Buckspring Lodge: A Summer Retreat for Sheep

In addition to Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, the Vanderbilts had another home on the estate’s original 125,000 acres: Buckspring Lodge.

A rustic, Adirondack-style retreat on the slopes of Mt. Pisgah, located about 20 miles from Biltmore House, Buckspring Lodge was a world away from the elegantly landscaped terrain surrounding America’s Largest Home®.

George and Edith Vanderbilt at buckspring Lodge
George and Edith Vanderbilt sitting on the front steps of Buckspring Lodge, their rustic retreat on Mt. Pisgah

An Elevated View

It was fashionable at that time for wealthy families to create summer retreats in the mountains or by the seashore, often spending the entire season away from their main residence.

George Vanderbilt had already acquired a cottage in Bar Harbor, Maine, which he enlarged and renamed Pointe d’Acadie, but he spent less time there after making Biltmore his permanent home, choosing instead to enjoy the cool heights and splendid views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

A flock of sheep being tended near Buckspring Lodge with Mount Pisgah in the background.
A flock of sheep being tended near Buckspring Lodge with Mount Pisgah in the background.

Family, Friends & Biltmore Sheep

In addition to the main Buckspring Lodge building, which was designed by Biltmore architect Richard Morris Hunt and completed under the direction of his son Richard Howland Hunt, there was separate kitchen structure, a smaller guest cottage, and a stable that would eventually become a garage. Edith Vanderbilt added a garden and a tennis court to the site, and guests could hike and hunt to their hearts’ content. 

Family and friends weren’t the only visitors, however—a flock of Biltmore sheep spent time there, as well, providing effective “grounds maintenance” in return for their room and board. The sheep kept the grass short and added a pleasant pastoral note to the ambience of the Vanderbilt’s private mountain retreat. 

Outdoor Adventure Center in Antler Hill Village
Today, our Outdoor Adventure Center in Antler Hill Village is your headquarters for estate exploration.

New Life for an Old Cabin

After George Vanderbilt‘s death in 1914, Edith Vanderbilt sold most of the estate’s Pisgah Forest land to the federal government to become a national forest. Her grandson George Cecil inherited the property, eventually selling it to allow unobstructed construction of the Mount Pisgah section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A ranger’s cabin, constructed in 1912 of decades-old logs salvaged from early settler’s cabins on Vanderbilt’s Pisgah Forest tract, was removed from the site at that time and rebuilt in Asheville as a family home.

In 2015, this historic cabin and some of its furnishings were donated to Biltmore. Now restored in Antler Hill Village, the cabin serves as the headquarters for our Outdoor Adventure Center and Land Rover Experience.

Biltmore Dairy: An Udderly Fascinating History

George Vanderbilt established Biltmore Dairy operations at his estate in Asheville, North Carolina for three main reasons: to supply dairy products to Biltmore House, to provide an example to others on how to run a successful farm, and to generate income through commercial product sales.

Imagine having a Vanderbilt for your milkman—flavoring your coffee with cream from the dairy of a multi-millionaire. It is enough to make one smack his lips and imagine the product is richer than that of ordinary dairymen.
– “A Millionaire Farmer,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, 1894

Biltmore Dairy delivery wagon, ca. 1900
Biltmore Dairy delivery wagon, ca. 1900

Beyond the dairy, original agricultural operations included sheep, hog, and poultry farms, and a substantial market garden for produce. All of these endeavors, collectively named Biltmore Farms, contributed to George Vanderbilt’s ability to fulfill the estate’s mission of self-sufficiency.

However, Biltmore Dairy was the most successful of all of Biltmore’s enterprises, providing the estate with a financial cushion that would see it through George Vanderbilt’s death, two world wars, the Great Depression, and beyond.

Cows in main dairy barn
Cow stalls in the main dairy barn, ca. 1930

The Legacy of Biltmore Dairy

Much of this success was thanks to the Vanderbilts’ prized herd of Jersey cows. Of all major dairy breeds, Jerseys produce the richest milk—high in butterfat, protein, and calcium. They also produce a higher volume of milk per each pound of body weight than other type of cattle.

The Biltmore Dairy Farms herd, believed to be the largest herd of registered Jerseys in the world, is unquestionably one of the finest and best known.
– “Souvenir Edition Annual Meeting of the American Jersey Cattle Club,” June 3, 1942

Biltmore Dairy workers, ca. 1910
Biltmore Dairy workers, ca. 1910

To ensure that the herd maintained excellent health, staff included a full-time veterinarian and a dairy bacteriologist. Dairy workers kept detailed records on the herd and conducted regular inspections to ensure their living conditions were of the highest quality.

