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Lecture on Biltmore gardens’ botanical history presented July 17 Garden tour offered July 18

biltmore_t.jpgBOONE—Bill Alexander, landscape and forest historian for the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, will present a program on the botanical history of the Biltmore gardens July 17 at Appalachian State University.

The program begins at 3:30 p.m. in room 114 Belk Library and Information Commons. The event is free; however seating is limited to 125.

In addition, a trip to the Biltmore Estate will be offered Friday, July 18, with Alexander providing a special tour of the property. The cost is $75 per person and includes transportation, garden tour, house admission, lunch and a visit to the winery. A charter bus will leave from the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center at 7 a.m. and stop at the Shoppes at Tynecastle at 7:45 a.m. for Avery County participants. The bus will return to Boone at approximately 6 p.m.

Reservations for the tour must be made by Thursday, July 10. Send checks payable to the ASU Foundation to Lynn Patterson; PO Box 32026; Belk Library and Information Commons; Appalachian State University; Boone, NC 28608. For more information, call Patterson at (828) 262-2087.

Bill Alexander is the author of the recently published “The Biltmore Nursery: A Botanical Legacy.” A book signing with refreshments will follow the lecture immediately in room 421 in the library. “The Biltmore Nursery” describes the history and catalogs the botanicals of the 120,000-acre Biltmore Estate.

The Biltmore gardens were designed by the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted.

Olmsted, whose design legacy includes the grounds for the U.S. Capitol, Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” park system and New York’s Central Park, was hired by George W. Vanderbilt to create an estate in the style of an English manor. Instead, Olmsted convinced Vanderbilt that the land was better suited for a different concept, with grand gardens near the house, a nine-mile arboretum connecting the house to the French Broad River, and a majestic 80,000-acre forest beyond.