmore! But then, anytime we take a trip together there is ...well...maybe not magic but certainly surprises!!!! HA! These pics are gorgeous!

Linda Robinson said...

Your pictures are so beautiful.. I have never been to the Biltmore, But it definitely looks like a place I want to go know! Thanks for sharing with us!

Regina said...

Such a wonderful place.
Thank you for sharing.

The Recycled Dove said...

Beautiful photos.

Stop by and visit.


erin said...

thanks for stopping by my blog today and your kind comments! well, i see, that yes, you do love flowers!!! and biltmore certainly is a treasure trove of flowers and architecture. i have been there several times and honeymooned at pisgah view ranch (29 years ago!) a lovely site, indeed. thanks for sharing.

Bella said...

I absolutely ADORE Biltmore! It is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. I have walked those grounds lots of times. And the house - everything is so lovely. It doesn't matter what season you go, it's always beautiful. Christmas there is out of this world, isn't it? One time we actually stayed at the Inn on the estate - what a dream that was!

Silke said...

Oh, Vicki, what a gorgeous tour that was! I feel like I have been there! I think my favorite part of it was that huge wisteria trunk. How amazing is that?!!? Glad you have a most wonderful time! Love, Silke

Susan said...

Thanks for the awesome tour...what a trip! Susan

Erica said...

GORGEOUS photos! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Now I have to go back to Biltmore in the summer. I wouldn't even need another interior tour - just spend the entire day in the gardens. We had lunch in the Stable restaurant when we went for Christmas a couple years ago. Now you are giving me the itch to plan a birthday trip next year!

Pat said...

Vicki, thanks for the lovely photos of Biltmore! I was there once with my best friends and it was a wonderful place to be...even in August! I will certainly never forget it and you've made the memories fresh again! Do enjoy your 'girl trip.' pat

Lisa said...

Thanks for your comments about the watermelon rind preserves. They didn't come out very well in the end. When I opened them up, they weren't sweet at all and not very tasty. But, I am not allowed to sell food online until I become licensed (preparing food in a commercial kitchen). Thanks for asking though. I'll keep you posted.

sjmcdowell said...

Dear Vicki,

Oh thank you so much for this lovely pictoral tour of the Biltmore Estate. While I have been strolling through the pictures it reminded me of when I lived in England and the Castles I used to visit with the beautiful lush gardens and gorgeous landscapes.
I will have to persuade my husband to take me to Biltmore sometime...soon I hope!!

Take care my friend :D

Smiles and Blue skies,


Stephne said...

Hi i have visited Biltmore twice now, it is sooo lovely, thanks for the reminder, the piccys are really great...Stephne x

Bumpkin Bears said...

Just glorious and in such a wonderful setting, thank you so much for transporting me there! Catherine x

Beedeebabee said...

Oh Vicki! What a wonderful tour! I always wanted to visit there. I can just imagine how wonderful it must have been to live in a place like that! CAN YOU JUST IMAGINE!We have one of the Vanderbilt's mansions here on Long Island also, but there is nothing like Biltmore! I loved those Lions too, and you and your hubby are just SO adorable together! Have a great day! Paulette ;)

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Those 'floating balls', so so pretty colored are STUNNING!
Many beautiful flowers too.
Hope your week is lovely so far, Vicki! xx

Gail said...

Oh my what a breathtaking place. I could spend days here, too. Thank you for sharing it