The herd was primarily housed in the estate’s Main Dairy Barn—what is now Biltmore’s Winery. Just down the road was the Creamery, where cream was separated from the milk. Milk was then bottled and sold, while the cream was made into butter, buttermilk, cottage cheese, and, of course, ice cream.

Biltmore's Main Dairy Barn
Biltmore’s Dairy Barn (what is now the Winery), May 30, 1913 (Courtesy of Alice Marie Lewis)

The Tasty History of Biltmore Ice Cream

Biltmore’s ice cream played a leading role at estate gatherings, including Cornelia Vanderbilt’s birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, and May Day festivities. Almost every oral history interview in our archives that mentions a childhood memory on the estate also includes a reference to ice cream.

After Biltmore House opened to the public in 1930, guests could view the milking rooms and processing areas in the Dairy Barn, sample the milk, and buy ice cream. Biltmore Dairy was so successful, and its products were so well-known that it became an attraction in its own right for estate visitors.

Biltmore Dairy milkmen and delivery trucks, ca. 1935-1940
Biltmore Dairy milkmen and delivery trucks, ca. 1935-1940

It was around this time that the dairy’s delivery wagons were replaced with trucks and the fleet grew from 30 vehicles to over 400 in just 15 years. Salesmen were now able to market the products as far away as Charlotte, which at the time was a windy, wooded five-hour drive.

Unfortunately, the market shifted. With the advent of chain grocery stores came a cheaper, more efficient way to purchase milk, eventually making door-to-door dairy delivery obsolete. Biltmore Dairy and other smaller, family-run businesses were unable to compete with expansive commercial operations. In April of 1985, Biltmore Dairy was sold to Pet, Inc.

Mother and daughter enjoying ice cream in Antler Hill Vilalge
Enjoy our vanilla ice cream, based on a delicious original Biltmore Dairy recipe.

Enjoy Biltmore Ice Cream Today

Today, Biltmore continues to draw inspiration from Biltmore Dairy. Biltmore Dairy Bar® in the Stable Courtyard was named in honor of our agricultural heritage. Additionally, vanilla ice cream based on a delicious original Biltmore Dairy recipe is offered at both Biltmore Dairy Bar® and at the Creamery in Antler Hill Village.

Top 5 Most Romantic Estate Activities

With two distinctive hotels and a variety of offerings perfect for couples, romantic getaways at Biltmore are certainly not limited to February. But in honor of “the month of love,” let’s take a look at our top five most romantic estate activities.

Biltmore Conservatory
Stroll through the Conservatory

Located at the end of the Walled Garden, Biltmore’s Conservatory is a grand glass-roofed building that nurtures exotic orchids, ferns, palms, and more. When you enter this historic structure, you step into a world of indoor enchantment. Take your time strolling through its 7,000 square feet and get lost in the splendor of your own private tropical oasis.

Biltmore Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting
Savor a Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting

Share sweets with your sweetheart during this specialty wine experience and discover why these two aphrodisiacs are a match made in heaven. Our Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting is offered daily and features locally produced artisan chocolates—plus information about wine production at Biltmore, the process of farming origin-specific cacao, and its effects upon the finished product.

The Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate
Dine in The Dining Room

Recently recognized as Western North Carolina’s only restaurant awarded Four Stars by Forbes Travel Guide, The Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate™ has also been named One of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. Treat your loved one to expertly prepared cuisine that emphasizes estate-raised and local ingredients with world-class service inspired by the Vanderbilts.

Biltmore Carriage Ride
Enjoy a Cozy Carriage Ride

Relax aboard a charming carriage drawn by our Belgian draft horses as you take in picturesque views of Biltmore. We have a variety of Carriage Ride options. Choose a 30-minute or 60-minute ride aboard one of our multi-passenger carriages to experience the estate’s beauty in good company, or opt for a private 90-minute ride in an elegant vis-á-vis carriage—just for you and your valentine.

Treatment Room at The Spa Biltmore at The Inn on Biltmore Estate
Indulge in a Couples Massage

The Spa Biltmore* at The Inn on Biltmore Estate™ is a petite facility offering luxurious treatments that incorporate the estate’s natural offerings into a soothing, restorative, and uniquely Biltmore experience. We invite you and your better half to indulge in seasonally inspired massages in our intimate Couples Retreat.

