African Garden + wildflower wednesday

Glimpse of Biltmore
The gardens of Biltmore, including the Italian Garden, have remained fairly unchanged for over 100 years.

Time being perennially in short supply in May, I decided to post just a few of the many images I shot at Biltmore during the fifth Garden Bloggers' Fling in Asheville, from which I just returned. I have long wanted to visit the grounds of Biltmore, which were laid out by Fredrick Law Olmstead, the designer of Central Park in New York. Biltmore was the country house castle of the family of George Vanderbilt.

No expense was spared in the construction of the estate. When one could find a quiet corner, viewing the gardens of Biltmore was like stepping into a time machine back to the Gilded Age.

view down the esplanade looking back from the house with the statue of Diana on the hill

The gardens were laid out with the mountain views in mind.

There's a reason they're called the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Unintentional camel topiary Wisteria?

While the formal gardens were impressive, I was drawn to the informal paths among the trees.

Curves in the paths beckoned to a view beyond.

Geranium hybrid

While I had intended to post about my Cladrastis kentukea for Wildflower Wednesday, this post can do double duty instead, as I fell in love at first sight with the native mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia.

Who needs cherry trees or azaleas?

What a delight to walk amongst mature, perfectly sited, well-maintained woody plants.

Kudos to the Biltmore gardening staff (all 60 of you), not a mulch volcano in sight. Thanks for graciously welcoming Fling.

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Glimpse of Biltmore + wildflower wednesday