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September 17, 2014 – How would you like to know 97 percent of all trees you see? Join Chris Strand, director of Garden and Estate, today to learn how to identify 10 of the most common trees seen in our woodlands. He will cover basic identification and introduce resources for studying and learning trees.

9-17 beech

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.

Winterthur In Bloom – 9.8.2014

Hosta near Coach House and Peony Garden

Hosta near Coach House and Peony Garden

Meadow at Magnolia Bend

Meadow at Magnolia Bend

 

Thanks to two terrific volunteers, here’s the list of what’s in bloom in the Winterthur Garden this week:

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur bloom list 9.8.2014.pdf

 

A crisp breeze blows through the Winterthur Garden, touching it with autumn hues of yellow, red and purple. To set off these warm colors, white ‘Royal Standard’ hosta and fluffy wood asters bloom along meandering garden paths. Bright goldenrod announces the coming of autumn – a prelude to excitement to come.

At Magnolia Bend, the purple plumbago beckons one to a stroll through the sun-kissed meadow. At the East Circle, glossy abelia and crape myrtle attract butterflies. As you walk in the Winterthur Garden, enjoy the surprise of lavender autumn crocus, the smooth fruit on the hardy orange trees and purple beautyberries that accent sweeping views across the Piedmont landscape.

Come, taste this season of beauty among the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley.

 

Kevin Braun, estate arborist, writes:

We are getting ready for Truck and Tractor Day 2014! Here are some of our dedicated garden staff trying out our new kids climb equipment. Come on out October 4th and let your kids climb like a professional! The Winterthur Kids Climb will be open and running all day.

 

Up, up, and away!

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For details about Truck and Tractor Day:

http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1105

 

September 9, 2014 – Enjoy summer’s last blooms with Garden Horticulturist Suzanne French.  Join her on Wednesday, September 10, for a walk to the Quarry, where red, purple, white and yellow flowers mingle beautifully in the bog.

9-10 quarry

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.

A Facelift for the Quarry

Our Garden Intern, Laura Cruz, writes the following about an upcoming project:

The Quarry Garden is beautiful this time of year with lots of blooms including Cardinal Flower, Closed Bottle Gentian, Black-eyed Susan and Royal Standard Hosta.

Quarry in Late Summer Flower

Quarry in Late Summer Flower

But this fall there is something else exciting is in store for the Quarry!  As you might already know, if you’ve ever ventured off Quarry Lane down the stone steps and into the quarry itself, there is a path leading to a set of four beautiful stone masonry weirs.

Quarry Weirs with Ponds in Background

Quarry Weirs with Ponds in Background

These weirs were originally built to direct the Quarry’s streams down to the meadows and pond through a series of waterfalls.  However, today some of the weirs are not so effective as they used to be as you can see in this photo of a weir where the water is flowing through the stonework instead of over it.

Water Breaching the Weir

Water Breaching the Weir

Therefore, this fall, Winterthur will be restoring the weir stonework and resetting boulders along the stream so the waterfalls return and visitors can have better access to this gorgeous waterway – stay tuned for more updates on the restoration process!

 

September 3, 2014 – Our Wednesdays at Winterthur program returns today from its August hiatus. Join us at 11:30 at the Brown Horticulture Learning Center.

It has been well documented that many plants commonly used in landscaping and gardens are non-native and invasive. They can cause a lot of detrimental effects to our fragile natural landscapes.  Fear not! There are plenty of native plants that make great and often better alternatives to these nasty invaders. Join Natural Lands Technician Linda Rossell to find out which plants are risky, what damage they can cause, and what you can plant instead—as well as where you can buy them.

9-3 plant this

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.

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur bloom list 8.27.2014 no.26.pdf

If you click the link above, you’ll find a 6-page report of what is currently in bloom in the Winterthur Garden. Come and see for yourself!

 

And don’t forget – Wednesdays at Winterthur programs resume tomorrow, September 3, at 11:30am in the Brown Horticulture Learning Center.

http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1054

 

DSC_1930 swallowtail B.Leitch compressed

Photo by Volunteer Bob Leitch

Labor Day brings with it the unofficial end of summer and also the close of our Summer Internship Program.  Molly Hendry will be one of the interns who’s last day is Friday (some have already returned to college) but she still managed to put together one more blog post.  Thanks to Molly and the other interns this year for all of your contributions to the Winterthur Garden and Estate!

Each week the Winterthur Horticulture Interns are given the opportunity to participate in extra educational activities. This summer we have visited nearby gardens such as Mt. Cuba and Longwood Gardens for special behind-the-scenes tours from the staff. We have been trained in skills such as weed identification, pruning techniques, and large equipment operation. We have also had several plant ID talks, learned about plant records for the estate, and tried our hand at GPS mapping. But this year we had the unique opportunity of being the first group of Horticulture Interns to participate in an overnight trip. We loaded up two vans and headed toward northern Pennsylvania to explore Penn State and some of the surrounding area.

Winterthur Staff and Interns

Winterthur Staff and Interns

 

We started the trip with a tour of Penn State Arboretum’s new Children’s Garden with Linda Duerr, Director of Children’s Educational Programs. We learned about the commitment of the staff and the design team to help children understand more about the richness of the regional ecology and environment. There were large rocks that lead to caves and creeks similar to those found near Penn State. The garden takes you on a journey from a bird’s eye view of the region’s mountains and watersheds to feeling as small as an ant next to huge replications of trees and bugs near the back of the garden.

Penn State Arboretum's Children's Garden

Penn State Arboretum’s Children’s Garden

Child Going Through Cave

Child Going Through Cave

After lunch, we finished our tour of the arboretum with Patrick Williams, Director of Development at the PSU Arboretum. We learned more about the other existing gardens, such as the tropical and rose gardens, and future plans for new buildings and garden expansions such as the extensive pollinator garden.

