Travel Photography: Flower Carpet at Biltmore

We are season passholders at Biltmore and visit the estate several times a year.  This time I was hoping to tour the town of Asheville, North Carolina as a contribution to Scott Thomas Photography’s photo essay: Travel Photography, but due to the rain we had to cut our trip short and only get to visit Biltmore Flower Carpet. Every picture tells a story and I hope to share this through my photo essay.

Canon T2i, Aperture Priority, f/10, 1/25sec, ISO-100, Exposure bias -0.3 step, focal length 35mm, pattern metering mode, white balance cloudy

I believe that everyone has their own story to tell of how they came to live at where they are, and George Vanderbilt also has his story that is now a part of America history.  When we got to Biltmore on Saturday morning, the parking lot closest to the house was filled and we had to take the shuttle bus to get there.  The bus driver gave us a little insight of how George came to live in Ashville NC, this was of course not the first time that I have heard the story.

George was the youngest son, and he had to care for his ailing mother after his dad passed away, and the doctor recommended the fresh air and hot spring for the cure, so they spent several times a year traveling from New York to North Carolina.  George then decided to build a house to save on the hotel expenses while staying in North Carolina, so he built a house, and supposedly starting out with 3,500 square feet (Sqf) or something along the line.  When you build your own home, you always make changes and this 3,500 Sqf then turned into a 175,000 Sqf America’s largest home and to put this into perspective, the white house is only 55,000 Sqf, so almost 3 times the size of the white house. The mansion was completed in 1895, George Vanderbilt’s 250-room French château is a real life wonder. This image below was taken on a nicer sunny day in April of this year.

I’ve made a video of the Flower Carpet and added a French music called Au Rivera, after all Biltmore Estate is a French château.

The rain is not so bad for the flowers, but definitely not good for photographers. I had a good 2-3 hours in the morning without rain.

Canon T2i, Aperture Priority, f/22, 1/15sec, ISO-100, Exposure bias 0, focal length 24mm, pattern metering mode, white balance cloudy, tripod

The Flower Carpet is a living work of art that sits on the South Terrace of Biltmore House.  Their garden experts draw upon all their artistic talents to select and weave 155,000 plants into a pattern inspired by a rare stained glass window now on display in the Biltmore Legacy (source: Biltmore brochure).

Canon T2i, Aperture Priority, f/22, 1/10sec, ISO-100, Exposure bias 0, focal length 35mm, pattern metering mode, white balance cloudy
Canon T2i, Aperture Priority, f/22, 1/13sec, ISO-100, Exposure bias 0, focal length 28mm, pattern metering mode, white balance cloudy
Canon T2i, Aperture Priority, f/22, 1/13sec, ISO-100, Exposure bias 0, focal length 80mm, pattern metering mode, white balance cloudy

This is indeed a larger than life flower carpet. I will try to do another photo essay if I get a chance to visit Ashville before September 8th assignment due date.

Canon T2i, Aperture Priority, f/22, 1/10sec, ISO-100, Exposure bias 0, focal length 32mm, pattern metering mode, white balance cloudy

I also visited ECU at the end of August, Travel Photography: A Visit to ECU.


  1. Thanks for your fine essay Nye. That surely is an amazing place.
    I wonder how much they charge for a hotel room in North Carolina. It must be quite a sum since he decided to build this house to avoid the hotel bills 🙂

    • Hi Geni, thanks for you kind comment. The flowers are gorgeous and I could smell the marigold while standing there.

  2. What a superb visit and essay, Nye ! This French château makes me think of the famous castles in the Loire Valley, South of Paris. I loved your video too, you even captured a gardener watering the flowers… Such beautiful arrangements of flowers. Thank you for this colourful moment.

    • Hi isa, I would have loved to visit the French château in Paris, perhaps someday.

      I’m glad that you like my video, it has become a part of my blogging these days. 🙂

  3. The rain drops on the water lily pond looks very peaceful.

    When I miss the summer blooms I will have these photos to cheer me up.

    I like the purple plants, it goes well with the marigold. You’ve done a great job of capturing it all as always. 🙂

    • cambree, there is always something interesting to see there. I missed the rose garden this time but I’m looking forward to the month of October. They’ll have the mums in the garden and Oktoberfest at the new Antler Hill Village, and not to mention the Fall leaves.

  4. That was a great post you made here, i enjoyed your story about George Vanderbilt and his “house” – Americas greatest , WOW! – but what I enjoyed most is the picture (and the fine video) about this faboulous flower carpet: THAT I really would like to visit! It is VERY beautiful! Thank you for that 🙂

    • Thanks truels for your kind comment. The flower carpet is one of the events at Biltmore that I look forward to visiting and this year flower carpet is absolutely beautiful. I could smell the marigolds while photographing it. 🙂

  5. That is beautiful! Definitely going on my list of places to visit some day.
    I think the cloudy/rainy weather makes the colors of the flowers pop that much more.

    • Hi thedailyclick, I was hoping to see the blue sky and fluffy clouds but this weather was not so bad after all. Thanks for your kind comment. 🙂

  6. Nice little country place they had there, eh? It’s interesting, but in all that riot of color–very effectively captured, by the way–my favorite image is definitely the lily pond in the rain.

    • Hi Gerry, thanks. The lily pond in the rain is also one of my favorites. This is a nice place to visit and they’ve something interesting to see all year round.

  7. Nye, the first photo with the red flowers is especially my favorite. We always see yellow lilies floating in the ponds–never red. thank you for sharing your photo essay!

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