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Thanks to the great efforts of our garden staff, Bank to Bend will take place as planned. Here are the updates on the conditions and schedule:

10:00-3:00  Plant Sales by Carolyn’s Shade Garden

Carolyn will have hellebores and cyclamen for sale. There will also be a limited number of the common Galanthus nivalis available for purchase in the bookstore.

11:00-noon  ‘Myddelton House Gardens’ Lecture in Copeland

Andrew Turvey’s flight got in safely and he is ready to share the progress at Myddelton with us.

1:00-2:00  ‘An Introduction to Snowdrops’ workshop at Brown Center

The workshop will run as planned at 1:00.

1:00-2:00  & 3:00-4:00 March Bank Tour start at VC

The walking tours will run as planned, though we won’t see any snowdrops – just a winter wonderland!

All Day  Spring Tour & Conservatory Display in the House

Will run as planned.

Adonis Adonis2 tough

Yes, there are plants in flower on the March Bank despite the unrelenting cold!

Snowdrops from 'My Garden in Spring' by EA Bowles 1914

Snowdrops from ‘My Garden in Spring’ by EA Bowles 1914

Our first program of the year – and your invitation to get a taste of spring – is Bank to Bend, an event that celebrates the history of the garden and the du Pont family’s habit of walking the March Bank in search of the first flowers of spring.

This year’s lecture will be delivered by Andrew Turvey of Myddelton House Gardens. This historic garden is the former home of Edward Augustus Bowles ( 1865-1954), one of Britain’s most famous self-taught gardeners, author, artists and botanists. Bowles’ famous My Garden trilogy describing Myddelton in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter is still widely read and respected by garden enthusiasts world-wide. During Andrew’s talk he will introduce EA Bowles and his achievements, his love for bulbs including Crocus, Narcissus and Galanthus and talk about how he coined the phrase Galanthophile. The garden is in the midst of extensive restoration and Andrew will share with us their progress and future plans.

Another image from 'My Garden in Spring'

Another image from ‘My Garden in Spring’

As usual the day will include the opportunity to purchase rare and specialty plants from Carolyn’s Shade Garden, have lunch in the Pavilion, and walk the March Bank on your own or with a guided tour. This year we are adding a drop-in Snowdrop Workshop in the Brown Center and this is the perfect opportunity to visit the recently restored conservatory on the Cottage. Here is a schedule of the day’s events:

10:00-3:00  Plant Sales by Carolyn’s Shade Garden

11:00-noon  ‘Myddelton House Gardens’ Lecture in Copeland

1:00-2:00  ‘An Introduction to Snowdrops’ workshop at Brown Center

1:00-2:00  March Bank Tour start at VC

3:00-4:00  March Bank Tour start at VC

All Day  Self-guided White Arrow Tour starting at the Visitor Center

All Day  Spring Tour & Conservatory Display in the House

All Day  Plant Sales at Museum Store

Below are some photographs I took of Myddelton this summer with my iPhone. It is truly a magical place and I can’t wait to here more about it from Andrew.

Myddelton3 Myddelton5 Myddelton4

To register for any Winterthur Garden program, please call 800.448.3883 or 302.888.4600. 

Winterthur Garden Internship

Laura Cruz, our nearly year-long Garden Intern writes the following about her experience in the Winterthur Garden:

This past summer I completed a horticulture internship at Winterthur.  I decided to apply for this particular internship because, having studied landscape architecture, I wanted to compliment my degree by learning more about historic garden design as well as gain practical horticulture skills.

The internship truly went beyond all my expectations. I had the chance to live and work on Winterthur’s beautiful woodland estate and have this world-class garden as my backyard.  The other interns I worked alongside had backgrounds in disciplines from horticulture to biology, design and agriculture and I think we were all given the opportunity to tailor our internships to meet our individual needs and interests- for example, with my design background I had the chance to help with GIS mapping and other design related work.

By working with different horticulturists in a variety of garden areas we gained experience in a range of horticultural practices.  There were weekly service projects, plant IDs, garden trips, workshops and opportunities for networking with other garden professionals and interns throughout the region.  Interning at Winterthur gave me the chance to enhance my skills, knowledge and confidence to go on to a full-time job in the horticulture and design industry, which I start in a few weeks!