No matter the time of year, Biltmore is the perfect place to show your significant other just how much they mean to you. And if you’re looking for a more outdoorsy approach to a romantic getaway, take a look at our top 5 most naturally romantic spots on the estate.

*Access to The Spa Biltmore is reserved exclusively for guests of The Inn on Biltmore Estate™, guests of Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate®, and Biltmore Annual Passholders.

Behind the Scenes of A Vanderbilt House Party

Please enjoy this archived content from our 2019 exhibition.

In anticipation of A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age exhibition, we asked our Museum Services team to chat about what it took to recreate clothing from the Vanderbilts’ original wardrobes.

1. Why recreate these pieces of clothing for A Vanderbilt House Party? Are the original pieces not in the Biltmore collection?

While we are lucky to have some of the Vanderbilts’ original clothing in the collection, textiles are, by their very nature, fragile and not easily retained. Recreating these pieces that were captured in archival photography allows us to show what the family and their friends wore at the turn of the century.

Fashion also conveys so many details—about personal style and social mores. We are excited about the opportunity to show recreations of clothing from this era against the colors, textures, and impressive scale of Biltmore’s original historic interiors.

Our curators consulted more than 100 photographs drawn from our archives to accurately recreate the clothing, accessories, and hairstyles worn by the Vanderbilt family.

2. How did you decide what colors to use from black and white photos?

This was one of the more complex and more fun parts of the process. We looked closely at archival imagery and did quite a bit of research into what the Vanderbilts were wearing, paying particular attention to colors and fabrics that were mentioned in newspaper articles or journals.

We also looked at receipts and any information we had in the archives. We know that Edith favored certain colors like greens and metallics and we even have some samples of suiting fabrics for George Vanderbilt that helped guide our decisions.

Celebrated costume designer John Bright drew from his own collection of antique lace and trimming in order to recreate Edith Vanderbilt’s gowns with the utmost authenticity.

3. In addition to the archival photos, what else helped to inform these recreations? 

We also looked at historic examples of work by the same fashion designers that the Vanderbilts favored—like Jeanne Paquin and Jacques Doucet as well as the House of Worth. There are many related pieces in museum collections like the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the V&A in London.

Ultimately, we conferred with the designer John Bright of Cosprop, London, and his team, who are all very knowledgeable about clothing in this period. They’ve created costumes for Downton Abbey, Gosford Park, and other productions focused on this era.

This velvet and ostrich feather headpiece is a recreation of that which Edith Stuyvesant Dresser wore in the 1898 photographs marking her engagement to George Vanderbilt.

4. From start to finish, what was involved in this process?

After researching color and tonal range, we worked with the Cosprop team to select fabrics. Then, John walked us through his recommendations on constructing the garments. We were able to determine sizing based on additional archival documents—like the Vanderbilts’ passports, for instance.

Throughout the process, samples and correspondence were sent back and forth between Biltmore and Cosprop’s team in London. Eventually, the completed garments were shipped to us. Each item was then photographed, documented, and numbered before being put on the mannequins.

We have sourced authentic shoes, jewelry, and accessories to make sure every detail is just right. We even worked with a local jeweler to make exact reproductions of the buttons on the footmen’s jackets and vests!

 One of the most complicated projects of the exhibition was the recreation of a House of Worth gown worn by George Vanderbilt’s sister, Florence Vanderbilt Twombly.

5. What do you hope guests take away from the A Vanderbilt House Party exhibition?

We’re not sure there has ever been another exhibition created anywhere that is quite like this one. It is bringing to life what it was like to be a guest at Biltmore.

We think it’s a special opportunity to get an insider’s view on entertaining at the turn of the century—and to learn not only more about the Vanderbilt family and the fashion of the time period, but also the stories and the people behind Biltmore.

To us, the lives of the staff and guests who visited are equally fascinating. This is the first opportunity to see this very special side of Biltmore’s history and we can’t wait to share it.

A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age premiered February 8 and ran through May 27, 2019.

Exploring the Butler’s Pantry

Welcome to the central nervous system of Biltmore House: The Butler’s Pantry. As its name suggests, this space was the main work area for the Biltmore House butler and his staff of footmen and it played a critical role in each and every meal enjoyed by the Vanderbilts and their guests.

Tip: As part of The Biltmore House Backstairs Tour, guests can enjoy the Butler’s Pantry, along with other rarely seen domestic-staff areas throughout Biltmore House.

