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Biltmore spring floral designs tie into Victorian theme

Biltmore Estate Spring Flowers

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Jennifer Martin, WSPA) — Thousands of spring flowers are blossoming across the Biltmore estate, and gardeners say now is the best time to see all of the color.

This year, rich reds purples and pinks are the main colors in the walled garden. There are over 100,000 tulips at Biltmore, tying into this year’s special exhibition inside the house: “A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age.”

“The colors are very vivid and bright just like the Victorian era,” Horticulture Supervisor Stacey Weir says. “There’s also a tulip in the red patch named merlot, a wine you would have at a party.”

Weir designed this year’s tulip display in the walled garden. “The guests love red tulips,” she says. “If we don’t have red tulips, we always get the question, ‘Where are the red tulips?’ I picked the larger diamond shaped beds to represent a lot of red.”

She says the secret to a full tulip display is to plant 8 bulbs to a 6 inch hole. “When the bulbs come up it looks like a small bouquet,” she says.

Tulips will last for another week or so, then wysteria will blossom, along with tree peonies along the walls, which Weir says will last for the next two weeks.

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Inside the Biltmore house, florals are handpicked to reflect what’s blooming on the grounds and are replaced every week. Potted plants are replaced every two weeks, and green potted plants are replaced every four weeks.

Floral arrangements are inspired by flowers and elements familiar to Western North Carolina, such as rhododendron, viburnum and japonica, reflecting the types of plants that may have been cut from the estate and used in Biltmore House in the Vanderbilts’ time.

Each display is inspected and groomed every weekday morning. Watering takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, and two employees care for displays Saturday mornings to touch up where needed and ensure everything looks beautiful, fresh, creative and interesting.

Biltmore’s spring display lasts through May 23rd. For more information, click here.

For updates on what’s blooming at Biltmore, click here.

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