To learn more about paid Winterthur internships and apply, check out:

http://www.winterthur.org/?p=778

Tree climbing demonstration with one of Winterthur’s full-time arborists

Tree climbing demonstration with one of Winterthur’s full-time arborists

Woodland perennials staged and ready to plant!

Woodland perennials staged and ready to plant!

Enjoying the sights and smells of plant identification on Sycamore Hill.

Enjoying the sights and smells of plant identification on Sycamore Hill.

The One-Armed Waver

Working in and caring for an historic garden can sometimes shift what could be construed as normal garden sense i.e. keeping a plant that is long past its aesthetic contribution because of its historic relevance.  Case in point:

Cherry tree on Sycamore Hill

Cherry tree on Sycamore Hill

This poor old specimen of a cherry tree has gone from a regal adornment a top a hillside of daffodils to an almost cartoonish figure of a one-armed waving tree, greeting guests as they stroll along Garden Lane.  OK, maybe I have an active imagination…

This cherry tree has been in decline over the past few years.  Our arborists have been slowly removing bits of dead but last winter’s accumulation of ice and snow lead to two limb failures with the end result being our one-armed waver.  Yet despite it all,  it still flowered last spring!

The reason it still remains is not for its cartoonish aesthetic—although it is a conversation starter; it’s because we don’t know what type of cherry tree it is.  A few years back when the tree was starting to show some significant dieback, our plant records were consulted to start the documentation process of removing and replacing the tree.  During this procedure we found that this tree had “no name and no history” in our garden.  It’s a curious thing when some plants or some areas of the garden can have so much documentation and yet others very little or as in this case, none.

When we found this tree to be undocumented, we started the process of having it propagated so that we could replace in kind the same tree regardless of what it is.  That proved to be somewhat difficult in that although it is still alive, it has not provided good growth needed for propagation material.  Cuttings have been taken over the past two or so years but so far without success.  Our last resort will be a visit by some local plant experts this spring to help us identify the cherry—provided the remaining branch makes it through this winter and that the timing is good for our experts to catch the notoriously fleeting cherry blossoms.  Washington, DC is not the only one who will be fretting over the timing of the cherry blossoms this year…

After a (hopefully) successful identification of our elusive cherry tree, our arborists will come in and “complete the lifecycle”, making way for a new and well-documented cherry tree to begin the process of renewal in the garden once more.

A Much Fuller Canopy a Few Years Back

A Much Fuller Canopy a Few Years Back

The Garden Programs 2015 have been posted, both on Winterthur’s website and on the Garden Programs page of the blog (see 2015 tab above). I will be adding information and updates about these classes, programs, and events over the next several weeks, so check back here often for new information.

Snowdrops from 'My Garden in Spring' by EA Bowles 1914

Snowdrops from ‘My Garden in Spring’ by EA Bowles 1914

Our first program of the year is always Bank to Bend, an event that celebrates the history of the garden and the du Pont family’s habit of walking the March Bank in search of the first flowers of spring.

This year’s lecture will be delivered by Andrew Turvey of Myddelton House Gardens. This historic garden is the former home of Edward Augustus Bowles ( 1865-1954), one of Britain’s most famous self-taught gardeners, author, artists and botanists. Bowles’ famous My Garden trilogy describing Myddelton in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter is still widely read and respected by garden enthusiasts world-wide. During Andrew’s talk he will introduce EA Bowles and his achievements, his love for bulbs including Crocus, Narcissus and Galanthus and talk about how he coined the phrase Galanthophile. The garden is in the midst of extensive restoration and Andrew will share with us their progress and future plans.

Another image from 'My Garden in Spring'

Another image from ‘My Garden in Spring’

As usual the day will include the opportunity to purchase rare and specialty plants from Carolyn’s Shade Garden, have lunch in the Pavilion, and walk the March Bank on your own or with a guided tour.

Information about the day’s schedule can be found here.

Below are some photographs I took of Myddelton this summer with my iPhone. It is truly a magical place and I can’t wait to here more about it from Andrew.

Myddelton3  Myddelton5  Myddelton4

Today we had a beautiful, but very cold, walk out to the Pinetum and across the Quarry Garden bridge. Congratulations to everyone who turned out – this is the coldest walk I’ve led at Winterthur! 21 degrees on our weather station thermometer, but it felt much chillier with the wind blowing.

cold

Before the walk we previewed the Pinetum by looking at some historic images. This is a great photo of the blue Atlas cedar circle when the tree is very young.

