Beautiful Biltmore Gardens
Biltmore Gardens is a graceful oasis of greenery where visitors can roam for hours along flower lined paths or relax on green expanses shaded by massive old trees and surrounded by hedges and beds of vibrant colors.
No visit to Biltmore Estate is complete without a stroll through the Biltmore Estate Gardens. In fact many people come to Biltmore just to enjoy the gardens.
George Washington Vanderbilt wanted to create gardens that would rival and compliment his fabulous Biltmore House. So he turned to the foremost landscape architect of his time, Frederick Law Olmstead. Renowned as the designer of New York's Central Park and the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C., Olmstead designed seventy five acres of stunning gardens that are formal near the house, becoming less formal as you move away from the house until they eventually blend with the estate's native landscape.
Exploring Biltmore Estate Gardens
The Italian Garden Close to the house, the elegant Italian Garden features geometric pools and fountains within a courtyard filled with classic statuary and symmetrical plantings. There is a good view of Biltmore House from here, as well as views of the mountains in the distance.
From the Italian Garden, paths lead down the hill through the rambling Shrub Garden and into the Walled Garden.
The Walled Garden This extraordinarily lovely space covers almost four acres with scores of constantly changing blooming gardenscapes from spring through fall. Woven with enticing pathways lined with vibrantly colorful flowerbeds, this is one of our favorite spaces in Biltmore Estate Gardens. The central path is shaded by grape covered arbors lined with comfortable benches that offer a cool summer spot for viewing the gardens. Stretching on both sides of the arbor are geometrically patterned paths that lead through a maze of colorful and fragrant themed gardens. There is a rose garden, a butterfly garden, a peony garden as well as dozens of well-ordered beds whose rainbow of blooms changes through the seasons.
The Conservatory The focal point of the Walled Garden is the ornate and elegant Conservatory, designed by Biltmore Architect Richard Morris Hunt, which is located at the east end of the garden. The conservatory shelters Biltmore Garden's collection of Palms, tropical plants and orchids as well as the bedding plants for Biltmore Gardens. We love to stroll through the greenery filled rooms to admire the exotics and soak up the tropical atmosphere. You can easily spend half an hour roaming this elegant space and much more time if you have a passion for well cared for exotic botanicals.
The Azalea and Spring Gardens Below the walled garden, the magnificent Azalea Garden and Spring Garden put forth a riot of blooms in May and early June. This is the place to take a blanket and enjoy a picnic on a warm spring day. Covering over 15 acres, the Azalea Garden is a masterpiece begun by horticulturist Chauncey Beadle who started working at Biltmore in 1890. He traveled the world collecting the thousands of azaleas, dogwoods and magnolias that fill Biltmore Gardens. Today narrow garden paths wind through the plantings that are pretty any time of the year, but are truly resplendent in spring.
Take a Hike For those who crave a longer walk, paths lead down to and around the lovely and tranquil Bass Pond. The walk from the Azalea Garden to the Bass Pond and back is 1.2 miles (2 km). If you circle the Bass Pond it's another .5 (.8 km) miles.
Tip: A stroll from the mansion down through the Italian and walled gardens to the Azalea Garden requires taking a series of stone stairs and paths that descend about 100 vertical feet over a quarter mile, making it a mildly strenuous outing. If you have parked your own car in the public parking near Biltmore Mansion and have someone in your party who is tired, you can pick them up behind the Biltmore Gardens conservatory as you drive out of the estate.
Biltmore Estate Links:
Biltmore Guided and Specialty Tours
Biltmore Outdoor Adventures and River Bend Farm
Tips For Visiting Biltmore Estate
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