Sunday, May 23, 2010

Road Trip. Day 3. The Biltmore Estate Gardens.

I know. I know. This post has been a long time coming. And I apologize for that. I don't know why I've procrastinated so much writing about this particular leg of our trip. Maybe because it takes a while to take in and assimilate all the sensory stimuli of Biltmore Estate. And then I just had to sit back and think on the experience. This post and whatever comes next about Biltmore (And I already have 3 drafts in place for the next posts.), I've had to do in my own time. While on a trip, I have found internet service to range from Horrible - Asheboro, NC, at whatever hotel it was. I don't think the hotel made a difference. - to Superior - Raleigh, NC. Duh. Research Triangle Park. I try to upload my pictures of each day every evening when we get to our hotel room - usually a different room every night. So I blog whatever is easiest, usually a restaurant meal. Or a zoo with animals smart enough to get out of the 95+ degree heat at mid afternoon. Or a Harley Davidson Museum. Or an Aviation Museum. For something as intense as Biltmore Estate, plus factoring in my advanced age, approaching, if not there, senility, and general retardation of my mental capacities and physical abilities, I needed to take my time. For that slack, I apologize. Fast-Backward. It's Tuesday, May 4. We left Marion Tuesday morning, got to Asheville, and went to the N.C. Arboretum first then to lunch at the Harbor Inn Seafood Restaurant. We're trying to time this just right so we can arrive at Biltmore at 3:00 PM Tuesday. That way we get in free for Wednesday. We're here for the 25th Annual Festival of Flowers. The festival ran from April 3 - May 16 and we arrived on May 4. Rosie Hint #632: Arrive earlier. I'd go with mid - late April.
This is the gatehouse at the entrance.
It's surrounded by purple delphiniums, pink and yellow snapdragons, yellow pansies, and silver dusty miller. Lush green lawn and spent azaleas.
Planters of yellow snaps.
We had some time to kill before 3 o'clock, so we went through the gift shop, where I donned this matching accessory.
Mr. Hawthorne wanted to buy me this chapeau but I declined, although I do think I look rather fetching.
Today in the gardens, we can find: Horseche(?) and I see a nut reflection Woodland Hyacinth Allium Peony Dogwood Iris Azalea Deutzia (I have Deutzia blooming now!) Sweetshrub Fringe tree Viburnum
Here's the front lawn of Biltmore estate.
Wisteria covers the porch.
Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York's Central Park, was the landscape architect responsible for the magnificent estate gardens and parks.
Not too shabby a view. When George Vandebilt bought the land, it was all cut-over. He never had this view. Well, he had the mountains, but not the trees and the green. This is all from the vision of Olmsted.
Wisteria blooming from the arbor.
We took a leisurely walk over the grounds.
Aaaaaand ..... I missed the tulips. And the roses have a good week or more to go.
The greenhouses are magnificent.
Please enjoy.
Orchidgal, these are for you.
Someone tell me. Zzzadig? Orchidgal? I'm appealing to Z for his zoological knowledge and to O for her botanical knowledge, Is this a carnivorous plant? Do insects go down there for the sweet nectar and then drown? Or is it just a repository for water?
Stepping stones over a small stream.
Lookie! I found a bunny! Do you see him? I tried to get Mr. Hawthorne, who was packing, to take him out so we could have a good meal tonight but he wouldn't oblige.
Come to think of it, nuked rabbit ain't the best thing I ever et. But that coulda been from the rubber tire flavor on it.
The bass pond. Doesn't that just invite you to come out, sit, relax, contemplate, meditate? I certainly had no desire to fish.
I found this huge turtle off the beaten path. He was a foot or so long, shell-wise, and maybe 10-11 inches wide. Mr. Hawthorne was not in the mood for turtle soup either. Killjoy.
Ahhhhh ...
Tis quite lovely here.
I so wish I could have gotten the peak of the azaleas.
I asked Mr. Hawthorne to help me carry this slab bench back to the truck. I have the perfect place in my garden for it. Bitch refused.
Purple irises and orange poppies in the gift shop.
Lilies, hydrangea, Gerbera daisies.
You wouldn't believe how good it smells in here.
Mr. Hawthorne under the arbor.
Let's hope The Cooch doesn't get wind of this.
Oh my. This is beautiful. I want to paint this.
Stay tuned for more Biltmore. I have a lot.


Kathy said...

Beautiful pictures Rosie.

Marilyn said...

"Someone tell me.
That be a bromeliad, dear. The well in the leaves allows debris to collect, thus adding natural fertilizer to feed the plant.

I am so envious. You may have missed this peak or that, but you still got to see more of nature's beauty than many of us ever do.

zzzadig said...

What Marilyn said. It's considered an "aerial" plant that is perched upon trees and such, so it needs to capture extra water and food, but there aren't any structures for disolving (eating) insects. Frogs often use the ponded water for their eggs and tadpoles.