Friday, May 7, 2010

Biltmore House and Gardens

Since we were so close to Asheville (about 70 miles from Gaffney, SC), Rick decided to take the opportunity to visit Biltmore House and Gardens. WOW - what a house! Built by George Vanderbilt and completed in 1895, the house features over 175,000 sq. feet and 43 bathrooms, this is unbelievable. The grounds originally were over 125,000 acres and apparently took over 5 days on horseback to ride around the perimeter.

One of the great features of the home are the wonderful gardens. These ponds are part of the Italian gardens and feature a number of beautiful ponds. In addition, there are many other gardens and greenhouses.

One of the many amazing features of the house are the stone carvings throughout the outside of the home. The carvers were very skilled and were the highest paid construction workers on the home site while it was being built.

There were many different carvings around the house -- there must have been hundreds of them. These really added a special character to the house.

Rick liked the greenhouses as well. Apparently, there were many gardeners employed while Vanderbilt lived here. Each greenhouse was full of remarkable flowers:

Rick really enjoyed the beautiful flowers like this one.

The greenhouses featured different climate settings for different flowers, including this tropical flower (missed the name).

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