March 20 through May 23, 2014, Biltmore Blooms offers a variety of activities for all ages in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Flowers take center stage with lavish orchid displays and thousands of spring bulbs blooming in magnificent gardens designed at the turn of the century by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Flower bloom schedule
Spring bloom provides constant changes in Biltmore’s gardens. The progression of blooms dictated by Mother Nature constantly unveils different flowers and new color combinations, resulting in a unique show for visitors to enjoy each week.
2014 Bloom Reports
To stay up-to-date about what’s in bloom throughout the season, see weekly bloom reports from Director of Horticulture Parker Andes and notifications of Biltmore’s featured ‘flower of the week’ at Biltmore.com/WhatsBlooming
The earliest spring days kick off the celebration with two opulent orchid displays – one in the Winter Garden inside Biltmore House, the other, a year-round orchid display in the tropical Conservatory. At Biltmore House and the Conservatory, visitors can expect to see close to 1,000 orchids in bloom.
For a limited time March 20 through April 6, guests will be given the rare opportunity to step into the Winter Garden in Biltmore House to admire the sights and fragrances of a special orchid collection. This light-filled, glass-domed garden room was once used by the Vanderbilts to relax and entertain in their home while surrounded by lush exotic plants. The room is typically roped-off to guests during tours of Biltmore House, but will be open for a limited time.
“Some of these orchids will experience their peak bloom in March and early April, so we like to give our guests a chance to see these unusual and colorful blooms up-close in the same way the Vanderbilts enjoyed them – in the Winter Garden,” said Cathy Barnhardt, Biltmore’s Floral Displays Manager.
Among the first plants to bloom across the estate will be the sunny glow of daffodils and forsythia. The spring blooming schedule continues with the widespread tulip bloom throughout the estate, while later in the season will see many other flowers such as azaleas, rhododendron, roses and vibrant annuals and perennials take hold.
Gardening tips & design inspiration
To get the most out of the gardens, join Biltmore’s gardening and design experts as they offer tips and techniques, all included with the price of estate admission. Weekend Ask a Gardener stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Daily free demonstrations on creating beautiful spring arrangements are offered at “A Gardener’s Place,” located at the Conservatory: Designing Spring Wreaths at 1 p.m. and Creating Elegant Centerpieces at 2 p.m.
Food, wine & entertainment
On May 23, join us for a special outdoor dinner party surrounded by exquisite spring blooms in the historic Walled Garden, the Moveable Feast. Tickets are $160 per person and include tax and gratuity.
Included with the price of estate admission, Biltmore Winery will offer daily tastings of its limited release spring seasonal wine in addition to other complimentary tastings and a production tour. Specialty tours like the NEW Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour, and the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour are available at an additional cost. Kids will enjoy the Grape Stomp outside the winery Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.
The Barnyard at Antler Hill Farm, open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., comes alive with spring’s baby goats, lambs, chicks and bunnies for families to pet and photograph.
Enjoy live music daily in the Conservatory during tours of Biltmore House, as well as on the bandstand in Antler Hill Village.
Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore’s mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.
Easter egg hunt & Easter brunch
The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages two to nine takes place on Easter Sunday, April 20, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Special children’s entertainment includes music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts and taking photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Registration begins two hours before each hunt and closes 15 minutes prior to the hunt. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs. Reservations are recommended for Easter brunch at estate restaurants, Deerpark or the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.
Purchase estate admission tickets at least seven days in advance of your visit and receive $10 off. Moms get free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering a special “Spring Celebration Package.” Find out about additional special offers and packages.