Springtime in the North Carolina mountains is absolutely gorgeous, with birds singing and flowers literally busting out all over. It’s the perfect time for photographing nature. I made it a point to mark my calendar this year for one of the most beautiful events in the area: Biltmore Blooms in Asheville. The Biltmore House is the house of George Vanderbilt, and is a huge and elegant place built in 1895 (touted as “America’s largest home”). The entire estate is actually hundreds of acres and includes a beautiful expanse of gardens. Every year the Biltmore puts on an over-the-top show of flower displays, and it’s a fantastic time to practice some macro photography as well as landscape shots.
The gardens were originally designed back in the late 1800’s by Frederick Law Olmsted, at the time America’s foremost landscape architect. The gardens’ current landscapers do a phenomenal job with the upkeep and keeping things fresh in more ways than one – there’s always something different and absolutely breathtaking to see!
During the time I went, just before Easter, there were literally acres of different tulips in bloom, and they started right at the entrance of the estate even before entering the gate. But of course the great majority of the tulips were in the formal gardens beside the Biltmore house, where there were tulips every color of the rainbow and also gorgeous expanses of daffodils and budding trees. I was lucky to catch the tulips at their peak, but they were to be followed with a whole new display shortly after. They also have a conservatory which was a nice escape from the chill and breeze outside (this IS Asheville in spring) and a great place to snap a few macro shots. If you’ve never visited, the estate is incredibly expansive, so I’d be ready to walk and hike for the majority of the day, especially if you’re an explorer like I am. Between my morning and late afternoon nature photography sessions I also snapped some shots of the house itself as well as the surrounding area, then left to explore the relatively new Village area with shops, restaurants, and the Biltmore Inn (this is miles away to give you some perspective). Light was absolutely gorgeous at the end of the day, giving everything a beautiful glow for a few fleeting minutes. You just might be lucky enough like I was to catch a wedding couple riding by in their “Great Gatsby-esque” white limo – a little glimmer reminiscent of the Vanderbilts’ world so long ago.