Silently I walked through the wet lawn in the pre-dawn summer morning. Before me stretches acres of grass leading down to the grand Biltmore mansion, America’s beloved Vanderbilt castle, on a gorgeous 8000-acre estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. As a photojournalist, I was invited to the house and gardens to photograph the light at dawn. While I wait, bats come out of the trees and fly above me catching insects. As the sun slowly rises I hear birds singing their morning revelry and smell the freshest smells of grass and trees and nature. There is a full moon and as the sky gradually lightens, the mansion reflects the blue of the morning and I am captivated by its magic (above).
As I wander down to the gardens I am mesmerized by the mountain light and work to capture every moment before the sun rises above the mountain peaks to make its full force known in the countryside. Artfully created container gardens await the sun (above). Blue light gently kisses the cherub sculptures in the Italian Gardens (below). I breathe in all that beauty and in my heart, all is right with the world.
This dawn post begins a season-long series of wellness and garden stories that will feature Biltmore – I spent five days exploring the property from top to bottom and I am excited to share the gardens and conservatory, the food and recipes, the cut flower art, and of course the mansion with my peeps. Stunning views of the mountains can be seen all around the estate (below).
Special thanks to Biltmore and their amazing team for hosting and allowing me to photograph the estate – it was an astoundingly beautiful experience and I have lots of tips and ideas to share with my readers that I learned from the gardeners and chefs on site. If you would like to learn more about Biltmore, go to this link – www.biltmore.com – and check out all the details.