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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

As fall brings a variety of color, take a walk with Linda Bailey, natural lands technician, on the field pathways to enjoy the asters and goldenrod varieties and observe the wildlife that inhabit these areas. Please wear hiking shoes and bring a camera.

9-28Meadow LBailey (3)

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). Included with all admission tickets; Members free.

Walks last 45–60 minutes. No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough and steep garden paths.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Join garden horticulturists, Suzanne French and Jessica Tsakiris, to learn how to gather natural materials in order to create whimsical arrangements.

9-21Suzanne

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). Included with all admission tickets; Members free.

Walks last 45–60 minutes. No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough and steep garden paths.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Join Estate Historian Jeff Groff in the Brown Learning Center for an illustrated overview of three buildings that were important parts of Winterthur and the role they played over time. Then enjoy a walk to take a closer look and hear more about them.

The Cottage P151, folder 1, 010, original WInterthur houseCoach house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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). Included with all admission tickets; Members free.

Walks last 45–60 minutes. No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough and steep garden paths.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Heirloom tomatoes have become increasingly popular for many reasons but mainly because of their brilliant complex flavors. Join garden horticulturist Amy Bloom-Mountz in tasting and learning some of her favorite varieties grown right here at Winterthur. Pick your favorite and take seeds to grow at home.

9-7tomato

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). Included with all admission tickets; Members free.

Walks last 45–60 minutes. No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough and steep garden paths.

A New Way to View the Garden

Something is brewing in the Winterthur Garden as is evident by a strange mirrored structure at the edge of the Pinetum. Follies.

Base of the mirrored folly with siding options

Base of the mirrored folly with siding options

This may not be a word used much in the American lexicon but you probably know the concept. The following definition about sums it up: Architecture. A whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, etc.: found especially in England in the 18th century.  If you have traveled to England, you cannot shake a stick without coming across a folly of sorts; a tower, Greek-inspired pavilions and temples, bridges & Gothic inspired architecture to name just a few examples.  Gardens such as Stourhead, Painshill and Stowe, referred to as Landscape Gardens, specifically feature folly.  Designed around lakes, these gardens offer idyllic views to beautiful and exotic pieces of architecture artfully placed into the landscape. Once you have arrived to each feature, you are then treated to the views, often to the next folly to visit, sites already visited or just beautiful vistas.  So what do these English gardens have to do with Winterthur?  We are embarking on our first outdoor exhibition on Folly!

Turf Bridge and Pantheon at Stourhead

Turf Bridge and Pantheon at Stourhead

Gothic Temple at Painshill

Gothic Temple at Painshill

Palladian Bridge at Stowe

Palladian Bridge at Stowe

Though we have not used the term verbatim, the Winterthur Garden contains a lot of folly and the Peony Garden is rife with it: two beehives framing the view to the Latimeria Summerhouse, the Mushroom Seat, and George and Lady Liberty flank the path to the Pagoda Gate.

George and Lady Liberty framing the Pagoda Gate

George and Lady Liberty framing the Pagoda Gate

The Sycamore Garden is bookended by the Brick lookout and the Bristol Summerhouse.    While both of these are beautiful from a distance they both have gorgeous views out into the landscape. The Bristol Summerhouse looks down onto the fields and pond below and also to the Quarry Bridge, another folly of sorts, while the Brick Lookout directs your eye to the Latimeria Gates at the Pinetum edge and to the Armillary Sphere in the center of the Sundial Garden.

The Brick Lookout with early daffodils

The Brick Lookout with early daffodils

Enchanted Woods is a folly garden within itself with a lot of nature inspired pieces and the repurposing of classical architectural elements from earlier gardens on the estate and from our once working farm.

Faerie Cottage with bench and eagle finial

Faerie Cottage with bench and eagle finial

While most of us might cover up an air conditioning unit with shrubbery, HF du Pont used a façade of a building at the edge of Azalea Woods, which we refer to as the 1750 house, to cover up his!

1750 Facade

1750 Facade

Our exhibition, which will open in April 2018, will feature our existing folly along with seven newly created pieces to enhance the views and vistas in the landscape. This blog is just a primer; stay tuned for more information as the exhibition starts to take form!

by Augusta Mery
Garden & Estate Intern
with photographs by Erica Anderson

It was a hot and humid day near the Chesapeake, and we sipped from the last few water bottles we’d grabbed from the now-empty case in the backseat. The van pulled into the River Farm parking lot, and we maneuvered into a parking spot. Sweat beaded and instantly ran down my face and back. The temperature was around 90, and the humidity was like a wall; in short, the parking lot was empty besides us. Bound to the schedule, and motivated by a sense of curiosity, we entered the estate. In the beautiful mansion, we met Jane and Janet who were kind enough to give a historical overview and a garden tour of the 25-acre estate, formerly owned by George Washington, and currently the home of the American Horticultural Society.

The garden tour started on the porch, and we walked out onto the front lawn, admiring the beautiful flower arrangements framing the doorway on the front of the house. Walking around back, we toured the children’s garden (the highlight being a grove of healthy tall banana trees!) and the Garden Calm, shaded by the largest Osage Orange tree in the United States.

