Sunday, April 13, 2008

Biltmore Gardens

Thurs. was a beautiful day to go to Biltmore, though I am planning to go back by myself in the next two weeks. I enjoyed going with Susan from work, but she was more into the shops and I really wanted to be outside. We did hit the greenhouse (and shop) and made it out to the walled garden before it got late. AND, we went to the winery (shop) where Dr. B's wife was playing the harp.

I won't show a photo of her here, but I did try to get a couple of her hands. She's been playing since she was 9 years old and was a marvel to watch. So very graceful. I used the sport action on my camera hoping to catch her hands as she played, and not a pose, but that dimmed the available light significantly. There was probably a way to correct that, but I am still woefully ignorant about this camera.

In one of the greenhouses I found this stunning, albeit strange-budded flower:

Maybe it's a balloon flower?

Then there was this lovely blue one:

Here is a close-up of the petals--isn't it amazing how they were layered?

A very odd-looking cactus:

I loved this arrangement in an old birdcage. I added that item to my list of things to watch out for at garage sales and flea markets.

Outdoors, I snapped a photo of this container arrangement, because I never think about combining multiple plants in a container, but love it when I see it done:

The fields of tulips and other flowers were just breathtaking, and I know these photos don't do them justice:

Wouldn't this color combination make a stunning quilt?

Running up the hill from the greenhouses was a covered walkway, covered with grapevines (currently bare of leaves) and benches to sit and view the fields. There are gardeners available daily to answer questions, but we were too late to talk to them on Thurs. (Another reason to go alone next time.)

I want to find out the name of this tulip and plant some in my yard next fall:

We walked toward what looks to be a gardener's quarters, but reminds me of the book "The Secret Garden".

Just under the bridge, we saw this:

There was sign denying admittance, but you know how it is when you aren't allowed somewhere; it just makes you want to go there all the more.

But outside the gate, we saw this one rose blooming:

To the left, downhill from this grove of trees, are the azalea gardens which should be blooming in the next couple of weeks.

Mine are already starting to bud, so I will know when to go back.

There were many times while driving the grounds I wanted to stop and take a picture, but either Susan was talking on her cell phone to hubby, or talking to me about something and I couldn't interrupt. We had a really good time, as she is lots of fun, but next trip will just be my trusty little camera and me.

Edited to add: For a really gorgeous look at that blue flower, or the pink tulips, etc, click on the photo to enlarge. That blue one makes me smile every time.


Ruth's Place said...

It looks like a beautiful place to spend the day!

We used to have a cactus like the one you showed, it gets the most amazing flowers!

Jacquie said...

A beautiful place indeed. Brings back memories!

MightyMom said...

well, don't forget ME and I promise not to talk and not to go in any shops!!!! :-)

my magic moments monday is up...

Libby said...

Beautiful flowers. Wouldn't it be wonderful to play the harp?

Perry said...

These are wonderful pictures! I have read articles and heard about the gardens at Biltmore for years, but this is the first time I have ever realized how beautifull they must be. Thanks so much for sharing them!

Heather K said...

I'm quite sure the first flower is an hibiscus and the blue on is a hydrangea..lovely photos.

Stephanie said...

Heather, thanks! I bought a hibiscus from a lady down the street who was selling them at her yard sale, but it never took for me. Guess my planting conditions weren't right. Anyhow, that's why I didn't recognize it.

And a hydrangea? Really? Guess I've never seen one up close--just the bushes in other people's yards, and this one was nowhere that big.

Well, color me duh-mb--except for the light brown thumb.