A tale of two gardens

There’s a beautiful small garden close to our KY house at the Whitehall estate. We stopped by there a few days ago to see what was in bloom.

The answer was quite a lot. Whitehall’s gardens are, as always, immaculate and lush. I used the new iPhone 14 camera for these pictures, and they came out nice and sharp.

My favorite flower in bloom there is probably these irises.

Whitehall is a little gem that we visit often. But I promised two gardens. For the second one, we had to drive 5+ hours to Asheville and the Biltmore estate. Visiting the Biltmore has been on the should-do list for a while, and we set off for there on Tuesday.

We first had an unexpected hurdle to cross. We entered a massive thunderstorm at Simpsonville, and had to drive through a biblical downpour all the way to Lexington. It was a tough, somewhat dangerous drive.As someone who lives through months at a time with no rain in Socal, a storm like this is astounding. So much water. But as we turned south at I-75, we escaped the storm and had smooth driving the rest if the way.

I’ll leave the pictures of the Biltmore house for another post, but suffice to say it didn’t disappoint. It’s hard to believe that a person built this as their country home at the turn of the century. I guess that’s what happens when you have infinite money and good taste.

But the Biltmore grounds and garden were at least as impressive as the home, probably more so. We didn’t have great light for these photos – it was overcast and cool, no direct sun. But still…what a place. The garden is *very* seasonal, so what you see depends on what month you visit. We missed the azaleas bloom this time, but we got roses, dogwood, and rhododendrum. Lots of roses.

The gardens at Biltmore are vast, and we didn’t see everything. But what we saw was gorgeous, even on a day with dull light. Here’s the entry path to the walled rose garden.

And here’s a nice shot of the house across the lagoon. Doesn’t every modern home have a lagoon?

I’ve got enough photos and thoughts about the rapid two-day Biltmore trip to fill up a lot of blog posts. I took several shots with both the iPhone and the on-the-chopping-block Fuji XS-10. I will say the Fuji worked like a champ in the low-light, no-flash conditions inside the house. So we’ll see.

One more garden to visit on this trip, and that’s Yew Dell. I like this time of year.

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