• Kathryn Solee

BILTMORE ESTATE OPENS TO LOCAL PASS HOLDERS


"Stop every now and then. Just stop and enjoy. Take a deep breath. Relax and take in the abundance of life."

Anonymous

Oh, Joy! Biltmore Estate is open to pass holders by reservation. It is such a thrill to be back in these magnificent gardens. Today our path takes us through the walled garden, up to the house, across the ridge to the waterfall, and back via the woodland trail.


Walled Garden

The roses are blooming, but the rest of the garden is in transition. The fading tulips are being removed, making way for summer plants.


South Terrace

Here’s another view of the house from the south lawn. The South Terrace is the location of Biltmore Summer Concerts featuring popular bands. I’ve attended many of these events held on balmy summer nights as the sun sets to the west, and the stars twinkle, including The Beach Boys, Boston, Tony Bennet, and last year, Chicago was amazing. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus, no concerts this year.

The views from the South Terrace are spectacular. In Geroge Vanderbilt’s day, he could look west, and all the land he saw was his. The picture below is to the south, where we’ll be taking the Deer Park Trail.


Deer Park Trail

We don’t take this route to the waterfall often enough. This portion of the trail runs along the ridge and fence line before it starts downhill toward the Lagoon. Today is so pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable. I think Essie and Zorro like it too. You can barely make out the house in the background.


Waterfall

There are several little steams that flow into the Bass Pond. During our wet seasons, the Bass Pond overflow is the waterfall. The waterfall drops into a larger stream. This stream flows through bamboo to a “secret” place. It’s not all that secret in that there is a loop trail that goes right by it. Rather most people are perhaps intimidated by the trail that tunnels through the bamboo.


There is a large flat slab of granite usually just a little higher than the stream, forcing the stream around it. It’s a perfect place to sit enjoying the sound of the stream and the power of the granite while contemplating the ponderables. Or, smiling as the dogs frolic in the water.


Historic Gardens

There are times, quite often, where nature does a much better job painting with light than I can capture in a photograph. Today was one of them. Walking through the historic gardens, we crossed a little stream. The crossing is made of large vertical stones with a flat top about 6x18 inches place about six inches apart. This crossing always causes a moment's pause to get our steps correct. When I looked up, the stream was reflecting the most magnificent pink from the Rhododendron. Dogs and I backed up to take in the beauty of this moment.


Lambs

It wouldn't be a visit to Biltmore in the spring if we didn't check on the lambs.


Today I stopped now and then to relax, take a breath, and take in the abundance of life.



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