What pairs well with the biggest private home in the United States? Why, one’s own forest and mountain, of course.
On our visit to the Biltmore Estate we marveled at the beautiful landscape surrounding George Washington Vanderbilt’s mansion. It is even more amazing when you realize that most of this landscape was immature during Vanderbilt’s lifetime. He and his very famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, both died before really being able to appreciate the glory of what they designed.
When George W. Vanderbilt decided to build his home in Asheville, North Carolina, he bought up 125,000 acres of land in order to create a home and a sanctuary around it. He and his architect, Richard Morris Hunt, modeled the building after a French chateau. He liberally interpreted European garden design throughout the estate, including a formal Italian garden, a British-style deer park, and a French esplanade with a graduated stairway. He was very proud of the lush natural landscaping of the Approach road to the home and commented that Olmsted would gain lasting fame just for its beauty.
Even though most of us don’t own thousands of acres of land with forests and mountains, it’s our own labor of love to caretake our properties. I hope you enjoyed your armchair trip through the Biltmore Estate and will join me for more trips to Biltmore in upcoming posts. If you missed it, you can read about dishes at Biltmore here.
Thanks to longtime friend and travel partner Kathy for some of these photos. You can read about her trip to Italy here.