Biltmore House footman
A footman stands by the Butler Patry dumbwaiter as displayed in Biltmore’s 2019 exhibition, “A Vanderbilt House Party.”

At Your Service

It was the primary responsibility of the Biltmore’s butler to ensure that all meals, including afternoon tea, were served smoothly and effortlessly, as the performance of the head butler and his staff was a direct reflection of the Vanderbilts.

Strategically located on the first floor between the Kitchen and the Breakfast Room and directly above the basement kitchen, the Butler’s Pantry is a room that was constantly abuzz with staff activity. Meals were prepared in the kitchen and would arrive in the Butler’s Pantry via dumbwaiters and floor maids, ready to be plated and delivered to the family and guests.

The Butler’s Pantry, as seen on The Biltmore House Backstairs Tour
A look inside the Butler’s Pantry of America’s Largest Home.

Not only was the Butler’s Pantry the central hub for meal preparations, it was also the primary point of contact between the butler and guests.

A visit to Biltmore offered guests anything their hearts desired, all at the push of a button. When a guest had a request, they simply pressed a button in their room, and a bell would ring on the state-of-the-art annunciator outside the Butler’s Pantry. The butler or a servant on duty in the Butler’s Pantry would attend to the guest themselves, send a nearby servant, or call a servant on the appropriate floor to see what is needed, then call down to the Butler’s Pantry so that the task could be delegated to the appropriate person. Like a well-oiled machine, the request would be fulfilled and the butler would be on to the next. 

Detailed view of call buttons in the Butler’s Pantry
Detailed view of the telephone in the Butler’s Pantry
Detailed view of a dumbwaiter in the Butler’s Pantry

Technology in the Butler’s Pantry

Managing a Gilded Age mansion the size of Biltmore was no easy task, and the house featured the most cutting-edge technology of the time to assist the domestic staff in their daily duties. In many ways, Biltmore functioned like a luxury hotel, and these technological features helped ensure that all operations ran smoothly and quickly.

Below are some of the Biltmore House’s most notable technologies:

  • Annunciator System: The Annunciator System (or servant call bell system) allowed staff to respond to guest calls from virtually any room in Biltmore House. Service was literally available at the push of a button.
  • Dumbwaiters: The Butler’s Pantry features two dumbwaiters used to deliver food from the basement kitchen and pantry: one electric and one manual. (The electric dumbwaiter had a lifting capacity of 250 pounds and an operating speed of 100 feet per minute.)
  • Refrigerators: In addition to the cold storage refrigerators in the basement, the Butler’s Pantry housed small refrigerators to keep milk, butter, and other dairy products cool until served.
  • Warming oven: Conversely, an electric warming oven was used to heat plates and serving dishes, as well as keep small portions of food warm prior to serving.
  • Telephone: The telephone was part of Biltmore’s in-house communication system manufactured by Stromberg-Carlson Telephone Manufacturing Company in Chicago.

Take a Look Around:

Click play and drag your mouse for a 360-degree view of the Biltmore House Butler’s Pantry main level.

(Please note: 360-degree video format is not currently supported by Internet Explorer or Safari. For best results, please view in Google Chrome or on your mobile device. We apologize for any inconvenience.)

A House Full of Guests

Please enjoy this archived content from 2018.

George Vanderbilt created Biltmore as a private retreat, and often invited family and friends to stay and enjoy all the estate offered. The Vanderbilts were noted for their gracious hospitality and attention to detail that made a visit to Biltmore such a welcome experience.

From entries in the Biltmore House guest book, we have a wonderful record of those who visited the Vanderbilts, including political figures, authors, and industrialists—many of whom were close friends of George and Edith Vanderbilt.

Because travel was still a lengthy and unpredictable process at the turn of the last century, guests often planned to stay at Biltmore for several weeks at a time. If their maid or valet came with them, the visiting staff would also be graciously accommodated.

A Biltmore house party or special occasion might include any number of visitors who had arrived at different times. As author Edith Wharton noted in a letter written just after a 1905 Christmas celebration:

“Yesterday we had a big Xmas fete for the 350 people on the estate – a tree 30 ft. high, Punch & Judy, conjuror, presents & ‘refreshments.’ It would have interested you, it was done so well & sympathetically, each person’s wants being thought of, from mother to last baby.”

The party of which she speaks included not only house guests, but also the families who lived and worked on the estate—an annual Vanderbilt Christmas tradition that continues today.

We invite you to join us as we continue welcoming guests to Biltmore House and all the estate has to offer. From Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration and Candlelight Christmas Evenings to our exciting upcoming exhibition A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age, discover the splendor of being greeted and accommodated as a guest of the Vanderbilts in America’s Largest Home®.

