Visit to Biltmore House: Walled Garden & Conservatory

As always when visiting a beautiful garden, time was short, so the Walled Garden and conservatory were our final stop at Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, earlier this month. The grounds slope steeply down from the grand house, through the Italian Garden and Shrub Garden, leading you to a stair descending into the broad, open Walled Garden, a traditional rose and perennial garden surrounded by lawn. This terracotta pot caught my eye. I love the trio of bronze bamboo poles as a vertical element amid the colorful annuals.

Lavender and roses along one wall

Nice enough, but conventional. I wasn’t enticed out of the long, lattice pergola that cuts through the center of the garden.

The pergola is draped with grapevines, which were backlit by the morning sun.

Oval windows are spaced evenly along both sides, nicely framing garden views as you stroll through. I had to stop at each one to frame a vignette.

And then—shazam!—this limelight-colored border stopped me in my tracks. I posted more about it yesterday, in my Shade post for Garden Designers Roundtable.

Below the Walled Garden, the glass-roofed conservatory appears, looking rather magnificent.

A pair of red Japanese maples in containers pick up the color of the brick path and building.

Rudbeckia adds its sunny, summer color to the entry beds.

I like this pretty pot, butterflies and all, placed in the planting bed.

Inside the conservatory palms soar toward the glass roof.

Lilies offer heady fragrance, and orange, pollen-dusted noses to those who lean in too closely.


Focal-point pots appear among the hot-house plants…

…plus whimsical features such as this wagon wheel draped with rex begonia vine. Now that’s an unusual trellis.

And how about this suitcase planter? There were several of these in one room.

Outdoors on one of the terraces, a series of vertical walls were planted in “pictures.” Here’s a butterfly.

And a dragonfly

Several more

But now it was time to go, so we headed back up the stairs and the long slope, stopping along the way to admire this apple tree espaliered on a wall. The grounds of Biltmore House are extensive and also include a Spring Garden, Azalea Garden, and Bass Pond, not to mention the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Approach Road, which is stunning.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my series on the Biltmore House gardens. Tomorrow I’ll have a few more images from my North Carolina vacation, taken in the Chimney Rock area.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

7 Responses

  1. Darla says:

    Thank you for this tour. I love the pictures out of the plants on the wall…I adore all of these container plantings too!

  2. Melissa says:

    I so need to visit here- I only live 2 hours away. All those containers are beautiful. I love the bamboo poles too- what a great idea, may need to steal that one!

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Simply gorgeous. One can see many ideas that would inpire. I just love looking through the windows in the garden.

  4. Cathy says:

    Your photographs are stunning and do justice to this gorgeous garden, which is one of Steve’s and my favorite garden vacation destinations. (We try to include tours of famous gardens in every trip we take.)

    From these lovely gardens we took the idea of incorporating pots into our beds and gardens (indeed, made a pot garden if you will) but also tuck pots every where for a bit of color.

    When we were there last, they were doing some refurbishing of the conservatory. I’m delighted to see how truly gorgeous the final results are!

    Thanks so much for this virtual tour – we won’t get there again for at least a couple of years and I’ve been suffering from withdrawal!

  5. S. Fox says:

    Wow, beautiful tour of the Biltmore gardens. I’ve only been once at Christmas and did tour the walled garden and conservatory. In trying to picture the gardens in the summer I imagined a more traditional approach so the updated elements of bamboo, butterfly garden stakes, and repurposed items are unexpected. Love the mixed styles, colorful containers, and pictures on the walls that make the garden so relevant for visitors.

    Definitely want to plan a summer visit now.

  6. ricki says:

    Fabulous tour: that last shot, especially…and the limited palette garden…WOW!

  7. Gorgeous, Pam. We need a blogger gathering in Asheville, I think!

    And as it happens, Christopher of Outside Clyde has offered to host the Bloggers Fling in Asheville next year. Fancy that! —Pam