The holiday season comes alive with “The Nature of Christmas”, the 2013 theme at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. We talk with the designers behind this year-long project and take a tour through the grandest of rooms.
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The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., has long been a destination spot for garden lovers, offering them the chance to stroll through acres of formal and informal outdoor gardens designed by renowned American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. During Biltmore’s annual Christmas celebration, the beauty of nature is brought indoors, dazzling guests with rooms filled with holiday greenery and floral displays.
This yuletide tradition dates back to 1835, when Biltmore’s founder George Vanderbilt first welcomed friends and family to the newly built Biltmore House on Christmas Eve. This year, guests will see 56 holiday trees throughout Biltmore House, including a 35-foot-tall Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall. Each tree is intricately designed and hand-decorated by members of Biltmore's floral design team. Miles of fresh garland, holiday wreaths and nearly a thousand red and white poinsettias are also on display.
“Each year our floral design team decorates several rooms in Biltmore House according to a theme. This year it’s ‘The Nature of Christmas,’ which is especially fitting for garden motifs. The team is made up of eight designers, and each of them selects one of the main rooms in Biltmore House to decorate. She works with the theme and plans all year for her room, selecting the type of ornaments, fabrics and colors to use,” says LeeAnn Donnelly, Biltmore senior public relations manager.
During the Christmas celebration, Biltmore's floral arranging and gardening experts will also be conducting free daily seminars at A Gardener's Place gift shop. Topics include caring for Christmas plants and decorating with wreaths.
Christmas at Biltmore runs through Jan. 14, 2014. To learn more, visit www.biltmore.com.