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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Enliven your home with the beauty of autumn. Meredith Graves, coordinator of the Winterthur flower program, will demonstrate how to use end-of-season plant material from your garden to add unique interest to your autumnal arrangements and displays.

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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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Colors of fall come and go differently each year. Join Carol Long, associate curator of the garden, on a walk to see the crème de la crème of the day.

10-19Fall Highlights Oct 19

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, October 12, 2016

Winterthur was once a model farm that embraced groundbreaking agricultural research and cattle breeding.  Join Winterthur Garden guide Debra Shedrick to explore what it was like to run such a farm at the highest levels of American society in the first half of the 20th century— an endeavor that resulted in the development of an award-winning herd of Holstein Freisian cattle that have been said to be the backbone of today’s great milk-producing cattle.

10-12 P128 HFD with Winterthur Bess Burke Best

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, October 5, 2016

Join Assistant Conservator Lauren Fair and Estate Supervisor Rob Plankinton for a walking tour and discussion about Winterthur’s garden objects. They will be discussing current, future, and completed projects along with conservation practices.

10-5 march 6 2012 005

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.

Our summer interns have gone for the season; back to their respective schools or onto the next phase of their lives. Sometimes they will visit, giving us updates about what has been going on after their summer at Winterthur and other times they might return for other reasons, like a marriage proposal.  Such is the case with this story.

Nathan Smith was an intern with us in 2014 and came back to visit several times, either for organized tours or just to check up on the garden—and garden staff. This past fall and winter, Nathan and I did a lot of back and forth e-mail planning for an idea that he had; to have a commemorative tree planted so that he could then propose to his longtime girlfriend, Heather, under that tree on her birthday.  (Guess he was pretty confident that she would say yes).  We checked out several locations throughout the garden and the trees that were allocated for the spots.  After some consideration and return visits, Nathan decided on the burr oak, Quercus macrocarpa, just below the Bristol Summerhouse on Sycamore Hill.  This tree is a replacement for a white oak that shaded this area and I think it was the tree’s location plus the thought of a sturdy, long-lived oak that made for a romantic tribute to his love for his girlfriend; no short-lived tree for him!

More e-mails (with several staff) and visits ensued to take care of the myriad of details to pull off this secret birthday-proposal present: what to write on the plant label, exact location of the tree placement, planning for the actual day itself with a homemade picnic basket and blanket which had to be handed off and on site for the surprise. Oh, and did I mention that they were running a little late on the day of? Nathan had to keep his cool and send us messages on the sly throughout the process.  Needless to say the day went well; a beautiful, sunny April day with the end result being, “Yes”.

Personalized Tree Label

Personalized Tree Label

Heather with Both of Her Presents.

Heather with Both of Her Presents.

Nathan sent along the pictures from the day and when I asked about the birch box that held the engagement ring, Nathan had this this to say, “The story behind the box is that I really wanted to make something special that involved nature and went with the theme of the proposal, so that it wasn’t just the usual ring box. I just cut a piece of birch from Joann’s Fabrics and drilled the notches in the top and bottom to create a space for the ring, and then I put a hinge between the two pieces. The scroll on the stick is a poem I wrote for her which goes into the hole in front of the ring and becomes a peg to hold the top down. Then I put felt in each notch and moss in the bottom notch for the ring cushion.”

Ring Box by Nathan

Ring Box by Nathan

 

The Happy Couple!

The Happy Couple!

Nathan and Heather chose a wedding day this upcoming year that is 2 days before their 10th anniversary together. Congratulations Heather and Nathan, may your love for one another–just like the oak tree– grow stronger each and every year.

 

 

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!