Sunday, July 13, 2014

Biltmore Estate Gardens

If you are ever in Asheville, North Carolina, the Biltmore Estate Gardens are something you definitely want to visit!  The estate sits on 8,000 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, and includes a four-acre walled garden, and Italian garden with statues and a pool, a spring garden, an azalea garden, a bass pond, and woodland trails.

The chateau is quite a masterpiece.  This former residence of George Vanderbilt was completed in 1895 and has 250 rooms!  Visitors will see vintage clothing, furniture, and beautiful artwork.

The estate is open from the end of March to the beginning of November. Hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily.  Admission for adults is $44.00.  Kids are free with adult admission.  The price of admission includes a self guided tour through the mansion and the grounds.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens, located in Wilmington, North Carolina, was founded in 1901 and covers 67 acres.  There is a Spring Garden which features azaleas in the spring, a Camellia Garden, which features camellias in the fall, and a Rain Garden  which features magnolias in the summer.  There are also beautiful statues and fountains on the grounds.  One thing you won't want to miss, is a giant 467 year old oak tree, lovingly named, "Airlie Oak."

The garden is open March through December, daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $9.00.  Admission for children is $3.00.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

North Carolina Botanical Gardens

North Carolina Botanical Gardens are located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and are part of the University of North Carolina.  They were begun in 1903 and have grown over the years.  Today, they cover 700 acres.  The purpose of the garden is to research, catalog, and promote native plants of North Carolina.  There are 14 display gardens, including carnivorous plants, a fern collection, water garden, and mountain habitat.

The gardens are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturday from 9:00 - 5:00, and Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00.  Admission is free.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tryon Palace Gardens

Located in New Bern, North Carolina, the Tryon Palace gardens surround the Governor's Palace and cover 14 acres.  They were designed by landscape architect, Morley Jeffers Williams in the 1950s, and are in the style of formal 18th century European gardens.

Formal box shrubs line red brick paths.  Seasonal flowers add color within the geometric shapes of the shrubs. In the spring, visitors will see daffodils and tulips, in the summer, marigolds and celosia, and in the fall, mums.

Tours of the Governor's Palace and the Dixon and Stanly houses which are on the property are also available.  Visitors can expect to see tour guides dressed in period clothing of the late 1700s as the history of the area is explained.

The gardens are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Caribbean Gardens

The Caribbean Gardens are located in Naples, Florida as part of the Naples Botanical Garden complex.  They are one of the oldest tropical gardens in the United States.  They cover 52 acres and features a mile-long path of tropical plants and trees.    The purpose of the garden is to recreate a Caribbean island paradise. 

The gardens are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.  Admission is $12.95 for adults and $7.95 for children.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bird Garden of Naples

Located in Naples, Florida, the Bird Garden of Naples contains fie acres of tropical plants, butterflies, exotic birds, and two miles of walking trails.  The place offers refuge for over two hundred birds which have been rescued and need rehabilitation.  There is a tour which visitors can take that is led by the owner of the garden.  On it, she relates personal stories and facts about many of the birds that have been rescued.  There are plenty of opportunities to hold the birds and have pictures taken with them.

The garden is open Thursday through Sunday, but tours must be arranged by appointment only.  There is no set admission fee, but donations are appreciated.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ancient Spanish Monastery St. Bernard de Clairvaux

The Ancient Spanish Monastery St. Bernard de Clairvaux is located in North Miami Beach, Florida.  The picturesque 12th  century monastery was originally built in Spain.  It was dismantled, piece by piece, and brought to Florida by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, in 1925.  It never got assembled until 26 years after his death.

Today, the grounds include extensive formal gardens, and are a popular venue for weddings.

The monastery is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM, and on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  Admission for adults is $8.00, and for children, $4.00.