Celebrating Spring!

Photo of Biltmore House I took in February.
Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C. is one of the few castles in America. It was built in the French Chateau style, and completed in 1895 by George Vanderbilt. Not only is the house impressive with its 250 rooms, it is surrounded by a large estate, including beautiful and extensive gardens. One of the highlights each year is the tulip display in the Walled Garden (designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead). Since I love castles so much, I'm lucky to live nearby. I decided to go yesterday and take some photos of the tulips and other flowers. It was a lovely spring day, not too hot and not too cold. Just right. I thought it was a good day to celebrate spring.

 If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Violas among the ajuga
 Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

white tulips

 He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.
Mary Howitt

 Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.
Carl Friedrich Gauss 

 Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'
Robin Williams 

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

 Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.  ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
~Emily Dickinson

 It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

 Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower
William Feather

 Love is flower like; Friendship is like a sheltering tree.
 Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.  ~William Shakespeare

Redbuds in the distance
 The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:  four perfect movements in harmony with each other.  ~Arthur Rubenstein

I stopped by the lake to take this photo of the gazebo.
I hope you enjoyed this spring visit to the Biltmore Gardens!

I also want to announce that my book, My Wild Highlander, is a finalist in the OKRWA National Readers' Choice Awards!

Lady Angelique Drummagan, a half-Scottish, half-French countess, has suffered much pain and betrayal in her past. She wants nothing to do with the sensual Scottish warrior that the king has ordered her to marry because the rogue could never be a faithful husband, but she has little choice in the matter. Dangerous, greedy enemies threaten her from all sides and she's in dire need of his protection.

Sir Lachlan MacGrath, known as Seducer of the Highlands, possesses a charming wickedness and canny wit which has earned him much popularity. After the king decrees that he wed the fiery hellion, Lachlan discovers there is one woman who can resist him--Angelique. Can he break through her icy fa├žade and melt her heart, or will the dark secrets lurking in her past not only cost them their future together, but their very lives?



Angelyn said...

your photos are always amazing

ManicScribbler said...

So beautiful! What a treat.

Tamara Hunter said...

Love the photos!! I just love Spring!

Congrats on being a finalist in the OKRWA National Readers' Choice Awards! It's totally well deserved and here's hoping you win!!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks tons, Angelyn! I'm glad you like them!

ManicScribbler, thank you! I'm happy you liked the spring treat!

Tamara, thanks so much! The gardens were so beautiful yesterday, I just had to share. Thanks also about being a finalist! It's a huge honor for sure!

Natasha Moore said...

Beautiful! Sill waiting for the trees to bloom around here.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Fantastic pictures. I tweeted.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Natasha! I hope you get your spring soon!

Ella, thank you so much!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

You always do such a great job with your photos of flowers. I am especially fond of tulips. Our Dutch children took us to the fields in Holland on one trip. It is mind boggling to see these fields of tulips. Thanks for the memories today and thanks for sharing your talent.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thank you, Paisley! How amazing it must have been to see the tulips in Holland! I've seen photos and the tulips there are truly the most impressive in the world.

Vanessa Holland said...

Beautiful pictures, Vonda! Especially the tulips. I hope you had a great day at the Biltmore!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thank you, Vanessa! I was only there for an hour or two but it was fun. :)

Lana Williams said...

Lovely, Vonda! It is snowing in Colorado today, so it was nice to see pics of spring!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Lana! I got so tired of the snow and cold. So hoping it's over for the year where I am. Hope you get spring soon in CO!

Anonymous said...

The bluebells are my favorite. Wonderful post!

Pat McDermott said...

Vonda, your wonderful photos are timely for this New Hampshire resident. The forsythia is finally starting to bloom, the daffs are coming up. So tired of winter! I love the quotes you added to the pix. And congrats and good luck with OKRWA!

Vonda Sinclair said...

I also LOVE bluebells, Sherrie. Thanks!

Pat, thank you! I'm glad I could give you a glimpse of spring. Hope yours comes soon. Thanks also about the OKRWA final. I'm thrilled!

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Your floral photos are superb, Vonda. When is the best time of year to visit the gardens?

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Dawn! Mid to late April is a good time to visit if you love tulips. The peak is probably different times depending on the year and how the weather has been. If you like azaleas (they have an azalea garden) then probably the first or second week of May (this year.) I think they are supposed to have info on their website about which flowers are at their peak when.

Patricia Preston said...

Loved the photos! How beautiful!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thank you, Patricia! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

Angela Johnson said...

You are an amazing photographer, Vonda. I've got spring fever really bad now. Mother Nature has being extremely fickle this spring in Kansas. We've had unusually cold temperatures. Just yesterday we had an inch of snow on top of the budding new flowers. Go figure.

Beth Trissel said...

What wonderful pics, Vonda. I was at the Biltmore years ago, but it was in hot summer. Has anyone else sensed that it's haunted? I sure had that feeling.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Angela!! I'm sorry to hear about the snow on the flowers. Hope spring comes to Kansas soon!

Beth, thank you!! Yes, it can get very hot at Biltmore in summer. I haven't sensed that it's haunted but I'll have to pay more attention when I go on another tour through the house.