Biltmore Blooms!


Living in Asheville, NC gives a unique opportunity to enjoy many wonders of nature.  I have posted pictures previously of the vistas from the Blue Ridge Parkway and recently from the Asheville Orchid Show at the NC Arboretum.

 

We also live quite close to Biltmore House and Estate, the home of the Vanderbilt family.  The house is a beautiful piece of architecture and the grounds were designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

 

One portion of the gardens is the famed Walled Garden, where my sister and I went yesterday to enjoy the annual Biltmore Blooms – an amazing display of color and growth as millions of bulbs — as many as 8 in a single hole — fill the air with color and fragrance.

 

I’m from the Great Lakes.  It was April 1, and we’d be lucky to have the first daffodils in bloom this time of year, back home in the North.  It was amazing to see tulips and daffodils in full bloom!

 

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

 

Biltmore House
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Profusion of Color Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Pastels in Bloom
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Beauty never ending
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

View of Biltmore House from the Walled Garden
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

The Garden Wall
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

So much color
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Vibrant Color Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Blooming Flame
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Color upon Color
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Garden after Garden
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

NC Orchid Show at NC Arboretum


Last weekend, my sister and I went to the Orchid Show at the NC Arboretum.  As those of you have been following me for the last several years probably remember, I am a big fan of Orchids!  I went to the Orchid Show at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens every year.  I thought it was the most wonderful show I’d ever seen!

 

I was wrong.  The NC Orchid Show was the most amazing flower show of any kind I have ever been to !  It was 2 or 3 times the size of the Cleveland show, with exhibitors from as far away as Ecuador, and local and regional growers and exhibitors.

 

We had not intended to purchase orchids, but could not resist the offerings of Peach State Orchids and came home with two gorgeous specimens.

 

I hope you enjoy the photos!

(all photographs by Barbara Mattio, Copyright 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legos and Flowers


Frederick Law Olmsted was known as the father of American Landscape Architecture.  He completed over 500 landscape architecture projects during his lifetime, starting with  Central Park in New York City and finishing with the design for Biltmore Estate, here in Asheville, NC.

 

He is honored in Landscape Architecture circles and his design philosophy — that landscape architecture should include design elements that promote aesthetics, economics, environment and social needs — are at the heart of the North Carolina Arboretum, where Amy & I spent a lovely day.

 

His influence is so great, that the Arboretum commissioned a statue of him:

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Frederick Law Olmsted. 8ft Bronze – Statue by Zenos Frudakis 2016 Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

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Frederick Law Olmsted. 8ft Bronze – Statue by Zenos Frudakis 2016 – full view Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio

 

Also at the Arboretum this weekend — and for the rest of September and into October — is an exhibit of flower- and nature-based Lego sculptures, magnificent in both scale and execution.  I was so taken by their complexity and beauty, that I felt I had to share them with you, with some photos of some of the flowers they emulate.

 

I hope you enjoy them.

 

Sundial in Legos

Sundial in Legos Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

 

Train in the gardens. It is an O gauge. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio,2016

Train in the gardens. It is an O gauge. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio,2016

 

 

 

O gauge train. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

O gauge train. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

Two O gauge trains. Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Two O gauge trains. Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

O gauge train. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

O gauge train. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

 

O gauge train photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

O gauge train photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

 

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Lego Woodpecker Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Giant White Lily Lego Sculpture (approx. 6 feet in length)

Giant White Lily Lego Sculpture (approx. 6 feet in length) Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Life-Size Lego Rototiller

Life-Size Lego Rototiller Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Purple Orchid (this one is real!)

Purple Orchid (this one is real!) Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Lego Purple Orchid

Lego Purple Orchid Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Real Monarch Butterfly on Flower

Real Monarch Butterfly on Flower Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Lego Monarch Butterfly on Flower

Lego Monarch Butterfly on Flower Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

Lego Hummingbird Drinking from Flower Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

Lego Hummingbird Drinking from Flower Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio

 

 

Lego duck family. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio,2016

Lego duck family. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio,2016

8 Things Happy People Do Differently


Today we are taking a day trip to see a bald mountain. Why? Well, because Rhododendrons which cover the bald area in bloom. People told us about them and we thought it sounded like a local myth. It isn’t. I will, of course, be taking photographs which I will share with you. Have a great day everyone.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

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This is What I Always Say…


Hello everyone,

I am writing today to share something that many of you who have followed me here at WordPress have heard me say before. We are not born racist.  We are born completely loving and accepting of goodness. We are born not seeing each other differently but as a version of ourselves. We are not racist at birth. What happens? Well, we are taught by others, by adults to be racist. We are taught to care what color we are and what color others are. We are taught that color has value. Some colors are more important than others.

