Wednesdays at Winterthur - Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library

2018 Garden Insider: A Series of Garden Walks, Talks, and Demonstrations

Wednesdays, April–October
11:00 am, Brown Horticulture Learning Center

Go behind-the-scenes with the experts! Each week Winterthur introduces you to a specialist who will share with you his/her insights and expertise about the Winterthur Garden and estate, its history, horticulture, or the environment. Presentations may be in the form of a walk, talk, or demonstration (or a combination). About 1 hour. Members free. Included with admission.


The Inspiration Behind Winterthur’s New Garden Follies (talk)

April 4

Interested in learning more about the inspiration behind the new Follies exhibition? Join Carol Long, Curator of the Garden, as she explains the details that went into creating Winterthur’s first outdoor exhibition.


Spring Ephemerals of Azalea Woods (walk)

April 11

Enjoy an early spring day in Azalea Woods. Susan Sibley, Garden Horticulturist, will be your guide as you witness the garden come to life with bluebells, trillium, and windflowers.


Getting to Know the Sundial Garden (walk)

April 18

Originally called the April Garden, the formally designed Sundial Garden provides the framework for a carefully planned succession of bloom through the month of April. Take a walk with Garden Horticulturist Joe Lazorchak to experience and get to know the history behind this spring-blooming garden created by H.F. du Pont and Marian Cruger Coffin.


Attracting Hummingbirds with Gardens, Flowers, and Feeders (talk)

April 25

Want to attract more of those brilliant-colored, ever-nimble hummingbirds to your garden? Come learn all about hummingbird gardening with Ron Simpson, Winterthur Garden Guide and New Castle County Master Gardener.


Winterthur’s Flowering Trees (walk)

May 2

This walk, led by Director of Garden & Estate Chris Strand, will feature our beautiful and familiar dogwoods and redbuds but also highlight exceptional specimen trees at Winterthur, such as magnolias, dove tree, crabapples, and cherries. H.F. du Pont designed his spring garden as a celebration of color, and these flowering trees play a pivotal role in his composition.


Amazing Azaleas (walk)

May 9

Acres of colorful azaleas and rhododendrons brighten the early May garden. Join Linda Eirhart, Director of Horticulture and Senior Curator of Plants, for a stroll through Azalea Woods to learn why Mr. du Pont “was fired with a desire to plant azaleas in all directions.” 


A Passion for Peonies (walk)

May 16

Take a walk through the Peony Garden with Garden Horticulturist Michelle Stapleford. The large collection of A.P. Saunders hybrids flaunts colors as diverse as yellow, red, white, lavender, and fabulous pink. Take in the spectacle and learn all about the care and maintenance of herbaceous and tree peonies.


How to Make a Pollinator House (demo)

May 23

Encourage beneficial insects in your garden by creating a pollinator house! Join Suzanne French, Garden Horticulturist, for a demonstration on how to make one of these structures using Winterthur’s own pollinator house as inspiration.


The Joy of Sketching Outdoors (demo/walk)

May 30

Discover your inner artist while taking in the beauty of the Winterthur Garden and Estate. With the firm belief that anyone can draw, Erica Anderson, Assistant Curator of Education/Garden Programs, will show you how easy it is to make a nature sketchbook for capturing your special moments in the great outdoors. Basic drawing supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring along your own.


H.F. du Pont's Follies (talk/walk)

June 6

The follies that H.F. du Pont added to his garden have a fascinating history, which Director of Interpretation and Estate Historian Jeff Groff will highlight in this presentation. Some other structures that might be considered garden follies will also be examined.


Bees, Trees and Where Does All That Honey Come From Anyway? (talk/walk)

June 13

Join Winterthur's Beekeeper Chris Biondi as he explores the basics of honey bees, nectar sources, and honey. After the indoor presentation, enjoy a hay ride out to the beehives!


Sycamore Hill: Off the Beaten Path (talk/walk)

June 20

Venture into Sycamore Hill with Garden Horticulturist Jim Pirhalla. Learn some history, design, and plant species and discover a garden area with more than just a big tree in it!


Exploring Follies Inside and Out at Winterthur (talk/walk)

June 27

Join Eileen Scheck, Assistant Curator of Garden Education, for this unique walk connecting one of the new garden follies to one of the most famous rooms in America, Winterthur’s Chinese Parlor. Explore the garden scenes depicted on the hand-painted wallpaper and learn about the images chosen to decorate the Chinese Pavilion Folly.


No Garden Insider on July 4.


Propagating Evergreen Azaleas and Rhododendrons for the Home Gardener (demo)

July 11

Join Jim Gears, owner of Pennsbury Gardens in nearby West Chester, PA, to learn how to propagate evergreen azaleas and rhododendrons by stem cuttings and by seed. The propagation of native azaleas will also be discussed.                                                            

Tomorrow's Leaders in Horticulture (talk)

July 18

Go inside the interns' garden! Winterthur's Garden Interns will share about their experiences and individual research projects.


