Every Winter in the woods at Winterthur is a treat of lovely blooms. According to Winterthur they begin as early as January on a rolling slope that is The March Bank, “with the appearance of snowdrops, followed by golden adonis, bright yellow aconites, green-tipped white snowflakes, and pale lavender crocus. It reaches a crescendo in mid-March when electric-blue scilla and glory-of-the-snow blanket the ground. Yellow daffodils accent the carpet of blue, which continues into April with Virginia bluebells and masses of white daffodils. In June and July the bank is bright with the blue, white, and orange of hostas, bellflowers , fairy candles, and daylilies.”
In early Spring Winterthur’s other gardens emerge triumphant from their Winter sleep. One of the big attractions here is Azalea Woods. Here an entire area of the woods is bursting with a tall colorful azalea blanket beneath the trees, carved only by fun winding passages that traverse the forest area.
Winterthur explains that, In Azalea Woods, an understory of white flowering dogwood add to the blaze of color provided by hundreds of white, pink, salmon and red azaleas in early May. This breathtaking display is closely followed by the flowering of Dexter hybrid rhododendrons. And thousands of Spanish bluebells and wildflowers carpet the forest floor throughout April and May.”
Then in full Spring comes the grand Peony garden! I do say this is a great flower photographer’s destination garden. It’s lovely here and the macro photography opportunities are fantastic! There are many kinds of Peonies here during the height of May Spring through June. These, “herbaceous and tree peonies,” Winterthur states, come, “in a color range of white, pink, red, yellow, bronze, peach, maroon and an almost black variety.” Now this I have to see.
There are still many more gardens here like Winterhazel Walk, The Sundial Garden and Sycamore Hill, The Quarrry Garden and, of course, The Glade Garden which boasts pools and ponds of water and Koi. Three of my favorite areas I’ve only seen in the very end of Fall. I already wrote about my shoot that day but will post it here for those who have not had a chance to read it. The first is Magnolia Bend which apparently blooms profusely in the Spring! The second is the Azalea Woods and the third is The Enchanted Woods. Below is why..
I arrived here at Winterthur on this last weekend of November with little hope of shooting anything but interiors. What I found across the grounds were immense hilly woodland spaces with trees of all types.
Magnolia Bend was full of leafless Saucer Magnolias who’s sinewy branches exuded a winter ambiance that was down right romantic to say the least. Despite the lack of lovely olive leaves, the scene was set. I just wanted to wander in between the trees and start writing letters on the single bench that lay waiting. (Now that i’ve seen pictures of this grand spot in full bloom I am going up to do just that this Spring!)
The weather this afternoon was perfect. A thick sweater was all that was needed for the slight breeze. The air was full of all things Fall. The field of Pachysandra was topped with fallen leaves. In the Azalea Woods, the Rhododendrons were far taller than expected, still hearty and protected by the tall tree trunks they live between. The flowerless Azalea bushes seemed to go on as far as I could see. I can only imagine how impressive this must be when they are in full bloom.
A carpet of brown fallen leaves had covered Winterthur and I tried to crunch as many of them as possible while enjoying the aromas of Fall. It was a great day despite running out of digital film 1/2 way through my planned day.
There are all kinds of gardens for kids but this one has magic that transcends age. I took some pictures during the last weekend of November and the place was still enchanting. There is a wonderful little stone house with a thatched roof and little wooden chairs and a fireplace inside that made me feel I had arrived into the “real” world of Hanzel and Gretel.
Even near the dead of Winter this place had tremendous character and must be a real treat for kids in the Spring and Summer. There are waterways and fountains as well as tree chairs and a tall thin mushroom house for two little ones.
There is even a 4 foot tall nest for kids to play in. How cool is that! Even I wanted to check it out.
Kids love this place and it’s a Kid’s Destination Garden. Hands down one of the best around.
Well being, that I haven’t had a chance to photograph these gardens in the Spring yet, this is it for today. I have never looked so foward to Spring before! Tomorrow were headed into the main house for the big Tour! ‘Til then stay warm.
Britt : )