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One of our Garden and Estate Interns Sam Greenberg writes the following about a recent experience:

On July 9th, the Winterthur interns traveled to Awbury Arboretum for the Regional Intern Outreach Day. We were joined by interns from a dozen different organizations including Longwood, Mt. Cuba, and the Morris Arboretum. As soon as we arrived we were split into groups and given our work assignments. Our assignments included nursery restoration, invasive plant removal, as well as planting an embankment.

 

Interns working on and embankment

Interns working on and embankment

After a humid day of work, we were treated to lunch and enjoyed listening to the panel answer our questions. George Coombs, Melanie Sifton, and Carrie Wiles did a great job and answered a range of questions including using native plants exclusively within gardens as well as giving general career advice. George Coombs from Mt. Cuba gave a great answer on redefining what people think of when they hear the term native plants. Melanie Sifton shared with the group some of the qualities that she looks for when hiring at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Carrie Wiles told us her experiences and her career path that led her toward her current job at North Creek Nurseries. It was a wonderful day and a great way to help out the surrounding public garden community.

 

Francis Cope House was the setting for lunch and lecture

Francis Cope House was the setting for lunch and lecture

Interns learning from horticultural panel

Interns learning from horticultural panel

 

 

 

July 29, 2015

Join Winterthur horticulturist David Schurr, as he welcomes the true movers and shakers of the Winterthur Garden—the summer garden interns. Hear first-hand accounts of what a summer is like living and working on an American treasure.

7-29 intern photo 2

Walks last 45–60 minutes. Join us for demonstrations, talks, and guided walks covering a wide range of gardening topics. These events begin at 11:30 am on Wednesdays from April through October (except August). Wednesday at Winterthur is free with all admission tickets. Members are free.

No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough ground and steep garden paths.

July 22, 2015

In August 2014, Winterthur gained two new residents—Franklin and Stanley, a pair of Boer goats. The Natural Lands team acquired these two friendly fellows from the New Castle County 4-H program and will be using them to reduce the densities of various woody invasive plants throughout our woodlands. Come out to meet Franklin and Stanley in person, feed them some treats, and learn how goats are gaining popularity across the country as an effective invasive plant management tool and how Winterthur plans to use them!

7-22 meet the goats

Walks last 45–60 minutes. Join us for demonstrations, talks, and guided walks covering a wide range of gardening topics. These events begin at 11:30 am on Wednesdays from April through October (except August). Wednesday at Winterthur is free with all admission tickets. Members are free.

No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough ground and steep garden paths.

You might not realize it yet, but this is a red letter day at Winterthur. The garden blog hit 1000 posts!  Hooray! Now, on to #1001.

First, my apologies for my blogerial absence. Been doing a little world and U. S. of A. traveling. Had the great good fortune of visiting Peterhof gardens outside St. Petersburg. (The ‘real’ St. Petersburg, not ‘St. Pete’ in Florida.)  Gotta say, as much I enjoyed the garden of the czars, I think a combined a visit to Longwood, Winterthur, and Nemours beats Peterhof hands down.  And no passport and visa required!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the weather lately. When do we ever get this low of humidity in Delaware in mid-July?  So, have I got plans?  Yes, I do.

Yesterday, I enjoyed lunch with former colleagues and forever friends at Winterthur, then while they went back to their offices (sorry, gang!), I strolled through the Winterthur Garden. Here are pictures from my walk. Such fun!

 

Crape myrtles near Dorrance Galley

Crape myrtles near Dorrance Galley

Lovely container plantings surround the newly-restored Italian Gate, just past the Dorrance Gallery

Lovely container plantings surround the newly-restored Italian Gate, just past the Dorrance Gallery

This spot is just begging for you to sit a spell. On the upper terrace, above the Reflecting Pool.

This spot is just begging for you to sit a spell. On the upper terrace, above the Reflecting Pool.

The Boxscroll Garden

The Box Scroll Garden

The Magnolias of the Sundail Garden

The Magnolias of the Sundial Garden

Sundial Garden, looking towards Sycamore Hill, with Dawn Redwood in left background

Sundial Garden, looking towards Sycamore Hill, with Dawn Redwood in left background

View across the back ponds with restored weirs below the Quarry Garden

View across the back ponds with restored weirs below the Quarry Garden

Plum-leaf Azalea near Quarry Garden

Plum-leaf Azalea near Quarry Garden

A beautiful day lily near Reflecting Pool bath house.

A beautiful day lily near Reflecting Pool bath house.

A very happy bee lives here...agapanthus in containers around the Reflecting Pool

A very happy bee lives here…agapanthus in containers around the Reflecting Pool

Red maples in containers by Brown Horticulture Center

Red maples in containers by Brown Horticulture Center

 

And today? An afternoon hike through the shade at Mt. Cuba Center, then we’re meeting friends at Longwood Gardens to see the Nightscape exhibition plus dinner at their Victory Beer Garden.  (I was torn…Winterthur is having a Pop-up Beer Garden tonight too…so many great choices!)

Main observations on my walk at Winterthur yesterday:

* lots and lots of families with children were thoroughly enjoying the garden on a most beautiful day. Heard squeals of delight across the landscape.

