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.
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 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.
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 http://thephotogardenbee.com/2010/06/04/winterthurs-peony-garden
They are currently in bloom and camera ready!!!
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…
as well as well groomed hillsides,
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.
The endless ‘Primula Japonica Primroses’ bring such lovely romance to rocky walls surrounding the great hollow.
Just one corner of the quarry’s pond of floral delights. Come visit and enjoy the others! It’s well worth the drive!
For more images visit http://thephotogardenbee.com/2010/05/24/the-quarry-garden-at-winterthur
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. http://www.winterthur.org/Downtonabbey and for those considering attending during the weekend of June 21st and 22nd.. http://www.winterthur.org/?p=764 – it’s the last open seating for the Downton Abbey Brunch 🙂 Of course tea is still open…
Downton Afternoon Tea in the Visitor Center
May 18 SOLD OUT
June 14 SOLD OUT
June 28 & 29 SOLD OUT
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