Feature image: George Vanderbilt with his niece Adele and her new husband Jay Burden—some of the first guests of Biltmore; June 1896

Glorious Glass at Biltmore

Glass is a magical material that can assume nearly any form. It can be incredibly fragile or made to be bulletproof. It has the properties of being both liquid and solid—at the same time—and it can be recycled over and over again.

Chihuly at Biltmore

With such a fluid nature, it’s no wonder artists often choose glass as a medium to express their creativity. We’re currently hosting Chihuly at Biltmore—the first art exhibition in Biltmore’s historic gardens, and the first garden exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s works in North Carolina.

Chihuly’s extraordinary glass sculptures made us curious about other types of art glass at Biltmore, and here’s what we discovered:

Collection of green glass in the Butler's Pantry--turned out to be turned out to be uranium glass.
Collection of green glass in the Butler’s Pantry

Intriguing green glass

“As we’ve been cleaning and photographing the china and crystal collections in the Butler’s Pantry, we came across an interesting set of glassware,” said Genevieve Bieniosek, Furniture Conservator. “It turned out to be uranium glass.”

Under regular lighting, uranium glass is a pale, transparent green or greenish-yellow. But when exposed to ultraviolet energy, the pieces fluoresce bright green.  

A collection of green uranium viewed under a black light
The same collection of green uranium viewed under a black light

“Manufacturers would add uranium oxide to glass as a colorant to produce a range of colors from pale greenish-yellow to bright green,” Genevieve said, “and it has been used as a glass colorant since at least the 1830s. We don’t know much about this set, but it is part of Biltmore’s collection.” 

Domed crystal cheese dish with George Vanderbilt’s monogram

The crystal collection

Most of the crystal stemware and glassware purchased by the Vanderbilts was produced by French manufacturer Baccarat or the British firm of Thomas Webb & Sons who specialized in high-quality engraved crystal and colored glass.

Located in the Claude Room, is an 1890 Tiffany vase from glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Tiffany glass vase with silver webbing

Other interesting pieces

Located in the Claude Room, which is part of the elegant Louis XV Suite, is another unusual piece—an 1890 Tiffany vase from glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. The hand-blown vase features different layers of glass in different colors, with a gold metallic surface and woven sterling silver overlay.

Though the style is markedly different from Tiffany’s iconic stained glass lamps, it demonstrates his mastery of glassmaking techniques

Many forms of glass are highly collectable and though George Vanderbilt did not amass a vast collection, he certainly appreciated the art form. We are fortunate to have representative works from artists like John La Farge and Tiffany and the functional beauty of the monogrammed Vanderbilt crystal in our collection, and the tremendous creative talent of artist Dale Chihuly now currently on display.

Visit now

Plan your visit to Biltmore today and marvel at Chihuly at Biltmore now through October 7. To see the glass collections stored in the Butler’s Pantry, reserve your space on our Upstairs – Downstairs Tour that offers a glimpse into the daily life of the staff that kept America’s Largest Home® running so smoothly.

Featured blog image: Renee Jolly, Objects Conservator, cleans a gold-rimmed amethyst glass plate in the Butler’s Pantry. Little is known about this particular collection, but the style indicates it may be from the 1920s or 30s.

Around the Globe with Artist Dale Chihuly

Chihuly at Biltmore was on display from May 17 to October 7, 2018.
Please enjoy this archived content.

“Glass is the most magical of all materials. It transmits light in a special way.” – Dale Chihuly

Richard Royal, Charles Parriott, David Levy, Chihuly, and Brian Brenno, The Boathouse Hotshop, Seattle, © Chihuly Studio

In preparing to host Chihuly at Biltmore—the first art exhibition in Biltmore’s historic gardens and the first North Carolina garden exhibition by American artist Dale Chihuly—it is important to understand the impact of Chihuly’s work in the United States and around the globe. 

Early international exhibitions

Dale Chihuly is one of the most recognized artists in the world, and his work has been shown in public and private settings for more than four decades. Some of his earliest international exhibitions included São Paulo, Brazil, in 1979 and Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1980. By the late 1980s, Chihuly’s work had been displayed in Montreal, Paris, and Lisbon, setting the stage for an ever-increasing presence around the globe.

