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Visit the Gardens of Biltmore

Biltmore House, the largest private home in America, has extensive gardens
Biltmore House, the largest private home in America, has extensive gardens photo by author

Just down the hill from Biltmore House, the largest private home in America, are the Gardens of Biltmore. It is only fitting that the gardens should be as extensive as Biltmore House itself.

The Walled Garden at Biltmore is a riot of color.
The Walled Garden at Biltmore is a riot of color.photo by author

The gardens and grounds of Biltmore were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Olmsted also planned out the forestland as well.

Olmsted started with the Approach Road, designing it so it would capture interest year-round. According to “Biltmore: An American Masterpiece” “Because the family traveled frequently, ‘Mr. Vanderbilt and his family always missed the best of the bloom,” lamented Olmsted-the Approach Road was planted with a variety of deciduous trees, conifers and flowering shrubs that would provide interest year-round.”(p.96)But Olmsted’s genius did not stop there, it extended to forty acres of gardens and grounds as well as a 250 acre park to complement the architecture of the house.

All of this is and more is on display at “Biltmore Blooms,” the celebration of Biltmore’s gardens that started March 20 and will end May 23, the peak season for Biltmore’s gardens. While there is not a lot of time left, if you have a chance, make the trip to Asheville, N.,C.,about 2 ½-3 hours from Columbia, and give yourself what my wife calls, “a major case of flowers." Biltmore House and its gardens are located on the Biltmore Estate. Click here for more details on the estate.

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