Just in time for your plans this weekend, Doris Dengler, a volunteer who keeps an eye on the signs to Enchanted Woods, makes her report:
Weekend afternoons don’t come much better than this. Bright sunshine, a china-blue dome of a sky, and a cool breeze. And there can be no better place to enjoy such a day than the Winterthur Garden!
I arrived about noon. Walking the path from the Visitor’s Center, one’s eye is caught by the brilliance of the greens, on the forest floor and ceiling. Brilliant green ferns swaying in the breeze, deep green of periwinkle; and then the sparkle of myriads of white wood asters and the regal white of the tall royal standard hosta. Up the hill from the underpass was a veritable bridal walk!
It was a quiet day in the garden. The wind was whispering, there was an occasional bird call. All was soothing and serene. The trees stand in silent majesty. I recently read somewhere that the Ponderosas in the West have achieved remarkable growth this year. I think the same is true of Winterthur’s old patriarch’s.
So I meandered along Garden Lane, took a little detour through Azalea Woods savoring the beauty and quiet of it all, then at Magnolia Bend turning to the right along the fern-filled glade of the March Bank. Just a smile and a nod to fellow-travelers along the way (no one seemed to want to break the spell.)
Even Enchanted Woods bore an aura of serenity! There were couples wandering through. As I sat and rested on one of the swings around the Gathering Green, I watched a young girl and her equally young-looking grandmother explore the cottage and the old water well beyond and then wander off in search of other whimsies and surprises.
This has been an unusual year, weather-wise, and I noticed another example of its results today. There were hydrangeas in Enchanted Woods that seem to be producing a second bloom cycle. On one or two plants, there were blooms already dried and blooms beginning to turn pink as well as some fresh new white blooms.
Refreshed and relaxed, I concluded my afternoon slowly and carefully tracing a path along the side of Oak Hill, first checking on one of my favorites of Mr. du Pont’s “fall studies” – the combination of purple Beauty Berries, tiny orange globes of the Hearty Orange, along with yellow Linden Viburnum berries and coral-red Tea Viburnum. It’s not time yet, though the Beauty Berries are beginning to show lavender, and there’s a hit of color on the oranges. Another couple of weeks should do it.
Before leaving Oak Hill, I had to stop and relax on one of the benches conveniently located along the way, which lends itself to the breathtaking view overlooking the back end of the estate past the ponds, the meadows, the railroad station, and way beyond into the far distance. On an afternoon like this one, a most fitting climax to a peaceful afternoon.