What architect so noble…as he who, with far-reaching conception of beauty, in designing power, sketches the outlines, writes the colors, becomes the builder and directs the shadows of a picture so great that Nature shall be employed upon it for generations, before the work he arranged for her shall realize his intentions. – Frederick Law Olmsted
View the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of American landscape architecture at the Biltmore Estate. Garnering over 1 million visitors a year the 8,000 acre estate located in North Carolina was built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt. Biltmore Estate is the largest home in America but it is also home to 75 acres of beautiful and picturesque gardens.
You get your first taste of Biltmore’s beautiful landscapes from Approach Road, a winding three-mile drive up to the estate. A mix of exotic and indigenous plants featuring thousands of Rhododendrons the woodland landscape of Approach Road begins your transportation to another time created by the stunning Biltmore Estates.
Biltmore has six main gardens along with the conservatory and 250-acre Deer Park featuring oak groves where you can spot white-tailed deer in the early morning or evening. The glass-roofed conservatory was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, who also designed the main house, and is a lush tropical retreat with palms, ferns and orchids.
The Azalea Garden at 15-acres is the largest of the Biltmore gardens bursting into color in April. The work of horticulturist Chauncey Beadle who lived and worked on the estate for 60 years, the garden is now home to over 1,000 azaleas along with magnolias, dogwoods and conifers.
The Italian and Walled Gardens are the two most formal spaces created by Frederick Law Olmsted on the estate. The Italian Garden presents three symmetrical pools laden with elegant water lilies and classical statuary, a perfect garden for a quiet stroll. However, for more festive times the garden’s manicured grassy area transforms into grass tennis courts for lively sporting events.
The Walled Garden, unlike the Italian, is purely ornamental with beds arranged in patterns and two vine covered arbors. When visiting in spring the garden is overflowing with daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips. The lower half of the Walled Garden is dedicated to roses with over 2,000 roses growing on traditional garden structures such as a maypole and double arch.
Besides the gardens surrounding the house itself you can stroll through the 1 acre kitchen garden at the Farm in Antler Hill Village. The kitchen garden features herbs and vegetables used in the Biltmore restaurants. The winery also at Antler Hill Village is celebrating their 25th anniversary, offering tours and tastings you can learn about winemaking and explore the historic cellars.
Don’t miss the upcoming event, Festival of Flowers, April 2 through May 15, 2011. Spring arrives at Biltmore with over 100,000 tulips and acres of azaleas. This estate wide event celebrates the beauty of Vanderbilt’s 8,000 acre estate with gardens and landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. If visiting in May tulips make was for irises and peonies.
Address: 1 Lodge Street; Asheville, NC 28803
Hours of Operation: Open 365 days a year, hours vary by season
Admission: $69 Adult, (Winter Special until March 31st – $29 Adult), children under 9 are FREE. Twelve-Month pass is available with the Passholder membership.
Pet Policy: Pets are allowed on the estate grounds but must be kept on a leash. No pets allowed in any buildings. (Except service dogs)
Food: No outside food or drink (except water) is allowed inside the grounds. However, there is a great restaurant on premise, The Terrace, and there is a picnic area outside the grounds.
Photography: Is allowed for personal use only outside Biltmore House. No photography, videotaping, sketching, or cell phone use is permitted within Biltmore House.
For more information visit http://www.biltmore.com/