May at Biltmore
My friend and I got season passes to Biltmore Estate and visited a few days ago. These two turkey gobblers greeted us not long after we passed through the gates. Okay, so they weren't really there to greet us. They were competing and courting a turkey hen which I didn't get a good picture of. She ignored all their strutting, posing, and posturing, then dashed across the drive and up the bank into the woods. I had never seen turkeys showing off and doing their mating rituals like this in the wild so it was really interesting.
The sky was looking a bit ominous as we walked through the woods and neared the house. It was around 12 noon so we headed to the Stable Cafe for lunch. Yes, it really used to be stables, but no horsey smells are left. :) If you click the link above you will see a picture of the cafe.
After lunch we headed onto the South Terrace. We didn't go inside the house since we did that in February and were in a hurry to see the gardens.
Click the above photo to enlarge. The views of the mountains in the distance is amazing! The sky still looks threatening, but there was no rain. And the temperature was nice.
Just off the South Terrace is this extensive wisteria arbor.
Click the above photo to enlarge it. I love this wisteria! (But I would not want to maintain it. LOL)
A closeup of the wisteria, with azaleas in the background.
Two weeks ago I shared photos of the amazing display of tulips in the Walled Garden. After all the rain, most of the tulips had faded but lots of other flowers were in bloom, like these bluebells, above. Bluebells are among my favorite flowers. They look so dainty and romantic. The bluebells in Scotland are a different color, a darker blue, and in some areas, like Argyll they grow like weeds along the sides of the roads in May. So beautiful! In my latest release, My Daring Highlander, bluebells play a romantic role in Keegan and Seona's story. :)
This bearded iris in the Walled Garden seemed to be posing for a picture. I used to grow one similar to this.
A view of the conservatory from across the garden. I love these perennial borders with all the blues and purples.
We left the Walled Garden and headed into the Shrub Garden. I couldn't resist taking this picture from up the hill. It's like a bird's eye view and you can see the patterns the flowers are planted in.
The four acre Shrub Garden has more than 500 varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees including this weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and azaleas.
I think this little guy is some sort of salamander. He was very shy and quickly sped back into his hiding place.
I thought this white bleeding heart was really beautiful. I have fond memories from my childhood of the pink bleeding hearts my mom has always grown. We strolled through the Spring Garden and toward the Azalea Garden. More on that next week. :)
Thanks for going on this garden stroll with me!
Beautiful and fiercely protective of those she loves, Lady Seona Murray captured Keegan MacKay’s attention when she first set foot in Dunnakeil Castle. Though she is a chief’s daughter and forbidden, Keegan has fallen in love with her from afar and burns to possess her. But so does the clan traitor, Haldane, an obsessive outlaw bent on murder and kidnapping.
Sinfully handsome, Keegan MacKay is a fearsome guard as well as the chief’s cousin, but Seona’s father would never consider him a worthy husband for her because he is not a titled laird. Seona has secretly watched the sensual, tawny-haired warrior from across the crowded great hall for months, but when he is tasked with escorting her across Scotland, back to her home, their simmering attraction flames into sizzling passion with just one kiss.
Though she fears she is endangering Keegan’s life, Seona cannot resist his seductive charm or his spellbinding kisses. Keegan sets fire to the memories of her sad past and shows her what it means to truly live. But her father has other plans. He’s arranged for her to marry a wealthy Lowland laird. Is Keegan daring enough to steal her away? Or will the vindictive Haldane snatch her first? Buy My Daring Highlander at Amazon, B&N, iTunes and various other sites.