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.


ew tram stop location looking to ew

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.

April 16, 2014 – Enjoy an early spring day in the Azalea Woods. Susan Sibley, garden horticulturist, will be your guide as you witness the garden come to life with Bluebells, Trillium, and Windflowers.

4-16 spring ephemerals

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.

…still looks as sweet.  OK, so the blue flowers can’t read a calendar, but all that matters is that the March Bank is coming into its blue glory and is waiting to feed your soul after a long winter.  Although not at its peak, there is enough blue to warrant a visit and with the upcoming forecast for the next week or so, it should only get better and better.  Now is actually a time when all of the early bulbs are still out—snowdrops, winter aconite, and (though fewer) crocus; also in full flower on the hillside across from the March Bank (at Icewell Terrace) is the most stunning display of spring snowflake, Leucojum vernum.

So come and see the “changing of the guards” and the beginnings of the display that heralds us into spring.

Glory-of-the snow

Glory-of-the snow

Danger, danger! There’s a new plant shipment at the Winterthur plant shop. I asked trusty garden guide Duncan Pike to take a look to see what caught his eye as a ‘staff pick of the week.’ His choice: some lovely hellebores, fresh and ready for your garden. Why? Because they have nice foliage all year, they’re easy to care for, and they bloom in late winter/early spring.  And, they’re fairly resistant to deer browse.


Plant pick hellebore 4.3.2014 kls


Tip: plant shipments usually come in early on Thursday morning, so if you want the first pick, get to Winterthur on Thursdays! (No admission fee to shop, just take the shuttle bus directly to the Museum Store or stop in the Bookstore at the Visitor Center.)





Finally, the sun came out this afternoon! After a dreary and chilly morning, the Winterthur Garden is lovely this afternoon with a gentle breeze, sunshine, and nearly 60 degrees.

You might be interested in the conditions on the March Bank. It’s amazing to me how much of the blue came out this afternoon. Guess the little squill and glory-of-the-snow were pulled in tightly against the morning chill. Maybe the March Bank just realized it’s World Autism Awareness Day!



Here’s the East Terrace, at the top of the Reflecting Pool steps. It’s a little warmer there than other places, so it usually turns blue first.


04.02.2014 East terrace blue kls

Blue on the East Terrace


And the March Bank looking from the Box Scroll Garden. Just a bit of blue in patches today, but with a bit more sun, I’ll bet they’ll all open up by the weekend.  Yay!  Don’t miss it…come every day this spring. Or at least every 3rd day. Just pick display your membership card or purchase an admission ticket to enjoy spring in the Winterthur Garden!


04.02.2014 March bank blue starting kls

The March Bank from the Box Scroll Garden