Friday, April 30, 2010

Winterthur's Azalea Woods

Imagine that it is the early 1920's.
Your name is Henry Francis DuPont.
You have more than 1000 acres to work
with...and you love horticulture.

In fact, as a child you were home schooled
and as part of this education you
took many nature walks where you
learned the Common and Latin names of
the plants around you.
The dinner table was your quizzing place.
This was where you proved your knowledge
at the end of the day.

Imagine that one day you decide to
try growing azaleas. So, you choose
seventeen varieties from Europe.

They do so well that you end up
planting more than 1,000 azalea
bushes in an eight acre wood.

What you get all of these 90 years later....

Eye candy....
Lot and lots of eye candy.

Every way you look it is a
different color palette but
each is absolutely stunning.

Sadly, this annual beauty is short-lived.
That is why I would not consider
basing a garden exclusively on azaleas.

However, I don't have a thousand acres
to work with either.

Due to our early warm weather this Spring
all of our plants and trees are about
two and a half weeks ahead of schedule.
So, while these are normally at peak
Mid-May....this is Peak Week.
Gardeners can plan and plan,
but plants have their own timetable.

We followed path after path of
nothing but azaleas in bloom.

Some of the bushes bore two colors.
It was rather shocking.

We greatly enjoyed our visit
to these colorful woods....
but this was only the beginning
of our lovely day.

I cannot wait to show you the
rest of our day.
It will take several posts over
the next week or so.

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Isaiah 58:11

Wouldn't you like to be compared to
the loveliness of a garden such as this?

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Isaiah 61:11

Ahhh....Bring it Forth, Lord.
I am ready!


Mrs.Rabe said...


Someday we will get there...

I love all the garden analogies in scripture...I really like Psalm 1.

Carol said...

Beautiful! I love seeing azaleas in bloom. Here in Oklahoma they've just about finished blooming and now the bushes are turning a pretty green.


Barb~Bella Vista said...

Stunningly beautiful, Becky. Our azaleas have already come and gone....far too quickly.

Barb ♥

black eyed susans kitchen said...

What a beautiful place! Enjoy the weekend Becky...its supposed to be warm tomorrow!
♥, Susan

Elena said...

So very beautiful. I just love Azalea's too!

Buttercup said...

I love Winterthur, but haven't been there at this time of year. I guess I need another trip.

tea time and roses said...

Hello Dear Becky,

The azaleas are beautiful. To spend a relaxing afternoon among this beautiful garden, simply divine.

You and your family enjoy a most beautiful weekend.



Anonymous said...

The azaleas are so pretty! We have one azalea in our back yard. It has lots and lots of buds; should be pretty this year when it blooms.

Vee said...

Oh you shall enjoy the Goudge books mentioned just for the descriptions of forest and gardens. The added touch will be the descriptions of home and tea time!

Would you believe that I just pruned back my azalea with great zeal? It actually angered me that I am allowing it to take over so much of my little garden for the benefit of one week of bloom. The astilbe, the roses, the peonies, daylilies, columbine, spiderwort, all suffer because of it.

Loved the background story! With all that acreage, it's no wonder Dupont could devote so much time to it.

(One of my great-great uncles was a friend of Dupont's. Wonder if he ever was treated to time spent there.)