March 26, 2017

Oh, no! More orchids!

I know, I just did a post that included some of the spectacular orchids at the Biltmore House, however we made a stop at the NC Arboretum on Friday for the opening of the annual orchid show. 
I can't resist taking a few photos.

Lucky for you, I don't know much about orchids, so all you get are photos.
They are just so mesmerizing... all the colors, shapes, sizes... and all displayed so skillfully!
It's too late for you to see this year's show, but you could always come and see them next year.

March 17, 2017

First visit to the Biltmore Estate Gardens 2017

My book club met this afternoon at the Biltmore Estate for lunch and our book discussion. Afterward my friend Jane and I toured the first three floors of the Estate to see the current decor and the current exhibit featuring costumes from films based on books in George Vanderbilt's library. It was extremely busy in the house... not sure why that was... possibly because this is the final day that pass holders can bring guests in for free and likely because most of this week was unusually cold and by afternoon today there was finally some blue in the sky and warmth from the sun.
You can see the mix of sun and clouds in the photo below:

Because of the below freezing temps at least three nights this week, I didn't know what the gardens would look like. I know that they brought in heaters to preserve the plants that already had flowered. The heaters had been removed and the earliest of the spring blooms could be seen, really in pretty good shape considering the frosty week.

 There were some delicate pink early tulips among the daffodils.

It still is quite early for tulips, which will dominate the garden over the next month or so, but I think with the extremely warm weather just before this cold snap, crocuses and some of the other really early bulbs are finished. There were some grape hyacinths.

The clustered planting allows for a succession of flowers to bloom throughout spring.

We have been enjoying daffodils for well over a month and many succumbed to this cold week, so I was happy to see that they were still thriving here.

Of course, year 'round you can enjoy beautiful blooms in the conservatory greenhouse and today was no exception. So I will finish with some of the "inside" flowers I saw today.

I overheard someone exclaim, "I've never seen such beautiful orchids!" I'd have to agree, they were spectacular and not only were they all over the greenhouse, they were also liberally decorating the house. 

Next week spring will officially arrive and I hope I will be making several more visits to the gardens as they fill with more spring blossoms and eventually roses!

March 8, 2017

For the love of pansies...

The Face

Coyly smiling at the sun                           
with brightly colored face,                           
a demeanor quietly homespun                    
garlanded with ruffled grace;                    

wherever planted, sheds crisp cheer      
all about the garden plot,                    
sophisticated peers may proudly sneer;             
bravely, she smiles on from her spot.                    

Determined through the winter cold      
to continue blooming by the walk,      
I love to see her shining there;                    
oh, if that simple face could talk!             

There are others, I confess,                           
who possess more glorious flair;             
but, to me, in all the world of flowers      
to the pansy they cannot compare.      

Copyright, August 11, 2016      

Faye Lanham Gibson

Last week I finally planted some pansies in some of the containers on my back deck and I am thoroughly enjoying their colorful "faces." 
Mine are still such babies, but they will tolerate the occasional frost we still will likely get (and even snow, if necessary) and I should be able to enjoy them until the planters are ready for summer flowers.