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A Vigilant Garden Rescue

Written By Sharon Bell

Posted 04/13/16

Updated 04/13/16

In Our Gardens

Early spring often brings unpredictable weather patterns, and 2016 is no exception. On the evening of April 9, forecasted temperatures in the mid-20's generated concern among Biltmore's garden crew. Fragrant, colorful wisteria draped across Biltmore's Pergola is an iconic view that our guests have come to love each year and with the early buds just beginning to form and bloom, Garden Crew Leader, Clare Whittington, knew they had to act quickly.

Borrowing patio heaters from Biltmore's Engineering Services department, Clare and crew-member Steven Ayers moved the heaters into place around 12:30 a.m. With only 6 hours of gas, they worked with forecasters from Rays Weather Service to ensure they turned on the heat in the most critical hours. Steven stayed throughout the night to monitor the heaters and keep watch — demonstrating the amazing commitment our employees have to their work.

“We were not only worried about losing this year’s bloom, but we were also afraid of the wisteria reacting with a burst of vegetative growth. This happened after the freeze of ’07, and it took many years to get the display back to where it is now. Vegetative growth is the long whips that don’t bloom, and create a bad tangle every year,” said Clare.

Clare expects this year's wisteria to be in full bloom the week of April 18. Many of our guests enjoying Biltmore Blooms and the Pergola wisteria will be unaware of these above-and-beyond efforts of our garden crew, but for those who are, we hope it makes you appreciate its beauty even more!

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