On this day, 119 years ago, George and Edith Vanderbilt married in a service in France. After their four-month long honeymoon, George brought his bride (called by many of the Appalachian natives ‘a princess’) back home to his estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
I can’t even imagine what Edith’s first thoughts were as she rounded the corner of the gated entry and saw the grand chateau with similar hues as the surrounding mountains. Both George and Edith were not only readers, but also the outdoorsy sort. Their personal photos, many taken by Edith, show them in various places around the estate and in the gardens.
And what gardens!!!
Biltmore’s extensive gardens were designed by Frederick Olmstead. From the long three-mile driveway to the Italian gardens to the rose gardens and beyond, Mr. Olmstead carefully created a masterpiece of beauty celebrating both the natural landscape around the house but also introducing some foreign designs. The beautiful Conservatory introduces many foreign plants.
The Azalea garden is particularly lovely in April. Here’s a pic of it that I took last year! Aren’t the colors AMAZING.
And here is a photo I took last week from the rose garden.
Take a stroll down to the Bass Pond for a scenic look of the landscape a bit farther from the house. Top the hill from the Bass Pond to see a fantastic view of the side of the house and distant mountains.
Frederick Olmstead was even famed to have said, “People coming from New York to Biltmore in the winter or spring must be made to feel that they are decidedly closer to the sun.”
George Vanderbilt fell in love with this part of the world when he was a child, and thanks to his passion for this landscape, he’s created a place where thousands of other people can fall in love too.
In fact, Biltmore is also well known for hosting weddings – so…in essence, the love of George and Edith has a chance to be celebrated for years and years to come in this romantic and beautiful setting.
Sounds like a good place for a historical romance to take place, right? Or any romance to take place
Which would you prefer – historical or contemporary?