April 30, 2014 – Join garden guides Terry Colonna and Fair Bauernschmidt for a fascinating tour of the Enchanted Woods.  Learn how the design evolved, study the construction of each garden feature, identify the plant materials and hear their related fairy folk lore.

4-30Tulip-tree House in Enchanted Woods

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.

We’ve found the very best place to plant tulips – on a 5′ tall stone wall, away from the foraging of hungry white-tailed deer.


tulips 4.22.2014 kls

Tulips in Bloom near the Brown Horticulture Learning Center


And when, you ask, will the azaleas at Winterthur be at their peak? Wouldn’t we like to have a crystal ball!  Keep checking this blog for updates. It’s too early to tell; our pat answer is ‘around Mother’s Day.’  And that usually holds true.

Even though the garden was about two weeks behind, many things have caught up. Cherries, magnolias, and Virginia bluebells are blooming at their typical time – now.

When will the azaleas be at their peak? We don’t know yet, but one thing we do know – the Winterthur Garden is beautiful in all seasons. You can’t go wrong with a visit in spring!

Here’s the latest list of what’s in bloom in the Winterthur Garden, compiled by two marvelous Winterthur volunteers:

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur bloom list April 16 2014.pdf


Warm, sunny weather through most of the past week has resulted in remarkable changes in the pattern of blooms.

The March Bank exhibits the greatest variety of bloom, although the great expanses, first of yellow and white, then of blue, are now past. The Azalea Woods is spectacular, even without the azaleas.


daffodils for Linda E blog 4.16.2014

From Linda Eirhart:

I want to give you a heads up that Scott Kunst from Old House Gardens will be speaking at Winterthur on Saturday, April 26th about heirloom bulbs.

He will be coming in early to help us identify some of the heirloom daffodils that we have in our meadows. Most of ours date from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

H.F. du Pont had over 300 types growing at Winterthur during his lifetime so it is a fun project to try and determine names, many of which are quite rare today.

Happy spring!


daffodils for Linda E blog 4.16.2014


Heirloom Bulbs: Unique, Endangered, Amazing with Scott Kunst of Old House Gardens
Saturday, April 26
10:30– 11:30 am, Rotunda
Unique, endangered, tough, and gorgeous, heirloom bulbs can enrich every garden. After a whirlwind history of bulbs from prehistory through the 1950s, this lively slide lecture will focus on a season-by-season encyclopedia of antique varieties that are still available to gardeners today, including wild lilies and hyacinths, Aztec tuberoses, colonial daffodils, Victorian tulips and cannas, Jazz Age dahlias, and more. Members free.  $20 per nonmember. Registration encouraged, space limited. Please call 302.888.4600 or 800.448.3883 to register.

From our thorough plant-recording volunteers, Pauline and Walter:

The warm, sunny weather after such extended cold in February and March has resulted in an explosion of bloom, though many species are belated.

Early Spring flowers—the snowdrops (Galanthus), Snowflakes (Leucojum), and Winter Aconite (Eranthis) have almost vanished, so the predominating white and yellow ground colors have given way to the blues of Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa) and Squills (Scilla).

Mid-Spring blossoms such as Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia) and Italian Windflower (Anemone) are on the verge.

Here’s the full list of what’s in bloom in the Winterthur Garden as of April 9, 2014:

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur Bloom List 04-09-14 6.pdf


cherry along Clenny Run 4.15.2014 kls

ew tram stop sign

The tram stop at Enchanted Woods has moved just slightly.


Those fairies and gnomes have been at it again, this time changing the location of the garden tram stop in Enchanted Woods. Why, you may ask?

* so there’s a shady spot for a bench, in case you’re waiting for the tram

* so your toes aren’t in muddy soil while you enjoy the garden

* so there’s pavement on both sides of the tram for accommodating the tram’s wheelchair ramp

The stop has moved just down Garden Lane a little bit, maybe 30 feet, at the path that leads to the Andre Harvey frog sculpture and fountain.


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Looking from new tram stop towards Enchanted Woods and the Andre Harvey frog sculpture

ew tram stop location a

The new tram stop at Enchanted Woods, just a little further down on Garden Lane.

Capture the Storm

Robert Leitch, a Winterthur volunteer, captures the garden on the stormy April 15, 2014. The Winterthur Garden is beautiful in any weather! (Thanks, Bob!)


My niece, Emily, wrote a Facebook post about the plants that ‘found their color’ one night in the Virginia mountains where she lives and gardens.

The Winterthur Garden is surely finding its color, sometimes overnight.  Yesterday’s hard rain pretty much finished the blue phase on the March Bank, but never fear, there’s much more spring to come.

Right now, Winterhazel Walk, with its spring-yellow winterhazels and fuchsia-pink Korean Rhododendrons is in full bloom. Love the colors of the hellebores or Lenten roses that blanket the area, reflecting the same yellow and pink in the ground cover layer.

Also, the huge Sargent Cherry trees near Magnolia Bend are in their full spectacular glory right now. I almost wept when I saw them this morning. (I’m such a sap for this garden in April!)

Magnolias are starting the avalanche of color in the Sundial Garden where the color starts at the back with magnolias, then moves slowly toward Garden Lane with spirea, flowering quince, crab apples, and lilacs. I once heard a garden described as the world’s slowest performing art; very true of the Sundial Garden in April.

It’s a little chilly out there today, but the advantage of the chill is that it will hold the flowers just a little longer. Long enough for you to come and see!


APRIL 23, 2014 – Horticulturist Jim Pirhalla will talk about the roughly 25 years that followed the passing of H. F. du Pont in 1969. The Sundial Garden was the first garden area to undergo restoration. Now, after 20 years, hear what elements have been restored and changed, as well as what remains to be done.

4-23 Sundial Garden 1965

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.

White arrow in March Bank

White arrow in March Bank

Yes, Winterthur has entered “spring:  the sequel.”  It took a little time for it to arrive, but the garden now is entering its best season where a weekly visit is highly recommended. To celebrate the abundance of flowers and the artful placement of plants in the landscape by Henry Francis du Pont, white directional arrows will be placed in the garden to wind visitors through some lovely up-close blossoms and breathtaking vistas. Best of all, the route will change weekly with the unfolding of new displays.  The tour begins at the back patio of the Visitor Center and ends at the back of the Dorrance Gallery.

If you have been a frequenter of the white arrow tour in the past, try something new this year and perhaps come at a different time of day; the garden takes on a whole new character in the evening as opposed to midday.  As you approach arrows, remember to turn around and look in the other direction; often the view is just as good—and again a different perspective—from the direction you were coming. Though this garden may be a familiar one to many, there is always something new to see.