A gardener’s frustration with the weather is timeless and universal. The following excerpts, gathered together by our Estate Historian Maggie Lidz, are quotes by the du Ponts as they struggled with the Winterthur garden during the month of June, which was sometimes too wet, sometimes too dry and only very occasionally just right.
June 5, 1942 H.F. du Pont to John Magee, box 351: I played golf in the morning at which time it was a lovely pleasant day; but in the afternoon about four o’clock a fierce wind and rain storm began. Before you could say “Jack Robinson” there wasn’t an inch of lawn that wasn’t covered with little leafy twigs and between them were hailstones. It looked just like a green and white piece of needlework and was very beautiful.
June 7, 1962 Leslie Potts to H.F. du Pont, who was in England, WF15: We have had a very warm spring and a very dry one, and it is starting to take its toll, in that the grass is burning up.
June 9, 1967 H.F. du Pont to Bertha Rose, box 386: We are finally having four days without rain and I have been finding a place for the children of the late-blooming azaleas, which are still holding their own. These late bloomers will increase the enjoyment of the visitors to the June garden. One Saturday in May we had 2,000 and 1,000 on Sunday, which is really too many people.
June 10, 1926, H.A. du Pont to Professor Sargent: My place has never looked so well nor have the trees and shrubs been so floriferous …Our large white azalea was magnificent and my calendulacea azaleas were finer than ever before while the Kaemferi and other varieties are beginning to make some show. My evergreens came through the winter very well and al bid fair to make a strong growth this year.
June 10, 1948 H.F. du Pont to Baron Franz von Preuschen, box 427: I have specialized on our Azaleas for many years now and they really are superb. Some varieties start blooming early in April and the late ones are good till almost the end of May.
June 16, 1947 H.F. du Pont to Harold Vanderbilt, box 426: We have had the most dreadful weather here—very cold and rainy, and I don’t see any prospect of the alfalfa ever drying.
June 17 1932 Ruth Wales du Pont to her mother: RE & I had the most wonderful ride this am all out SE saw some beautiful country , a bluebird, & a family of quail, the babies too sweet. She is a wonderful horsewoman & nature-lover as well, I think.
June 18, 1943 H.F. du Pont to Bert Ives, box 338: my azaleas this year were a mass of bloom also. I now have a lovely plantation of them in the woods near the golf course. In fact, it is quite a feature.
June 28 1922 H.F. du Pont to Professor Charles Sargent: We are having a very wet June and I presume that it is good for the trees and bulbs but it is extremely bad for our haying. I feel quite desperate.