ASHEVILLE NC – There is no better place to leave behind winter grays and be inspired by springtime at its finest than at Biltmore’s 27th annual Festival of Flowers beginning April 7 and continuing through May 20. Watch Biltmore spring to life with colorful flowers and gardens, live music and activities, and fascinating programs.
The estate-wide event celebrates the beauty of George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre property and the original gardens created by Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of American landscape architecture. Besides Biltmore’s magnificent gardens, Olmsted’s picturesque work is enjoyed in his design of New York’s Central Park and the U.S. Capitol grounds, among other urban parks and private estates. Olmsted brought a lifetime of experience to Biltmore’s gardens, which were his final project and now in their 122nd year.
The first burst of spring color will come in April with more than 100,000 tulips in hues of red, pink, yellow, orange, purple and white. An expansive bed of tulips will welcome guests at the estate entrance and a colorful display in the Walled Garden will reawaken Biltmore’s gardens. Mid-festival, the flower show continues with poppies, pansies, snapdragons and acres of azaleas. Roses in the estate’s historic rose garden, native mountain laurels, and vertical gardens of succulents continue long into summer. Cascades of native and exotic blooms grow in natural gardens and along walking trails throughout the growing season.
Designer and expert presentations
Guests can see how green their thumbs can be as Biltmore’s gardening experts lend tips, tricks and techniques. Weekend “Ask a Gardener” stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Daily seminars will be held in A Gardener’s Place at the Conservatory on the following topics: “Houseplant Know-How,” 1 p.m.; “Wreaths: Spring Blossoms All Around,” 2 p.m.; and “Asian Inspired Arranging,” 3 p.m.
Live music will be offered daily in the Conservatory and Biltmore House’s Winter Garden. Weekends will feature bands in Antler Hill Village and Grape Stomps for children at the Winery. The Winery will offer daily tastings of a commemorative Festival of Flowers wine and wine seminars. A new exhibition, “The Vanderbilts At Home and Abroad,” featuring rarely seen objects in the Vanderbilt collection opens April 7 in the Biltmore Legacy Building in Antler Hill Village. Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore’s mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as sport clay shooting, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River, and the Land Rover Driving Experience.
Annual Easter Egg Hunt
The opening weekend of Festival of Flowers coincides with the estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, April 8, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Registration begins two hours before each hunt, and closes 15 minutes before each hunt. Enjoy children’s music and stories, magic shows, games and take photos with the Easter Rabbit. Activities at Antler Hill Village will include music and a Grape Stomp at the Winery from 2 to 5 p.m.
The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering a “Stay Three Nights for the Price of Two” special on the arrival dates of April 1-3, 6-10 (Easter Weekend), and 13-17.
Throughout Festival of Flowers, youth estate admission is half the price of adult admission. Purchase estate admission tickets seven days in advance of your visit and receive $10 off. In addition to Biltmore House and gardens, estate admission includes entry to the Winery, Antler Hill Village, specialty gift shops and restaurants.
Located in Asheville, N.C., Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore includes Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division; and Biltmore Inspirations, Biltmore’s home party business. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.