Saturday, April 26, 2008

Winterthur in spring

I knew of Winterthur as a house full of furniture, collected over decades by one of the Duponts. What I didn't realize until I visited this week is that Henry Francis Dupont, or H.F., was an avid gardener. He created acres of naturalized woodland gardens that are at their best in spring. A great believer in the succession of bloom, he planted acres (another highlight of his gardens is their scale) of early spring bulbs like Siberian squill, chionodoxa, winter aconite, snowdrops and daffodils (which we missed) followed by anemones (the Italian ones, they seem to grow taller than mine), bluebells, forget-me-nots and trillium (which we did see), all punctuated by flowering trees and the dark greens of the pinetum.

Here's a picture of the saucer magnolias, above a carpet of forget-me-nots.

And then there were the sweeps of anemones

and the hillsides of Virginia bluebells (alas, he had only the common blue, unlike some of us fortunates who have inherited the white, smirk)

to say nothing of the multitude of trilliums, mostly the white ones, but also a few yellow and the dark red of the wake robins.

The flowering trees and shrubs were intoxicating, cherries, magnolias, intensely fragrant Carlesii viburnum,

even the redbuds, whose color is hard to work with, I think. I usually prefer them in someone else's garden.
Well, see where HF put them and how well they do.
The weather was absolutely perfect - blue skies, sun, mid-70s - and all was right with the world, if only for a few days...

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