The Garden Programs 2015 have been posted, both on Winterthur’s website and on the Garden Programs page of the blog (see 2015 tab above). I will be adding information and updates about these classes, programs, and events over the next several weeks, so check back here often for new information.

Snowdrops from 'My Garden in Spring' by EA Bowles 1914

Snowdrops from ‘My Garden in Spring’ by EA Bowles 1914

Our first program of the year is always Bank to Bend, an event that celebrates the history of the garden and the du Pont family’s habit of walking the March Bank in search of the first flowers of spring.

This year’s lecture will be delivered by Andrew Turvey of Myddelton House Gardens. This historic garden is the former home of Edward Augustus Bowles ( 1865-1954), one of Britain’s most famous self-taught gardeners, author, artists and botanists. Bowles’ famous My Garden trilogy describing Myddelton in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter is still widely read and respected by garden enthusiasts world-wide. During Andrew’s talk he will introduce EA Bowles and his achievements, his love for bulbs including Crocus, Narcissus and Galanthus and talk about how he coined the phrase Galanthophile. The garden is in the midst of extensive restoration and Andrew will share with us their progress and future plans.

Another image from 'My Garden in Spring'

Another image from ‘My Garden in Spring’

As usual the day will include the opportunity to purchase rare and specialty plants from Carolyn’s Shade Garden, have lunch in the Pavilion, and walk the March Bank on your own or with a guided tour.

Information about the day’s schedule can be found here.

Below are some photographs I took of Myddelton this summer with my iPhone. It is truly a magical place and I can’t wait to here more about it from Andrew.

Myddelton3  Myddelton5  Myddelton4

Today we had a beautiful, but very cold, walk out to the Pinetum and across the Quarry Garden bridge. Congratulations to everyone who turned out – this is the coldest walk I’ve led at Winterthur! 21 degrees on our weather station thermometer, but it felt much chillier with the wind blowing.


Before the walk we previewed the Pinetum by looking at some historic images. This is a great photo of the blue Atlas cedar circle when the tree is very young.

Pinetum web


Yes, we will try and have the 2nd Saturday Walk this Saturday, January 10. The walk will be at 1:00 starting at the Visitor Center and will last about an hour. There will be snow on the ground and it could be slippery in a few areas, so wear appropriate footwear! To confirm that we are actually having the walk, call my number at (302) 888-4915. I will update the message Saturday morning letting you know that we are on.

trees and fish 001


Yuletide Tour Sneak Peek

DSC_3861 B.Leitch Hall of Statues compressed

Hall of Statues featuring the Enchanted Woods Tree and the Azalea Woods Tree (B.Leitch photo)

DSC_3864 B.Leitch fairy circle compressed

Look for the fairy ring under the Enchanted Woods tree (B.Leitch photo)

DSC_3866 B. Leitch peony tree compressed

Makes one thing of spring! Azalea Woods Tree (B.Leitch photo)

Front sign B.Leitch compressed DSC_3893

Turn here! (B.Leitch photo)

Montmorenci B.Leitch compressed DSC_3828

Montmorenci Staircase (B.Leitch photo)

Ornament B.Leitch compressed DSC_3841

Ornament on tree in conservatory (B.Leitch photo)



Our talented and kind volunteer, Bob Leitch, shares photographs of Winterthur at Yuletide. The guided Yuletide tour, of the 1st, 4th, and 5th floors of the house, began on November 22 and will run until January 4th.

You’ll probably want to purchase tickets online to reserve your spot on the tour…with Downton Abbey, it’s pretty busy here. In fact, Yuletide tours are sold out on November 28, December 6, and December 7!

Here’s the Winterthur web page about the tour: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=954

Plus, Jazz and Wine nights – that sounds like fun! http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1186

And, where to purchase tickets online for specific dates: https://secure.winterthur.org/ecommerce/ItemList.aspx



11.18.2014 pink impression tulip bulbs a kls

Michelle plants them in groups of about 5 so they form big pink ‘bouquets’ in the spring.

