Let’s keep touring around the property at the Biltmore Estate.
When you go around to the rear of the huge château, the views are commanding. The architect, Richard Morris Hunt, very well-considered the views to be seen from the upper stories of the mansion. Can you believe this home is 175,000 square feet? It is the largest privately owned home in the United States.
Frederick Law Olmsted was the landscape architect. The intent when created was to get away from the bustle of the city and work life, and that is exactly how the architects took that directive into account. The owner wanted a park to view from the home.
Olmsted designed a 250–acre, English style “Deer Park” to the west and south of the château. What more can you ask from the peace and quiet of the surrounding rolling countryside? Can you just see a hawk taking wing or a newborn deer tagging along behind the doe off the South terrace? I could sit up there for hours just soaking in the beauty.
The estate manages a herd of indigenous whitetail deer which can be viewed in this landscape above. They are not fenced in, but roam free around and behind the estate.
But before we get too far into the wilderness of the 8000 acre estate, let’s keep looking at the formal gardens.
The rose gardens are spectacular and quite a sight to see. The formal areas are quite a contrast to the pastoral views at the rear of the home. Formal design is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is difficult to be anything but complimentary to this area of the gardens.
It seems every large public or private statement garden has a rose garden as a feature. I have visited quite a few this summer, some I have yet to show you. Many of the rose beds are very well cared for and some were in need of immediate attention at some of the gardens I visited.
Roses are time-consuming for care, especially in humid environments. In our area, roses generally require enormous maintenance, unless types are selected that are better suited to our climate. So when I see the tea roses blooming wonderfully, I am very thrilled. They are the queens of the gardens.
So much attention to detail was paid in this garden, from the circulation of how you passed through the space, to how you saw framed views from within the garden structures. It had a sense of theater to the journey through the spaces. There was always a place to stop and pause. That is a sign of good design.
This is such a lovely walk through the pergola. Every window frames a beautiful view beyond.
I was not disappointed in the formal gardens one bit. The grass edging was very different from the typical boxwood edging. It is much harder to keep hydrated than is the boxwood. I am betting that it is sodded periodically.
Boxwood are a shrub that will withstand dry periods and is a designer choice when abutting to hardscapes. The grass as edging is used commercially more often. I have used it at fast food restaurants because the car exhaust would destroy shrubs. Plus it is a walkable surface. Here lining the rose beds, it is mostly ornamental, yet it does function to retain the mulch at the height it is planted and kept trimmed.
Somebody has a continuous job keeping the grass so neatly trimmed and the mulch out of the gravel paths. They do a good job too.
The Biltmore was very generous to our group and deserved our thanks. They showed our group enormous hospitality and were very gracious hosts.
The pergola along the side of the home, adjacent to the reflecting pools, same side as the rose gardens.
Healthy roses and pretty mixed beds.
The estate had something for everyone. I will be showing the more natural areas in the next post on the Biltmore. There are lakes, ponds, streams, bridges, and even wildlife. Speaking of wildlife, don’t miss my two previous posts, How to Photograph Zoo Animals, It’s Not About Looking Cute, and Helping Wildlife and Bettering the Habitat.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of the formal areas surrounding the house. There was much to see.
If you ever get the chance and are in the area, take the drive to the estate. Our group was there during the Festival of Flowers, and they did not disappoint. The flowers were blooming with abandon.
A May pole? We were there in May.
Such a pretty, healthy display.