Last winter, we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC – an Olmsted Garden. It had snowed 8 inches 3 days before we got there, which totally shut down the town of Asheville. When we arrived at the Biltmore property, it was buzzing with tourists again, mostly at the mansion. Not me, I was fascinated with the gardens and magnificent views blanketed with the snow. That’s what I mean. The garden was even interesting in the winter…because of the bones. The stone walls that enclosed each garden, the carved sculptures and fountains, the intricate pergola structures, the massive tree groupings off in the vista…it was all there.
Use of the following elements can “beef up the bones” in your garden:
Structures – Arbors, Trellises, Obelisks, Gazebos, Sheds
Specimen Trees and Shrubs
Conifer groupings or hedges
Walls, Walks and Pathways
Well, we just returned from our second trip to Asheville (we loved it so much the first time). I just couldn’t resist seeing the Biltmore Gardens in spring. Our timing was great, catching the final days of the annual Flower Festival on the estate grounds. The bloom season there is 1 to 2 months ahead of the Northeast, with Azalea, Rhododendron, Kousa Dogwood, Weigela and Roses all in bloom on May 1st. Even the potted annuals were thriving in the 75+ temperatures. Compare the springtime photos (below) to the winter views (above) and you will see the “great bones” of this garden.