Friday, September 30, 2011

Asheville - Part 4 - More Biltmore

It was mid-afternoon when the shuttle bus returned us to the Biltmore house. Our plan was to tour the gardens, so we started by resting for a few minutes on this patio that's connected to the side of the house:

Several "trees" like this one stand supported on a side patio
 that overlooks nearby mountains. I'm not sure what kind
of vines these are (since coming home I've read another
tourist's report that they're wisteria). All I know is
I'd love to be there when they bloom.


Our shuttle driver advised us to begin our garden tour at the entrance near the house. That way our walk would be mostly downhill, and he would pick us up at the other end of it. That made good sense to us. Then we took a look down this long flight of stairs and had a brief discussion about how much of the gardens we really wanted to see. 

The entrance to the Biltmore Gardens was just down these stairs.


Having lugged my camera around for days, I was determined to take pictures in the famous Biltmore Gardens, so down we went. Here was our first peek:

This Italian garden sits very near the house,
a wonderful place for an after-dinner stroll.


The garden path was beautiful, flanked as it was by trees and flowering shrubs:


Far be it from us to dispute the shuttle driver's word, but it seemed to my sister and me  that the path was mostly uphill, at least at the beginning of it. Fortunately, there were benches tucked here and there in shady places:




I think we tried out every single bench we came across. It was really hot that afternoon, and the air seemed still in the midst of all that greenery. At every upward twist of the path, we discussed how much farther we should go, but we didn't want to miss anything.


I'm ashamed now (in my air-conditioned home) to say that we buckled early and chose not to see the rest of the gardens. At the time, though, I was nothing but grateful. (Remember, this was only one day after we hiked the nature trail at the Cherokee village.) Our allergies were flaring up. My head felt like it would split open any minute, and my sister's eyes were watering in heavy streams. It was sooooo hot, and we were sooooo full from lunch. 

We headed back to the big house (strangely uphill on the way back, too). I had to hang onto the stair railing and drag myself up that tall flight of stairs pictured above (second from the top), then I sat on another small set of steps and waited while my sister got the valet to bring her car around. Once in the car, with the A/C blowing in our faces, we took a drive around the rest of the property.

One of many, many formal gardens, most of which we didn't see.


A bank of pink roses near the Deerpark Restaurant.


The Lagoon


A field of sunflowers with mountains in the background. Spectacular!


A portion of Antler Hill Village with the Inn on Biltmore Estate 
towering over it in the background.
 

I highly recommend the do-it-yourself driving tour. Actually, I highly recommend touring the Biltmore Estate any way you can do it.


4 comments:

  1. Looks beautiful and I'm glad you had a sunny day to see it, even though it was hot-much better than in pouring rain!

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  2. Janet, that's a very good point. It just didn't occur to us at that moment.

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  3. I love that "lagoon" photo - a lovely study in green. When I typed the word "green" I suddenly remembered a puzzle you wrote once that was made up of names of colors; celadon was one of them. Find the celadon in the photo.

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  4. Annette, it's so funny that you remember that puzzle so well. There's a straggly little tree near the center of the photo--in front of the short, triangular evergreen tree--that appears celadon to me. What do you think? :)

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