Pinetum web

 

Yes, we will try and have the 2nd Saturday Walk this Saturday, January 10. The walk will be at 1:00 starting at the Visitor Center and will last about an hour. There will be snow on the ground and it could be slippery in a few areas, so wear appropriate footwear! To confirm that we are actually having the walk, call my number at (302) 888-4915. I will update the message Saturday morning letting you know that we are on.

trees and fish 001

Chris

Yuletide Tour Sneak Peek

DSC_3861 B.Leitch Hall of Statues compressed

Hall of Statues featuring the Enchanted Woods Tree and the Azalea Woods Tree (B.Leitch photo)

DSC_3864 B.Leitch fairy circle compressed

Look for the fairy ring under the Enchanted Woods tree (B.Leitch photo)

DSC_3866 B. Leitch peony tree compressed

Makes one thing of spring! Azalea Woods Tree (B.Leitch photo)

Front sign B.Leitch compressed DSC_3893

Turn here! (B.Leitch photo)

Montmorenci B.Leitch compressed DSC_3828

Montmorenci Staircase (B.Leitch photo)

Ornament B.Leitch compressed DSC_3841

Ornament on tree in conservatory (B.Leitch photo)

 

 

Our talented and kind volunteer, Bob Leitch, shares photographs of Winterthur at Yuletide. The guided Yuletide tour, of the 1st, 4th, and 5th floors of the house, began on November 22 and will run until January 4th.

You’ll probably want to purchase tickets online to reserve your spot on the tour…with Downton Abbey, it’s pretty busy here. In fact, Yuletide tours are sold out on November 28, December 6, and December 7!

Here’s the Winterthur web page about the tour: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=954

Plus, Jazz and Wine nights – that sounds like fun! http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1186

And, where to purchase tickets online for specific dates: https://secure.winterthur.org/ecommerce/ItemList.aspx

 

 

11.18.2014 pink impression tulip bulbs a kls

Michelle plants them in groups of about 5 so they form big pink ‘bouquets’ in the spring.

11.18.2014 pink impression tulip bulbs and rock wall kls

Talk about a raised bed – this one is at eyebrow level!

 

Last week, I noticed horticulturist Michelle S busily planting tulips in the (very!) raised bed near the entrance to the Brown Horticulture Learning Center.  She said she was planting ‘Pink Impression’ tulips for an improved spring display, adding to tulips planted in previous years. Maybe a warm day like today would be a good time to put bulb planter to soil in our home gardens!

Here’s a good source for fall planting: https://store.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/spring/productview/?sku=02-0418

 

Also, during last week’s chill, our volunteers were out surveying the Winterthur Garden in search of blooms and berries. Here’s what they found:

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur Bloom List 11.19.2014 no38.pdf

Quarry Weirs Restoration

There has been a lot of activity below the Quarry Bridge over the past week; diversion of water, sediment removal, rock—or rather boulder placement and gentle grading.  Masonry preparation for repointing of the actual weirs has also taken place.

The reason behind all of the bustling is simple; the ponds had filled up with sediment, the sides needed better stabilization and the water was diverting every which way except for over the weirs.

The contractors who are working on the site have done similar projects on our many waterways here on the estate.  Pennoni Associates, Inc. is managing the project while Meadville Land Services, Inc work on “everything stream” and Rizzo Construction Company, Inc repairs the masonry.

In addition to countless pre-construction meetings, staff from the garden department has made several trips to a local quarry to hand select stone (about 35 tons worth), been on site to ensure placement of the stone matches the Winterthur aesthetic, problem-solved alongside contractors when the unexpected arose, and much documentation both through photos and GIS mapping.

Rain is giving the project a day of rest—and time for a blog post—but will continue on into at least next week.  The area is off limits to guests but safe viewing from the Quarry Bridge, Bristol Summerhouse on Sycamore Hill or on the bench on top of Colchicum Hill, will give a good snapshot of all aspects involved in this restoration.  Come and take a peek or at the very least enjoy the finished project for years to come.

Sediment Removal

Sediment Removal

 

Placement of Stone

Placement of Stone

Masonry Repairs

Masonry Repairs

Finished Stonework and Grading

Finished Stonework and Grading

More Stone Work

More Stone Work