However—my favorite part of the tour was the André Bluemel Meadow, which is a naturalistic garden area nestled below the majority of the estate, overlooking the mighty Potomac. Lush with native grasses and perennials, it bursted with wildlife. Sure enough, craning our necks and squinting our eyes, we were able to make out the unforgettable image of a bald eagle perched up on an old tree at the meadow’s edge. What a gorgeous and thoughtful addition to the otherwise traditional estate! Earlier at Mount Vernon we had learned that Washington had built himself a “deer park” beneath his gorgeous porch, overlooking the river. So, in addition to being a gorgeous respite for wildlife, the André Bluemel Meadow tastefully evokes the aesthetic of the deer park from Mount Vernon—thus preserving the historical integrity of the estate while reducing its carbon footprint. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Augusta will be a senior this fall at Temple University, where she is majoring in geology, with a minor in environmental horticulture.

Idyllic porch at River Farm

Idyllic porch at River Farm

Giant osage orange (Maclura pomifera)

Giant osage orange (Maclura pomifera)

Iron gate originally from the White House, through which Abraham Lincoln would have walked

Iron gate originally from the White House, through which Abraham Lincoln would have walked

View over the meadow to the mighty Potomac

View over the meadow to the mighty Potomac

Yes, there is a bald eagle at the top of that tree!

Yes, there is a bald eagle at the top of that tree!

The interns take a break on a "sofa" made entirely of sod (Augusta is second from left)

The interns take a break on a “sofa” made entirely of sod (Augusta seated second from left)

 

 

by Joel Mick, Winterthur Groundskeeping Intern

Horticulture interns from 13 different gardens in the region gather to volunteer (and have fun!) at Welkinweir

Horticulture interns from 13 different gardens in the region gather to volunteer (and have fun!) at Welkinweir

This year’s Regional Intern Outreach Day, held July 14th, landed us on 197 acres of naturalistic gardens, including 55 acres of arboretum, several large ponds, and a historic estate, better known as Welkinweir.

Wait, “Welkin…where?” I asked myself this several times in the days leading up to the trip. Welkinweir, located in Pottstown, PA, and previously unknown to me, was owned by blacksmith William Morris in the 1800s and later purchased by Everett and Grace Rodebaugh in 1935. It was under the Rodebaughs that this property of water and natural beauty got its name Welkinweir, translating to “where the sky meets water.”  After arriving at Welkinweir with our day of work ahead of us, it was clear as to how the Rodebaughs came up with the name. When standing at the house looking out the back windows, your eyes travel immediately to a large pond bordered by trees on the back side. It seems as though, had the trees not been there, the water would actually meet the sky.

After checking out the historic estate, all the volunteers (which totaled 100 participants from 13 different gardens) gathered to meet and be introduced to the other participants. We were all nervous as to what task we would be assigned, and, personally, I was hoping for a fun task (which, to anybody who knows me personally, would be cutting grass). As names were called and people started heading out, the jokes began about who would be “last pick.” Of course, I was. At first I was concerned, thinking the least fun, most unimportant job would be saved for last. I walked up with the remaining interns to the tool area, and we were handed two chainsaws. I knew then that this would be a great day.

My group grabbed the chainsaws and some loppers and followed our leader on what seemed like a 10-mile hike into the woods. We were tasked with cleaning up and trimming an older trail that ran along a system of streams, ponds, and dams running through the property. Several other projects were done, such as weeding, new plantings, tree trimming, etc. Personally, I’d take clearing a trail over any of the other jobs any day of the week! After sweating the morning away chopping down trees and brush, all the interns met back at the house for some lunch and a discussion with a panel of public garden professionals who answered lots of questions and gave good advice about internships, jobs, and traveling abroad. The day ended with a group picture taken by a flying drone, followed by some sweaty handshakes and goodbyes to the many friends made.

Joel Mick is a landscape horticulture major at the University of Delaware.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Join Winterthur horticulturist David Schurr, as he welcomes the true movers and shakers of the Winterthur Garden—the summer garden interns. Hear firsthand accounts of what a summer is like living and working on an American treasure.

7-27 2015-08-06 08.03.07

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). Included with all admission tickets; Members free.

Walks last 45–60 minutes. No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough and steep garden paths.

The Winterthur garden staff have been hard at work with the initial phases of the IMLS and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust grant projects to digitally map the garden.  The horticulturists along with our GIS Mapping Specialist, Lori Schnick, Plant Records intern,  Cole Larson-Whittaker and mapping volunteer,  Frank  Splane,  have been identifying, tagging and mapping plants throughout the garden.

So as you wander the garden you may notice a plethora of white, yellow, orange and blue tags.  What do they mean?

White and yellow tags indicate the status of the identification of the plants. White tags indicate that the complete name of the plant is known. Yellow tags mean that they need to be identified which can often only be done while they are flowering, for example cultivars of azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, mock-oranges, deutzias, peonies, daylilies, daffodils, and many more.     Timing is critical.

Orange and blue tags indicate mapping status depending on if the section has been digitally mapped in the past.  Orange tags are used to indicate plants that need to be updated in our GIS since digital maps were completed in that area prior to 2005.  Blue tags are used to indicate plants that are in the GIS system for sections that generally have not been updated in GIS.

We have now inventoried over sixty percent of the garden sections for their trees and shrubs!  You can track our progress by watching for the changing of the tags.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

From seeps/springs to flowing streams and ponds, join Marlin Dise,  superintendent, Farm & Environmental Horticulture, to learn more about the useful and aesthetic qualities of Winterthur’s surface water.

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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). Included with all admission tickets; Members free.

Walks last 45–60 minutes. No reservations necessary. Please dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Walks are generally not handicap accessible due to rough and steep garden paths.