Enjoying Bluebirds at Winterthur (talk/walk)

July 25

A small team of volunteers, natural lands staff, and interns monitors 84 nest-box duplexes throughout Winterthur. Learn how Winterthur is contributing to the study of breeding bird populations while providing habitat for some of our native birds.


Gardening For Wildlife (talk)

August 1

Learn how to make your backyard an oasis for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Join Jessica Shahan, Naturalist at Newlin Grist Mill & Park, for a focus on native plants and ecological garden design, with a chance to meet some backyard garden inhabitants.


Invasive Plants and Native Alternatives (talk)

August 8

Prepare for fall planting with Natural Resources Technician Madeline Banks. Learn about common invasive plants, plants that are on their way to becoming invasive, and native alternatives to use to enhance ecological value in your own yard.


Designing a Tablescape Inspired by H.F. du Pont's Naturalistic Garden (demo)

August 15

H.F. du Pont was renowned for his naturalistic garden, love of floral design, and lavish entertaining. Watch as Heidi Militana, Winterthur’s Floral Coordinator, designs a setting for a table using materials plucked from the natural landscape. Although a contemporary design in a modern setting, this tablescape will be inspired by Mr. du Pont's love of the out-of-doors.


A Decade of Kids' Gardening at Winterthur (talk)

August 22

Hear highlights from over ten years of gardening with children, ages 6 to 14, through Winterthur's special garden program for member families, Kids Grow! Director of Garden & Estate Chris Strand and Assistant Curator of Education/Garden Programs Erica Anderson share their experiences gardening with some of Winterthur's youngest guests.


Meadow Walk (walk)

August 29

Enjoy a hike through the field trails, following the streams and ponds throughout the property. Please wear appropriate footwear for a 1.5- to 2-hour hike.


Late Summer Edible Plants: Identification and Tasting (talk/demo)

September 5

Learn to safely identify late summer edible plants and turn them into interesting and delicious treats! Before becoming Winterthur's Mapping & Records Specialist, Lori Schnick designed and ran "Wild Edible" dinners through the Delaware Nature Society. Her co-speaker, Dr. William Ryan, is a botanist and Senior Ecologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University.


The Beloved Koi (talk/walk)

September 12

The very popular koi fish in the Glade Garden certainly deserve our attention. Join Amy Bloom-Mountz, Garden Horticulturist, to learn some fascinating facts about these colorful friends of the Winterthur Garden and how to take care of their watery home.


Freshwater Mussels at Winterthur (talk/walk)

September 19

Learn to be a citizen scientist with Jeff Long, Watershed Outreach Specialist for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. Hear how Winterthur and the Partnership have collaborated to raise juvenile freshwater mussels, amongst the most imperiled organisms in North America. Then get in the stream to look for these fascinating organisms in the wild! You’ll leave knowing how to find and identify freshwater mussels yourself and how to upload data for scientists to use. (Because this presentation involves both an indoor and field component, please allow for 2.5 hours and wear clothes that are stream appropriate, including shoes that can get wet.)


The Head Gardener's Wife: Ruth Wales du Pont (talk)

September 26

A talented musician, skilled hostess, and witty and insightful observer of life's comedy, Ruth Wales du Pont partnered with Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur's self-described "Head Gardener," for over 50 years as host and hostess of one of America's great country estates. Join Museum Guide and researcher Debra Shedrick for a look at the woman behind the man – the Head Gardener's Wife.


Nesting: An Arborist's Perspective (talk/walk)

October 3

Disclaimer: This talk has nothing to do with actual bird's nests! Arborist Kevin Braun will share more about his month-long task of reconstructing the famous Bird's Nest feature in our children's garden, Enchanted Woods. After a brief presentation, join Kevin on a walk to go see the nest construction up-close and personal!


Digital Map of the Plants in the Garden (talk)

October 10

Come view the (nearly!) complete digital map of all accessioned woody plants within the Winterthur Garden. Learn how the map was created, how it will be used internally by staff, and how the public will be able to discover the location and other information about individual plants on the property.


Fall Fruit on Oak Hill (walk)

October 17

Come for a walk with Garden Horticulturist Jessica Tsakiris and enjoy the splendor of fall color and fruit on Oak Hill.


Fall Flowering Camellias (talk/walk)

October 24

H.F. du Pont experimented with many camellias. Unfortunately, none of those survive today, but recent breeding work has made it possible to grow several fall-flowering forms in the Delaware area. Join Linda Eirhart, Director of Horticulture and Senior Curator of Plants, for a presentation on this work, followed by a short walk to see our planting of white-flowering camellias.


Celebrating with Cucurbits (demo)

October 31

See pumpkins and their allies transformed into festive carvings and elegant arrangements in time for your seasonal décor! Get familiar with members of the diverse gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) in this fun demonstration by Plant Records Manager Patti Pleva and Assistant Curator of Education/Garden Programs Erica Anderson.

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