11.18.2014 pink impression tulip bulbs and rock wall kls

Talk about a raised bed – this one is at eyebrow level!


Last week, I noticed horticulturist Michelle S busily planting tulips in the (very!) raised bed near the entrance to the Brown Horticulture Learning Center.  She said she was planting ‘Pink Impression’ tulips for an improved spring display, adding to tulips planted in previous years. Maybe a warm day like today would be a good time to put bulb planter to soil in our home gardens!

Here’s a good source for fall planting: https://store.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/spring/productview/?sku=02-0418


Also, during last week’s chill, our volunteers were out surveying the Winterthur Garden in search of blooms and berries. Here’s what they found:

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur Bloom List 11.19.2014 no38.pdf

Quarry Weirs Restoration

There has been a lot of activity below the Quarry Bridge over the past week; diversion of water, sediment removal, rock—or rather boulder placement and gentle grading.  Masonry preparation for repointing of the actual weirs has also taken place.

The reason behind all of the bustling is simple; the ponds had filled up with sediment, the sides needed better stabilization and the water was diverting every which way except for over the weirs.

The contractors who are working on the site have done similar projects on our many waterways here on the estate.  Pennoni Associates, Inc. is managing the project while Meadville Land Services, Inc work on “everything stream” and Rizzo Construction Company, Inc repairs the masonry.

In addition to countless pre-construction meetings, staff from the garden department has made several trips to a local quarry to hand select stone (about 35 tons worth), been on site to ensure placement of the stone matches the Winterthur aesthetic, problem-solved alongside contractors when the unexpected arose, and much documentation both through photos and GIS mapping.

Rain is giving the project a day of rest—and time for a blog post—but will continue on into at least next week.  The area is off limits to guests but safe viewing from the Quarry Bridge, Bristol Summerhouse on Sycamore Hill or on the bench on top of Colchicum Hill, will give a good snapshot of all aspects involved in this restoration.  Come and take a peek or at the very least enjoy the finished project for years to come.

Sediment Removal

Sediment Removal


Placement of Stone

Placement of Stone

Masonry Repairs

Masonry Repairs

Finished Stonework and Grading

Finished Stonework and Grading

More Stone Work

More Stone Work

Oak near Magnolia Bend on 10.30.14 about 6:00pm

Oak near Magnolia Bend on 10.30.14 at Sunset


Here’s the latest Winterthur Bloom list, dated 10.28.2014, thanks to two terrific and loyal Winterthur volunteers!

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur bloom list 10.28.2014.no.35.pdf



October 29, 2014 – Use end-of-season plant material to add unique interest to your autumnal arrangements and displays by arranging with dried materials.

10-29 Yuletide 2012 LB Dried Flower Tree 0066

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.

Today, even with the rain, artists are busy capturing the beauty of the Winterthur Garden and Estate. They’re part of an event sponsored by the Children’s Beach House in Lewes, Delaware. The artists had two or three venues to capture each day this week, from Monday through Thursday. https://www.pleinairbrandywinevalley.org/

At Winterthur, the artists usually to gravitate to these spots:

  • The shimmering front ponds with fall-colored trees beyond
  • The back ponds and East Barn complex
  • Brown’s Meadow near Magnolia Bend with the wonderful fall colors of wildflowers
  • The Japanese Maple at Magnolia Bend

Friday night, 10/24/14, is the date of the big opening gala. You can still purchase tickets and be one of the first to see the artists’ work, or come to the Winterthur Visitor Center on Saturday or Sunday from 10-4 to see and purchase exquisite photographs and paintings. (No Winterthur admission tickets needed for the art sale.)


Here are a few shots of artists at work at the event in October 2013:




Enjoy these lovely garden photos by volunteer, Bob Leitch, taken on October 21, 2014.

Color displays are found in the fiery reds, blazing oranges and brilliant yellows of leaves contrasted against leaves that are still green. Look up and around throughout the gardens. Berries and fruits provide additional color in jewel-like tones.

Here’s the latest bloom list for the Winterthur Garden:

http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/Winterthur bloom list 10.14.2014.pdf