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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Biltmore continued


We continue our visit to the historic and grand Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  I showed you a peek at the tulip garden yesterday and today we'll pop into the enormous greenhouse of several rooms including the wildly extravagant Orchid Room.  Now I've never known much about orchids, and the care and raising of them seemed like too much trouble to me, but WOW.  I never knew they came in so many colors and shapes!  It almost seems worth all the fussing about them.  (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

But first a few more pictures outside...

Look at this color - I've never seen pansies quite so vivid and bright!

Another lovely tulip.

And still another.  These images are not photo shopped except for clarity and sharpness.  These are the true colors of the flowers.

So far only one peony was in bloom.  Peonies are yet another plant that do not fare very well in Texas heat, so this was a special treat for me.  I've always heard of the legendary fragrance of peony blossoms so I couldn't wait to bury my nose in this one.  Well, um, they don't ALL smell pretty.  This one was decidedly pungent. <ahem>  But the jam packed tissue thin dozens of blushing pink petals made up for her lack of sweetness.  

And here is the greenhouse, orchid house, jungle house, hot house with a potting shed that had me drooling.  This structure is the size of a small neighborhood and the glories within are a sight to behold.

The fragrance inside was divine.  Note the Easter lilies in the foreground.  There were other lilies as well and their perfume permeated the entire room. 

And now for my favorite room...

...the Orchid Room.  These greeted us the moment we walked through the door.  I nearly jumped when I saw them - they don't even look real.  Blue orchids?  Really?!?  And they are huge, too, about 4 inches in diameter.

Look at the patterns.  Wow.  

I find myself using that word a lot here.

These look like fairy bells or butterflies.  I couldn't get close enough for a good close up as I figured climbing up into their planter would be considered bad form.  But I thought about it.

How about this one?  My darling traveling companion was spooked by it - she said it looked as though it would eat meat.  I had to agree.  But its form is fantastic.

Another gorgeous specimen.  The pink veins look just veins.  

More pretties.  I just love the ones that look like clusters of butterflies. 

I bet this one's name is Leopardus Orchidus.  What a beauty.

If it hadn't been so hot and humid inside the room I'd have gotten even more pictures as there were so many varieties, but the heat chased me out eventually.  Still, I was left with the brief urge to take up orchid growing.  It was very brief.  I can't handle the heat and humidity that these babies require, not to mention all the extra fuss.  Plants in my queendom have to be tough on their own.

And so ends this portion of the trip.  Thank you so much for joining us.  Tomorrow we reach our destination, the second annual StampNation retreat!

Happy trails!


Maureen Merritt said...

Gorgeous photos and I love the last one of you & Katie! We are headed to the Biltmore in September. I can't wait :)

Donna Ellis said...

Hi, Shea! Wish I could be there with you! Gorgeous flowers, and I can only imagine how much you needed to contain yourself with all the possible photos taken that day! LOL truly amazing. My favorite is the top - never have I seen pansies that color before! thanks for sharing. hugs, de

Shani Thomas said...

Wow! Those orchids are stunning!!! And that's such a nice picture of you and your daughter at the end there! You're both cuties!!!'m waiting for the retreat photos now. Can't wait!

Kristie Goulet said...

More great pictures! Thank you for sharing!