 

Being a painter as well as a photographer, color is important to me. The color of a flower, a bird, a tree, the color of sand at the beach, the color of the majestic mountains which scrape the sky. When I am painting, I often mix two or perhaps three colors to create the perfect color for what I am painting in the world. One color is not needed more than others. Some colors are needed in just a little dab. Sometimes you wash a little color over what you have already painted to enhance the color. It doesn’t really change it. It deepens or accentuates the color. Every color on my palate is just as important to me as the next one. Yes, they are different, but each has equal value to the heart and to this beautiful Universe.

 

I included the Iris below because it is an unusual color. I raised it and photographed it. It not a common color for an iris, but it is a pretty color. And the photograph is my gift to you. I can’t really give you a gift but this is as close as I can come. Please accept it in the spirit in which it is given.

 

Golden Iris. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

Golden Iris. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

 

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I am also writing this blog in memory of every human being, adult or child, who has suffered in any way or has been killed because of the color of their skin. I am writing for every grief stricken parent who will never be able to fill the hole within themselves. I am writing for every sibling left behind because their sister or brother is dead because of the color of their skin. I am writing for every lost sibling who will never laugh together over a private joke. I write today for everyone who is different in some manner and is afraid that one day someone will kill them for their differences.

 

I am writing this today for a young man. A young man who worked for me along time ago. He was a hard worker, he had a good sense of humor, he had a good and loving heart. He offered someone a ride home one evening and the person slit his throat because he was different. He bled out all alone. I am sure he was afraid, and wondering why? Why? Why?

Because he was different and this person hated him for being different. Labels were applied by the stranger who killed him and so he slowly bled out behind the wheel of his car alone. Alone and gone too soon.

 

“Immature grapes are made by the breath of the Master.

Then the sourness of duality, hate, and strife disappears,

and they are peeled of their skins to become one in the wine.”

—Rumi

My Green Thumb


I was having a really interesting conversation with a friend yesterday, and my friend, who has never been to any of my houses up north, where I had room for gardens, asked me if I have a green thumb.

 

I decided that, rather than just answering, “yes, I do”, I would post some pictures of gardens and flowers that I loved so much.  It is one of the very few things I miss now that I moved to the South, because I no longer have room for gardens.

 

I hope you enjoy them, and perhaps even become inspired to add your own gardens.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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Daffodils around a light post in Bay Village, OH Copyright and Photograph by Barbara Mattio 2006

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Tulips in the garden. Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2006

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Tulips by the Fence. Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2006

Flowing Plum Tree in bloom. In memory of my late husband. Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2006

Flowing Plum Tree in bloom. In memory of my late husband. Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2006

Weeping Cherry in Bloom. Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2006

Weeping Cherry in Bloom. Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2006

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House and Garden Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2005

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Red Rhododendron Bay Village OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2005

Iris and Rhody

Blue Iris and White Rhododendron Bay Village, OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2005

 

Front Porch and Garden Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2009

Front Porch and Garden Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2009

Front porch and garden Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2009

Front porch and garden Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2009

Autumn blooming white Clematis Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2009

Autumn blooming white Clematis Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2009

Front porch and garden Late Summer Avon OH Photograph and Copyright 2009

Front porch and garden Late Summer Avon OH Photograph and Copyright 2009

Rio Rose bloom Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Rio Rose bloom Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Dahlias Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Dahlias Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Hardy Hibiscus Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Hardy Hibiscus Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

 

Dutch Irises. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2015

Dutch Irises. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2015

Pink Drift Rose Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Pink Drift Rose Avon OH Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014

Teaching Peace


Le Petit Journal posted this video in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, and I wanted to share it with you.  It is important that we teach Peace to our children, and that we make sure they do not grow up afraid of others, because fear breeds hatred and violence.  There will always be bad men, but good men can overcome them with Peace, Love, Compassion, Kindness and Gentleness; and, yes, Flowers and Candles.

Namaste,
Barbara The Idealistic RebelParisPeaceSign

 

 

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