Winterthur and its Gardens: Delightful Friends

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been up to Winterthur Estate and Gardens and a long time coming as well! This past weekend I decided it was time to get up to Kennett Square and enjoy some quality Bee time 🙂  The estate is located near Kennett Square, just outside Willmington Deleware in a stunning region called the Brandywine River Valley.  The 1000 acre estate hosts many garden areas and can easily take a day to journey through them all.

Winterthur: The Pool Garden by Britt Conley

First up on the agenda, was finally photographing the famed Azaleas adorning the grounds.   Despite photographing, here many a time, I’ve simply missed them each year.  This season I’ve arrive, but just barely in time.One can stroll about the woods for a good hour or more simply taking them in as they pop up along the way. They cluster along the different walking paths making for phenomenal wanderings.  A wonderful facet of the shrubs is that their colorings are so varied.  They run the gamut from purple to orange and yellow to red.  The white ones bring a lovely elegance to the landscape.

The Azaleas at Winterthur Gardens by Britt Conley

The first 17 Azaleas were planted by du Pont in the early 1900s.  The area has accumulated so many, the entire woodland area is now called Azalea Walk.

The Azaleas at Winterthur Gardens by Britt Conley

Of all his gardened areas I especially appreciate Du Pont  peonies.  They are one of my all time favorites myself.  They are breathtaking.  I photographed these two below a few years ago.  You can see more at

Peony at Winterthur © Britt Conley

They are currently in bloom and camera ready!!!

Peony at Winterthur © Britt Conley

One of the other wondrous aspects to the grounds is simply that… the ground!  The landscaping here has been tended and coddled to perfection.  From the very end of winter through fall, the terrain has fully evident seasons to itself.  Early February brings hybrid witch-hazels, followed in March by seemingly endless snowdrops, crocus, and then daffodils.  But even if you are unable to visit during the famed bloomed ‘carpetings’, there is still the lush greenery bursting at the seams.

At every turn are surprises.  The perimeter of the property bestows stunning tall grassy vistas…

The Grounds at Winterthur by Britt Conley

as well as well groomed hillsides,

The Grounds at Winterthur by Britt Conley

Of course if you’re going to wander the perimeter, don’t forget to stop by the quarry garden.  It’s photogenic, no matter the weather.  Du Pont converted the old rock quarry into a lush and wonderful sunken garden.  He planted ferns, shrubs and perennials including the beautiful primroses that populate its entirety.

Primroses © Britt Conley

The endless ‘Primula Japonica Primroses’ bring such lovely romance to rocky walls surrounding the great hollow.

The Primrose Garden by Britt Conley

Just one corner of the quarry’s pond of floral delights.  Come visit and enjoy the others!  It’s well worth the drive!

The Primrose Garden by Britt Conley

For more images visit

The Primrose Garden at Winterthur by Britt Conley

And after spending nearly the entire day tromping about the woods and hillsides, we finally ventured toward the house.  It was too late in the day to consider a tour of the house.  I did, however stop into the gift shop, buying some tea and The Unoffical Downton Abbey cookbook.  Currently affiliated to the exhbit: The Costumes of Downton Abbey, on view March 1, 2014–January 4, 2015 and for those considering attending during the weekend of June 21st and 22nd.. – it’s the last open seating for the Downton Abbey Brunch 🙂  Of course tea is still open…

Downton Afternoon Tea in the Visitor Center

June 14 SOLD OUT
June 15
June 28 & 29 SOLD OUT
July 6
July 13
July 20
July 27
August 3
August 10
August 17
August 24
August 31

3:00 pm    VIEW MENU
$29.95 per adult. 50% off for children under 12. 10% discount for Members on up to 4 members of the party. Reservations required. Please use the OpenTable widget below or call 302.888.4826.


Museum and Garden
Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Last tour tickets sold at 3:15 pm. Last tour is at 3:30 pm.
Closed Mondays (except during Yuletide), Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

Monday–Friday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Closed holiday Mondays


5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Winterthur, DE 19735




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *