Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the Conservatory at Biltmore

Recently, I blogged about our trip to the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, N.C. just a few weeks ago.  As I promised I am back to share a little more of that trip with you now.  Here we were outside of the beautiful Biltmore Mansion about to make our way inside.

I like to wonder about what kinds of gatherings they may have had here in the main courtyard.  I would have liked to be able to share more photos of the home with you but unfortunately they have a thing about taking photos inside the home.  So, as you have guessed there are none from inside that I can share with you.

I snapped this photo as we were leaving the house after having a wonderful leisure afternoon of touring the home.  It was cold and icy outside that day but, OH, so worth it!  In January, not only are the rates lower for admittance but the crowds are significantly lower too.  The shuttle bus driver from the parking lot said they went from 10,000 people a day in December to 400 a day in January.  Wow!  I have been to Biltmore before with one of my sons on a school trip and it was extremely busy, rushed, and quite a different experience.  This was sooooo much nicer!

Here's a wall on the opposite end of the courtyard filled with sculptures.  Do you see the turtles in the arches on the bottom?  While touring the house I learned that the Lady of the house loved and owned several different types of animals, including turtles.   I also learned that the Vanderbilt legacy is one of a family filled with love that were quite fun and entertaining. I was amazed to read that they were scheduled to be on the Titanic's disastrous voyage but changed plans at the last minute to take her sister ship home to New York instead.  Sadly, some of their acquaintances did not change and were lost to them.  Can you imagine?  I just enjoyed hearing everything about their lives!  How very grand!  

Our next stop after the house was the conservatory where many rare exotic plants and orchids are grown.  I was too cold and worried about slipping on the ice to get outside pictures so you will just have to enjoy the view form inside, okay?

If you are a garden lover like me you would adore this place.

There were three maybe four greenhouses, I can't remember.  I do remember there was one listed as cold and one as hot though.  LOL!  

The orchids were blooming and I was over joyed to see them!

I wonder how much time the Vanderbuilts spent wandering around here.  I would have to visit this part of the estate daily for sure.  Wouldn't you?

The leaves on this plant were humongous!  

I loved seeing the gorgeous plants spilling out of birdcages.

It was truly a wonder land of comfort in the midst of a cold and dreary day!  There is also a store below to shop for all sorts of garden goodies.  After leaving the conservatory we went to the winery  for another tour and then the village for lunch.  It was such a fantastic day stepping back in time. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the tour.  If you get the chance ever you really should visit the Biltmore in Asheville.  It's quite magical!

Have a great week friends!