For a sneak peek at how color is transforming our gardens and grounds, review our Bloom Report.
Bill Quade, Biltmore’s Senior Manager of Horticulture, tells you what’s blooming when (and where!) across our magnificent estate. Plus, see answers to some of our frequently asked garden questions!
This week’s bloom report needs to start with a shout-out to the incredible Horticulture team at Biltmore. The recent “deep freeze” required them to respond quickly by covering the annual change-out beds across the property with frost fabric to protect the tulips. When you’re on the estate and see a Gardener, tell them thanks for all they do. Now, to the Bloom Report!
Redbuds and dogwoods will start to show a lot of color this week. I have always liked the simple yet elegant color contrast between the two. As the forsythia and other early-blooming shrubs continue to fade, you will notice the viburnums, serviceberry, PJM rhododendrons, and early-blooming azaleas take their place. While driving or walking on the grounds, pay attention to the deciduous trees’ emerging leaves. The tulip poplars, dawn redwoods, oaks, and maples offer a hue of green that’s refreshing this time of year.
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden.” —Ruth Stout
—Bill Quade, Senior Manager of Horticulture
Enjoy Photos Taken on the Estate This Week
Conservatory: Gardenia, Begonia, Hydrangea, Medinilla, Orchid, Flamingo Flower, Bromeliad, Asiatic Lilies, Abutilon, Odontonema
Shrub Garden: Viburnum, Serviceberry, Spirea, Flowering Quince, Daffodil, Pieris, Barberry, Heather, Vinca
Spring Garden: Hellebores, Daffodils, Redbud, Viburnum, Pieris, Flowering Quince, Dogwood, Fothergilla
Azalea Garden: Hellebores, Redbud, Early Rhododendrons/Azaleas, Viburnum, Flowering Quince, Spirea, Daffodils, Pachysandra, Fothergilla, Bleeding Hearts
Walled Garden: Tulips, Daffodils, Phlox, Lilac, Pear Espalier, Grape Hyacinth, Hellebores, Veronica, Pachysandra, Viola
Entry and Approach Road: Daffodils, Tulips, PJM Rhododendron, Redbud, Serviceberry, Spirea, Japanese Spurge, Viola, Periwinkle, Mahonia
Inn on Biltmore Estate: Redbud, Spirea, Daffodil, PJM Rhododendron, Serviceberry, Periwinkle, Viburnum, Candytuft, Dogwood
Antler Hill Village / Winery: Daffodil, Tulip, PJM Rhododendron, Redbud, Viburnum, Periwinkle, Autumnalis Cherry, Yellow Lantern Magnolia, Carolina Jessamine, Crabapple
Recent Guest Questions
When can I see azaleas in bloom?
The early-blooming azaleas have already started to bloom. As we continue through April, more will start to show color and be very noticeable starting the second week in April.
Do you plant your tulips in pots outside?
No. The forced bulbs you see inside the Conservatory are potted up in November and then kept in a walk-in cooler for a specified number of days. They are then brought up to our production house to finish growing before being placed in the Conservatory. The bulbs you see planted at the main gate, entrance beds at Antler Hill Village, and the Walled Garden pattern beds are all planted in November. The supervisors of each area work to select early-, mid-, and late-blooming varieties to have bulbs blooming from March through the middle of April.
What do you do with your tulips?
We select hybrid tulips that provide the best bloom possible. As a result, blooms will diminish in future years. Each year we dig up all the tulips and compost them. The compost is then used in fields across the estate as a soil amendment.
When will the roses bloom?
The roses’ first flush of blooms is generally opening by Mother’s Day through the end of May. After that, we get intermittent summer blooming with a full flush again in September.
When do you start feeding the Koi in the Italian Garden?
As soon as the water temperature reaches 50 degrees or higher. We’ll feed them from approximately early May until mid-October.
When will the cherry trees bloom?
We expect the cherries to be in bloom the third and last week of March.
Can I water my Orchids with ice cubes?
Orchids are tropical plants and don’t want frozen things on their roots. They like humidity, so put them next to the kitchen sink or mist them. Only water 1-2 times a week.
Portions of the Conservatory were closed recently for repainting. When was the last time the inside was painted?
The entire Conservatory was restored in the mid to late 1990s. This included a fresh coat of paint. We are now back to our one way guest flow. Biltmore Gardens Railway opened on April 1, so be sure to visit.
What's the fragrant plant along the steps from the Conservatory down to A Gardeners Place?
When is the best time to visit to see spring flowers?
April through May, although Mid-March is when the spring blooms start.