This is where we were headed, but I am going to show you how we got there. Like I said, so many have been posting fine images of our garden visits and I want to give you a peek How I See It, to the entry through the three-mile long Approach Road to the Biltmore Estate above.
This is one of the maps that was given to us upon arrival. It is an architectural site rendering of the property, much like I might do if I was there during the design phase.
This map shows the 3 mile Approach Road into the Estate. We rode our school buses along this route.
The grounds are beautiful, both the formal and the natural. So let’s see how we get there.
That is the first bus of garden Flingers up ahead. These images, except those of the Lagoon, are taken from a moving bus, so excuse any blur.
We spy a pair of frisky turkeys.
A Bass Pond comes into view.
This is the Lagoon that we approached by foot. It is much clearer than the Bass Pond, but it has rained the night before and the water was a bit stirred up. I just thought you would like to see the contrast of the more natural to the highly designed.
The Lagoon has architectural features with bridges and an observation pavilion.
The Lagoon has Bass too, seen from the bridge above. I am betting this portion of the lagoon was designed shallow at this point to take advantage of viewing the fish. It would be advantageous for children fishing off the bridge too. They could see the fish take the bait. This would have been a likely design consideration since this area is only mere inches deep.
At the Lagoon, the plantings are more refined than at the Bass Pond.
Back to the bus ride. What other creatures can we see in the woods?
Now when we were riding through the wooded areas on the bus, our guide mentioned that there was a momma bear with two cubs roaming about. I was snapping away and this is what I saw. In the distance on the left, does this look like a baby bear? There is another one just out of sight to the left of the one that looks visible.
Am I seeing things? I zoomed in and it really looks like a blurry bear cub. I sharpened the little guy too, but it is hard to tell what it is. It looks like two front legs, a head with ears. Plus there is the dark blob just out of view. Now is that a lucky shot or am I seeing things?
We passed under viaducts that had a story. Our guide said that Frederick Law Olmsted did not want built structures seen in the natural areas and had ivy brought in to cover the beautiful stonework. I am going to have to investigate if he was a stickler at Niagara Falls State Park, another of his designs. I will be on the look out for ivy next walk that I take there.
It ended up covering tree trunks as well.
There is quite a mix of deciduous and conifer trees in this forest.
And, a good design trick… clearings dotting the path of travel.
This is the exit road, but still on the property as we are leaving. What a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the far off distance.
I want to thank the Biltmore for all that they did for us Flingers. They went over and above with their kind generosity. I sat with two of the women from the Biltmore for our dinner at the Masonic Temple. I believe they promote and represent the facility, but I did not ask what their association was to the Biltmore. I know now what Katie and Suzi do. I was close, so here is their website. All you folks wanting to create gardening buzz on your product, this is the place to go. Garden Media Group
They were a blast to dine with, both funny and witty. Our table was in constant humor, everybody laughing and merry. And there was no alcohol either, straight sober fun.
Our table also included a young representative, Ryan, from Botanical Interests. His father was a Mason and you can just imagine the conversation that we were having, being in a Masonic temple, with the stairs lined with portraits of famous and straight-laced elderly Masons. A walk to the ladies room was an eerie adventure with those eyes of the forbearers following your every move. And remember, we were sober, no less. It was spooky. I should have brought my camera. Who knows, maybe a lucky catch of one haunting the stairs to go with my imaginary bear family above.
Ryan’s company also was very generous as a sponsor to the event, providing a box lunch and also a wealth of seed packets to plant in our gardens, among many other fine things they did for us. I have included his card for those of you wanting to take advantage of his heirloom and organic seeds. I love the colorful illustrations on the packaging. Here is the link to their website.
Leave a comment and let me know if you think that was a Bear Cub in my image or a Fallen Tree. Yes gets a 😀 and no gets a 😥