|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
He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.
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!'
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.
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
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 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 façade and melt her heart, or will the dark secrets lurking in her past not only cost them their future together, but their very lives?