Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

We took a day trip to Biltmore Estate with the kids and my parents on Saturday.  I had been meaning to go before then, but the weather has not been cooperative and baseball has been very time consuming.  Saturday was the perfect day (sunny with a breeze and temps in the low seventies).

I wanted to take my parents to the rose gardens and greenhouse on the estate.  My great-grandparents grew roses and I knew my mother would enjoy smelling the lovely rose perfume.  My father likes to grow vegetables, but has recently taken a liking to rose gardening.  The children tend to like plants and do not become bored in such places.  Hubby even found the gardens interesting.  A perfect outing!

The drive into Biltmore is always breathtaking.  The long winding driveway with the natural landscaping never gets old.  A few mountain laurel were still in bloom.  I can only imagine the grandeur they held a few weeks ago.  The stream that runs across the property was full and running rapid from the spring rains.  Canadian geese waddled along the open expanse eating insects and a hawk flew overhead.

The gardens were full of color.  The irises, peonies and roses were spectacular.  When we exited the vehicle,  we were treated to the scent of spring.  No matter how the air freshener companies try to recreate the delicate scent of a rose, they cannot.

We walked through the greenhouses and admired the different tropical plants.  We discussed how the plant may have been given its name like Dragon tail.  Little Man rushed around to see what other names of plants he could find.  My father was busy taking pictures of the different flora.

Greenhouse at Biltmore

We made our way to the rose garden.  Reds, pinks, yellows, and a variety of other colors greeted us.  The heirloom roses gave the sweetest scent.  Some of the roses had small delicate blooms.  Others were large and showy.  Climbing roses created shaded areas and a perfect spot for a rose framed picture.

The children enjoyed walking the brick pathway in maze like fashion.  Little Man darted to and fro.  He came bearing news of a rose bush he particularly liked and needed everyone to see.

My father educated Hubby on rose propagation.  How different varieties are developed and why the roses didn't themselves hybridize being in close proximity to one another.

We made our way to Antler Hill village after spending an hour in the gardens.  This is the favorite stop for the children.  We had lunch at Cedric's and then the children along with Grandad went down to the barn.  Little Man loves the barnyard animals.  Egee loves to pet the horses.

Hubby, Mom and I went to The Vanderbilts.  The 'museum' houses many different artifacts that are no longer or never were on display inside the house.  Hubby found the Japanese collection of George Vanderbilt intriguing.

I find it heart warming that the great-grandchildren of George Vanderbilt have taken his dream and kept it alive for all the visitors to see.  I hope that the next generation will do the same.