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Biltmore Estate springs into bloom

April 8th, 2014 12:40 pm by J. H. Osborne

Biltmore Estate springs into bloom

Contributed photo.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Spring blooms are the centerpiece attraction at Biltmore Estate for the next several weeks.

The estate's "Biltmore Blooms" event runs through May 23 and offers a variety of activities for all ages in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

But flowers alone — from lavish orchid displays in the estate's Conservatory to thousands of spring bulbs in bloom in magnificent gardens to one of the largest collections of azaleas in the nation — are worth a visit to Biltmore this time of year.

The estate's gardens were designed at the turn of the 20th century by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Spring brings constant changes to those gardens. The progression of blooms dictated by Mother Nature constantly unveils different flowers and new color combinations, resulting in a unique show for visitors to enjoy each week during "Biltmore Blooms." 

To check what's in bloom as the season unfolds, sign up for weekly bloom reports from Director of Horticulture Parker Andes and notifications of Biltmore's featured "flower of the week" at www.biltmore.com/whatsblooming.

Daffodils and forsythia are among the first plants to bloom across the estate. The spring blooming schedule continues with the widespread tulip bloom throughout the estate, while later in the season will see many other flowers such as azaleas, rhododendron, roses and vibrant annuals and perennials take hold.

Visitors are invited to join Biltmore's gardening and design experts as they offer tips and techniques in seminars that are included with estate admission. Weekend Ask a Gardener stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore's horticulture experts. Daily free demonstrations on creating beautiful spring arrangements are offered at A Gardener's Place at the Conservatory: "Designing Spring Wreaths" takes place at 1 p.m., daily, and "Creating Elegant Centerpieces" is held at 2 p.m. each day.

Biltmore Winery offers daily tastings of its limited-release spring seasonal wine in addition to other complimentary tastings and a production tour. Specialty tours like the new Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour and the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour are available at an additional cost. Kids will enjoy the Grape Stomp outside the winery Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Barnyard at Antler Hill Farm, open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., also comes alive in spring, with baby goats, lambs, chicks and bunnies for families to pet and photograph.

Enjoy live music daily in the Conservatory during tours of Biltmore House and on the bandstand in Antler Hill Village.
Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore's mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as sporting clay shooting, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.

Biltmore's annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 2 to 9 will take place on Easter Sunday, April 20, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Special children's entertainment will include music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts and photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Registration begins two hours before each hunt and closes 15 minutes prior to the hunt. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs. Reservations are recommended for Easter brunch at estate restaurants, Deerpark or the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Call (800) 411-3812 for more information.

On May 23, a special outdoor dinner party, the Moveable Feast, will be held in the historic Walled Garden, surrounded by exquisite spring blooms. Tickets are $160 per person and include tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (828) 257-5995.

Purchase estate admission tickets at least seven days in advance of your visit and receive $15 off. Moms get free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11.

For operating hours, admission rates or more information, visit www.biltmore.com.

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