Creating icons

The 1990s featured the creation of many works of art that have become icons. For the development of the extraordinary Chihuly Over Venice exhibition, Chihuly traveled with his team of glassblowers to glass factories in Finland, Ireland, Mexico and Italy. Working with local glass masters, Chihuly took the opportunity to experiment and innovate, creating a new vocabulary of forms. In September 1996, Chandeliers from the international project were installed over the canals and piazzas of Venice. 

In 2000, more than one million visitors marveled at a dramatic range of sculptural installations during Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem at the Tower of David Museum. The project included installations of vibrant Red and Yellow Reeds, Green Grass, and Towers in hues of blue and white, and featured the monumental Crystal Mountain, a forty-seven foot high, thirty-three foot wide sculpture adorned by 2,000 rose colored Polyvitro crystals, among others.

​Glass and Gardens

Dale Chihuly with Float Boat, Denver Botanic Gardens, 2014, © Chihuly Studio

Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses developed into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His Garden Cycle began in 2001 at Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, in 2005, and at more than a dozen beautiful sites in the United States, including the New York and Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Chihuly’s artwork is featured in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. In addition, there are permanent exhibitions in the U.S. and one in Japan, with others in development for 2018 and beyond.

Experiencing Chihuly at Biltmore

Dale Chihuly, Laguna Torcello (detail), 2012,© Chihuly Studio

We hope you will join us for Chihuly at Biltmore May 17–October 7, 2018. Enjoy the breathtaking installations by day, then discover an entirely new experience during Chihuly Nights at Biltmore with the effects of dramatic lighting upon the luminous colors and graceful forms of these awe-inspiring glass sculptures.

While Chihuly at Biltmore is included in estate admission, Chihuly Nights at Biltmore requires a separate ticket purchase. These special nighttime events are held on select evenings during the exhibition and feature a self-guided visit of the sculptures. 

Christmas Craft: Frosted Lanterns

Lanterns are a classic way to brighten up your holiday decorating, but buying them in bulk can get pricey. You can get this same look using glass jars and simple crafting materials.


  • Glass jars
  • Self-adhesive stickers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Frosted glass spray paint
  • Double sided tape
  • 22 Gauge wire (about 32 inches per jar)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Protective gloves
  • Battery operated candles


  1. Create a pattern on the jar using painter’s tape and stickers.
  2. Spray the jar lightly and evenly with frosted glass spray paint. Be sure to wear gloves and work outside in a well-ventilated area.
  3. When the spray is dry, use tweezers to carefully peel off the tape and stickers. Try not to touch or scrap the frosted area. Let the jar sit for an hour, then add the handle.
  4. Use needle nose pliers to cut a piece of 22 gauge wire. Wrap it around the neck of the jar once and twist it thoroughly into place. Take the excess wire and create a loop, twisting the end securely to the other side of the jar, creating the handle.
  5. Put a small square of double sided mounting tape on the bottom of a tea light and place on the bottom of your lantern. Use battery operated candles if you plan to place your lanterns near greenery or children and pets.

These sweet, simple lanterns will light your entry way, brighten your home, and provide a warm welcome for holiday visitors.  

Behind the Scenes: Fall Care for Biltmore’s Gardens & Grounds

As summer ends and fall beauty begins to blanket the estate, our dedicated garden crew is busy preparing the grounds for the change of season.

After Labor Day, crews are busy pulling all of the tropical plants. Elephant ears in the massive terra cotta pots lining the front of Biltmore House and other areas are stored for next summer.

Koi and lily pads in the Italian Garden pools

Once they’ve faded, lilies and lily pads are gathered from the Italian Garden pools to be composted. Many of our guests ask what happens to the koi in the pools, but they actually remain in the ponds and hibernate during the cooler months!

Dahlia bulbs in the Walled Garden’s Victorian border are lifted out of the ground to allow the soil to dry naturally. The bulbs are placed in a cool dry place to store over winter to be replanted in the spring.

Walled Garden crew member

The gorgeous second-round blooms in the Rose Garden are pruned in preparation for the International Rose Trials, September 22–23. The historic garden has hosted the event since 2011, providing breeders from all over the world a place to trial and display their roses.

And of course, the seemingly never-ending task of blowing and raking leaves across the estate will soon commence. There will be several leaf clean-ups throughout the season to minimize final efforts at autumn’s end. Along with some of the tropical plants, all raked leaves are composted and eventually become part of Biltmore soil.

West Facade of Biltmore House with fallen leaves

Don’t miss those autumn leaves and our fall gardens in all their glory. Book your stay at Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate® or The Inn on Biltmore Estate® today.