* the garden suffered tremendous tree losses during a recent storm, but the garden department has done a yeoman’s job of cleaning everything up. You might know how much I love trees, so seeing the remaining damage was hard on my heart. (I should look it up…what exactly does a yeoman do?)

* if you look just above the Quarry Garden and below Enchanted Woods, you find an azalea is full bloom. It’s a cheery orange-red plum-leaf azalea. Blooms in mid-summer every year!

* when I picture the garden of Eden, the lower March Bank walk, with all the ferns comes to mind…with clothes on, of course.

* I’m really lucky to live close enough to walk here whenever the mood (and good weather) strike!

 

The Less Traveled Paths

The white arrow tour that winds visitors through the garden in the spring has a summer twist to it.  The directional arrows have changed to a seasonal yellow color and now lead visitors through the wider estate to experience the dynamic habitat of our meadows.

Yellow Arrow in the Field

Yellow Arrow in the Field

The meadows at Winterthur are part of the rolling landscape of the Piedmont and many of the unimpeded views alone make the walk worth the trip.  There also lies a lot of beauty and activity within.  Tall tawny-colored grasses are accented with different wildflowers of the season.

Wildflowers in Meadow

Wildflowers in Meadow

 

Wildflowers in Meadow

Wildflowers in Meadow

 

Wildflowers in Meadow

Wildflowers in Meadow

Swallows and purple martins show off their adept flying skills in their constant search for insects. Damselflies and dragon flies hover just above the height of the fields and of course, there are butterflies.  From a distance, the landscape is breathtaking but when immersed in it, the flurry of activity is magical.

I asked Rachel Sadowski, one of our Natural Lands Interns for a synopsis of the trails and she wrote and the following:

There are two loops:

  • The big loop starts at the front pond near the Visitors Center, goes past Chandler Woods over to Browns Meadow then down Sycamore Hill and finishes at the Quarry.
  • There is also an option for a smaller loop that starts on Garden Lane at Browns Meadow—near Magnolia Bend and goes through the meadow, over to Sycamore Hill and around to the Quarry.

The big loop also goes directly past the trailheads for Chandler Woods and Browns Woods, while the small loop goes past just Browns Woods, for optional walking additions.

 

Venture in part of the estate that you may not have before.  Bring along your favorite flower/bird/insect guide book (or a smart phone) and do a little nature exploration and if you don’t know the difference between a damsel and dragon fly, now is your chance to find out!

I'll Take a Stab at it; Horace's Duskywing Butterfly?

I’ll Take a Stab at it; Horace’s Duskywing Butterfly?

July 15, 2015

Groundcovers are low-growing plants used to cover bare ground and prevent the growth of weeds. They also can be useful in problem areas, such as slopes where mowing grass would be difficult. They’re useful in any garden—public or private—and they provide an ornamental layer as well. There are many groundcovers available. Some do well even in full shade, others in bright sun, in wet soil, under dry soil conditions, where deer are a problem, and many are practically disease resistant. Come for a walk through the Winterthur Garden and see how the horticulturists put groundcovers to work.

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Walks last 45–60 minutes. Join us for demonstrations, talks, and guided walks covering a wide range of gardening topics. These events begin at 11:30 am on Wednesdays from April through October (except August). Wednesday at Winterthur is free with all admission tickets. Members are free.

No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough ground and steep garden paths.

 

July 8, 2015

Over the past years, we have been replanting and restoring the design intent of the Winterthur Garden as envisioned by its creator, Henry Francis du Pont. Join Linda Eirhart, director of horticulture and curator of plants, to learn more about our process for garden restoration and to review examples of our work.

7-8 Garden restoration

Talk last 45–60 minutes. Join us for demonstrations, talks, and guided walks covering a wide range of gardening topics. These events begin at 11:30 am on Wednesdays from April through October (except August). Wednesdays at Winterthur is free with all admission tickets. Members are free.

No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough ground and steep garden paths.

July 1, 2015

Initially conceived by Henry Francis du Pont’s father, the Colonel, in collaboration with the noted plantsman Charles Sargent, the Pinetum has evolved into much more than just a collection of conifers. Placement and design of the plants there and well as their history will be highlighted on this walk.

7-1 pinetum W@W

Walks last 45–60 minutes. Join us for demonstrations, talks, and guided walks covering a wide range of gardening topics. These events begin at 11:30 am on Wednesdays from April through October (except August). Wednesdays at Winterthur is free with all admission tickets. Members are free.

No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough ground and steep garden paths.

There are drifts of hydrangeas planted along the shady reaches of Old Gatehouse Road, just a couple hundred feet from the Galleries Building. It is worth a stroll to see the shades of pink and blue and the enjoy the light fragrance.

June 24, 2015

Join horticulturist Jessica Tsakiris on a walk through Icewell Terrace as she describes the shade-loving perennials that reside there.

6-24 Icewell

Walks last 45–60 minutes. Join us for demonstrations, talks, and guided walks covering a wide range of gardening topics. These events begin at 11:30 am on Wednesdays from April through October (except August). Wednesdays at Winterthur is free with all admission tickets. Members are free.

No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough ground and steep garden paths.