Winter Blooms | Orchid Talks at Biltmore Estate

A view of the approach to Biltmore Estate. Photo courtesy of Biltmore.

A view of the approach to Biltmore Estate. Photo courtesy of Biltmore.

Orchids (and wine) at America’s Downtown Abbey.


The 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., attracts nearly 1 million tourists annually with its awe-inspiring architecture and breathtaking grounds and gardens. Though the property swarms with tourists in the spring and summer, winter’s crisp days cause arrivals to slow to a trickle. But for a certain subset of plant lovers, the off-season is the best time to visit. The lack of crowds, the quieter surroundings and the chance for more detailed exploration all make for an entirely different experience than in the warmer months. The century-old conservatory is filled with thousands of tropical plants, including orchids on a shopping list compiled by George Vanderbilt in 1894. On weekdays at 11 a.m. through March 19, resident experts are providing no-cost introductions to the various species of orchids in bloom—along with growing tips and general care advice—and discussing such topics as the history of orchid cultivation, Biltmore’s heritage orchids and insights into the conservatory itself. In addition to discussions of all things orchid, Biltmore encourages visitors to warm up at its winery with free afternoon guided tours of the production facility and complimentary wine tastings. Biltmore.com.

Lush plantings with the Biltmore Conservatory in the distance. Photo courtesy of Biltmore.

Lush plantings with the Biltmore Conservatory in the distance. Photo courtesy of Biltmore.

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2 Responses to Winter Blooms | Orchid Talks at Biltmore Estate

  1. bpmarcus says:

    I worked as a parking lot attendant during the 2003 Christmas season, thousands of visitors each night to view the spectacular Christmas trees and lights. That 2003 Christmas was sadly also the last for the original Olmstead planted Tulip Poplars lining the driveway. I believe it was Spring 2004 that the replanting occurred; there had been much ice and major broken limb damage on the mature Poplars. This is the first I have seen of the replanting, the new trees look healthy and well!! Thanks Be, and for your showcasing such a wonderfully important place!

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