Garden Area in Penn State Arboretum

Garden Area in Penn State Arboretum

 

After lunch we met up with Jeff Dice who showed us how the PSU horticulture team grows, installs, and manages all of the campus grounds. We walked around the greenhouses where all the annuals are grown to supply the 420 containers around campus.

Greenhouses on Penn State Campus

Greenhouses on Penn State Campus

 

We also ventured onto campus and saw the Secret Garden near the alumni center and learned about the rigid management program the staff uses to protect the American Elms from disease. To top off the day, we grabbed some ice cream at the campus creamery.

Water Garden on Penn State Campus

Water Garden on Penn State Campus

Prized Elm On Old Main, Penn State Campus

Prized Elm On Old Main, Penn State Campus

The next day we packed up and headed to Garden Genetics, located outside of PSU in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. We were given a tour by Mike Owen, a Research Grower at Garden Genetics. We saw firsthand all the greenhouses where extensive research is happening to create new cultivars of anything from petunias to peppers.

One of Many Greenhouses at Garden Genetics

One of Many Greenhouses at Garden Genetics

We also took a stroll outside to see the research plots where the new cultivars are tested and analyzed by the staff. We all walked out of our tour amazed at the dedication, precision, and persistency of the staff to creating newer and better plant breeds.

Beautiful Sky (PSU Colors)and Greenhouses at Garden Genetics

Beautiful Sky (PSU Colors)and Greenhouses at Garden Genetics

Finally, we stopped at Hershey Gardens where Barb Witcraft, Director of Horticulture, gave us a tour of the gardens. We learned about the history of the rose garden, saw annual beds that encompassed every color of the rainbow, and took a stroll through the Kid’s Garden, complete with a butterfly house!

Butterfly House at Hershey Gardens

Butterfly House at Hershey Gardens

The first overnight venture for the Winterthur Horticulture Interns was a resounding success. We each took away valuable educational experiences for our careers, while also getting to bond with fellow interns and staff! We are all very grateful that Winterthur is committed to giving interns valuable experiences both inside and outside of the garden.

 

Our terrific volunteers have compiled another list of ‘what’s in bloom’ in the Winterthur Garden. They completed their latest study on August 20. You’ll find the entire list here: http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur Bloom List 08-20-14 25.pdf
Summer green is punctuated by seasonal blooms—e.g., Queen Anne’s Lace  (Daucus carota)  in the meadows. The edges of the two lagoons flanking the entrance drive are worth exploring for the multiplicity of species finding place there. The Summer Shrub Slope, near the flagpole at the Visitor Center, is in full bloom.
Aster divaricatus (White Wood-aster) is in bloom throughout, but is reported only here.
Thanks, too, to volunteer Bob Leitch for these amazing photographs of the Winterthur Garden, focusing mainly on the Quarry Garden.

One of our wonderful plant record volunteers, Walter Hipple, shares his observations of the Winterthur Garden. Thank you, Dr. Hipple!

 

DSC_1977 lycoris B.Leitch compressed

Photo by Bob Leitch

A meadow walk too little explored begins at the Quarry.  Walk under the bridge, cross the outlet stream, and  then follow it to its junction with Clenny Run. Pursue the path along Clenny Run and the Duck Pond all the way to the pump house.

Then backtrack a bit and take the zig-zag path up the slope of Sycamore Hill; at the top it will lead you to a break in the split-rail fence, through which you emerge onto the level garden of trees and shrubs atop Sycamore Hill. Crossing this garden, you find the paved walk back to the Quarry. (Of course, you can do this walk in reverse, starting at the break in the split-rail fence atop Sycamore Hill and ending at the Quarry.)

As you leave the Quarry, you will see that the usually picturesque outlet stream is in disarray, as its bed is being restored. Even so, a few Black-eyed Susans and perhaps some yellow Evening Primroses survive along the stream, and on the meadow side the white heads of Queen Anne’s Lace and it may be a few belated lavender thistles are to be seen.

Once you turn along Clenny Run, the ubiquitous small white Heath Aster is abundant, as is Early Goldenrod–and across the Run you will see the spectacular red and pink blooms of the Swamp Mallow (actually a wild hibiscus). Here and there to your left is New York Ironweed–flowers, stems, and even leaves all shades of purple–and the dusty white heads of White Snakeroot (a eupatorium). You pass a clump of Cat-tails, and flanking the stream is an impressive stand of Indian Cup (Silphium). At the pump house is a fine white Swamp Mallow and more Evening Primroses.

When you start up the hillside, you will see dotted here and there the bright orange of Butterfly-Weed (a milkweed)–beyond its season but regrowing after careful mowing. It’s a favorite of the Monarch butterfly. (You may know Robert Frost’s poem, “A Tuft of Flowers,” in which a clump of Butterfly Weed, spared by the mowers, becomes a symbol of human brotherhood.)

The top of Sycamore Hill, though too little visited, is earlier in the season one of the beauty spots of Winterthur. Now, at the end of August, only the brilliant white heads of the Pee-Gee Hydrangeas remain amidst the greens.

 

Dr. Hipple’s essay is complemented by these terrific photographs by another volunteer, Bob Leitch:

 

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By Bob Leitch

DSC_1930 swallowtail B.Leitch compressed

By Bob Leitch

DSC_1989 Lycoris B.Leitch compressed

By Bob Leitch

DSC_2011 Cardinal Flower B.Leitch compressed

By Bob Leitch

DSC_2019 butterfly on cardinal flw B.Leitch compressed

By Bob Leitch