Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lessons from the Biltmore Greenhouses

Last week, my sisters and I spent some time enjoying the Autumn colors in the mountains of North Carolina. Since we were so close to Asheville, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to check out America's largest home, The Biltmore. It was amazing but I couldn't wait to finish up the house tour and get out into the gardens! They were expansive and beautiful but nothing really wowwed me - UNTIL I STEPPED INTO THE GREENHOUSES!

This scene just invites you to sit down and enjoy! Plus the greenhouses contain all their tropicals (and tropicals do make up the majority of my garden). I think I have the perfect spot to create a vignette similar to this at my home.

All of the large pots at The Biltmore are planted to overflowing - you'll not see exposed dirt there. The effect is just so lush. I don't happen to be a fan of ficus trees - but this Prayer Plant, Maranta leuconeura var , at the base adds so much.

and I don't know what I liked better - the Tree Fern or the lushness of the Coleus! One of the first things I did when I got home was trim my Coleus and begin rooting them in water. They are such fast growers, that it will take no time to fill the base of a pot.

On the same lines, this combination is so striking. I like the contrast between the large leaves of the Elephant Ears and the tiny trailing succulent leaves. I actually have this succulent but don't know the name. My favorite place to purchase succulents is Caldwell's Jungle Nursery in Raymondville, Texas. They propogate all their own and put together the most amazing hanging baskets you ever saw!

The Biltmore has a number of greenhouses and every entrance offers a lovely scene to behold. The Christmas Cactus (right above the Poinsettias) is full of buds. I so wished they had been blooming last week. Christmas Cactus is something that I have never been successful with - mine may hang on for a year or two but rarely rebloom (and then sparcely).

And they had Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherimma, "Trees" that took your breath away.


Love this combination!

but this is my favorite - the Spanish style fountain and the Yucca on top - It would be a perfect fit for any Texas patio at Christmas time.

6 comments:

inadvertentfarmer said...

Stunning! I have greenhouse envy!

Northern Shade said...

I loved each of the vignettes that you highlighted from the greenhouse. I would love to sit and read a book on that bench, surrounded by the lush symmetrical plantings. The tree fern and coleus is so striking. The two completely different plants make such a great combo. The succulent under the elephant ears makes a perfect tablecloth, showing off the enormous leaves above. Sometimes poinsettias can look tired, but displayed in tiers, with bright green companions makes them look vibrant.

Jan said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. They have given me ideas for the holidays. North Carolina is my favorite vacation spot. I bet you had a great time.

Jan
Always Growing

Jan said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. They have given me ideas for the holidays. North Carolina is my favorite vacation spot. I bet you had a great time.

Jan
Always Growing

Aiyana said...

Beautiful photos! That tour must have been great. If I'm ever in NC, I'd like to visit there.
Aiyana

Kathleen said...

Just doing a little "catch up" on your blog this morning Mary Beth. How fabulous you got to visit the Biltmore. It's on my list of things to do. You know how I love container gardening so these photos gave me lots of inspiration. I like mine filled to the brim (no dirt showing) too!