The best time to see what’s in bloom is not always spring… Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library’s grounds prove there are beautiful views year-round so that perfect viewing day could be any day! Things change daily on the 1,000+ acre grounds. Follow along through the spring, summer and autumn with this guide to see just what is blooming for Winterthur #VisitWilm garden adventures.
Spring in the Gardens
February 4th - The first signs of spring arrive in late February to the gardens, and the blossoms of white snowdrops and the yellow adonis begin to appear. The chilly weather also brings out the best in the native and hybrid witch hazels. At the Winterthur Visitor Center, the lemon-yellow Chinese witch hazels contrast beautifully with the muted winter landscape. From the Quarry Garden bridge, the view of the surrounding hills is framed by the bronze shades of hybrid witch hazels.
February 18th - February is an excellent time to visit Winterthur's March Bank. The hillside is covered with dainty snowdrops with their nodding white blooms and the winter aconite sporting its ruffle-like collar and cheery yellow flowers. Among this sea of bulbs, be sure to look for the striking patch of adonis with ferny foliage and yellow blossoms. Around the Icewell Terrace, large white snowflakes will be beginning to show. At the Visitor Center and Quarry Garden the witch hazels, still in bloom, feature shades of yellow and bronze.
March 3rd - With spring officially around the corner, The March Bank display is already well on its way. The bank is alive with thousands of bright yellow blossoms of the adonis and winter aconite bulbs, along with the early flowering cornel dogwoods. Countless snowdrops bloom here as well as throughout the garden. The East Terrace lawn is covered with the lavender Crocus tomasinianus, or "Tommies," along with the deliciously scented flowers of winter honeysuckle. The chartreuse green of hellebores can be found at the Winterhazel Walk. At the Quarry Garden, there are early glory-of-the-snow and the orange-yellow blossoms of the witch-hazels.
March 11th - By the third week of March, the March Bank is covered in white snowdrops and yellow winter aconite and adonis. This color scheme is accented by crocus in shades of purple and lavender. Blue glory-of-the-snow begins to bloom at the Quarry Garden along with yellow cornelian-cherry dogwoods. Chartreuse and pink hellebores still bloom strong along the Winterhazel Walk.
March 18th – Just after St. Patrick’s Day, the "yellow phase" begins to fade as the bright yellow flowers of the winter aconite and adonis give way to the beginning blossoms of the blue squills and glory-of-the snow. These are accented with the yellow flowers of the Cornus officinalis, white and lavender crocus, and miniature daffodils. The crocus and daffodils can also be found at the Quarry Garden, as well as beautiful cornelian-cherry dogwoods in full bloom combined with the coppery shades of the hybrid witch hazels and, again, the beginnings of the glory-of-the-snow. On the way to the Quarry, be sure to take the Winterhazel Walk and check out the burgundy and white Helleborus. This time of the year brings constant change to Winterthur’s garden, especially as the "blue phase" of the March Bank begins.
March 23 - Taking center stage is the March Bank changing from the "yellow phase" to the "blue phase." The beginnings of the blue glory-of-the-snow and squills extend from the Azalea Woods through the March Bank and down into the Glade. There are also early miniature daffodils, lavender and white crocus, and yellow cornelian-cherry dogwoods in full bloom. The Winterhazel Walk has white, rose, and pale green hellebores, and blooming nearby are deliciously fragrant pink and white viburnums with early flowering rhododendrons beneath. At the Quarry Garden you will find yellow cornelian-cherry dogwoods in bloom with yellow daffodils and blue glory-of-the-snow. The East Terrace lawn of the museum is filled with blue glory-of-the-snow, and nearby are fragrant white winter honeysuckle and yellow winter jasmine.
March 30 – Soon after spring hits Wilmington, the March Bank reaches its peak with millions of scilla and glory-of-the-snow in bloom. The sea of blue starts in the Azalea Woods, covers the entire March Bank, and spills down into the Glade. This combination is accented with the pale yellow of cornelian-cherry dogwoods, early forsythia, and daffodils. The other main display throughout this time of year is the Winterhazel Walk, just coming into flower. The pale-yellow winter hazels and the lavender and pink Korean rhododendrons begin to bud along with the lavender corydalis and the white and burgundy lenten rose. With the warm weather, the March Bank show will not last long, so be sure not to miss it!
April 7 – Spring is blooming throughout Greater Wilmington, and Winterthur’s garden is alive with color heading into the month of April. The March Bank and Azalea Woods still show with blue glory-of-the-snow accented by white and lavender Italian windflowers, white bloodroot, and cheery yellow daffodils. Winterhazel Walk dazzles with the beautiful combination of pale-yellow winter-hazel and lavender Korean rhododendrons. Be sure to take a walk to the Quarry Garden to see yellow daffodils and corydalis. Stroll through the Azalea Woods to see pale pink rhododendrons. The Pinetum Quince Walk will also be in bloom with shrubs in various shades. Nearby will be the pale blue starflower. Throughout Winterthur, you can enjoy yellow forsythia and pink flowering cherries, pink and white magnolias, and beautiful stands of daffodils just beginning to color the hillsides.
April 14 - The gardens are now filled with color! As the lavender and yellow show of the Winterhazel Walk starts to fade, the Sundial Garden will be reaching its full splendor. White and pink magnolias will be in full bloom along with spireas, flowering quince, and flowering cherries. These colors can also be found in the Pinetum along with the pink blossoms of the royal azaleas. While in the Pinetum, don't miss the Quince Walk, lined with pink, salmon, white, and red varieties. The March Bank and Azalea Woods will be filled with the blue and white flowers of the Italian windflower, native Trilliums, and the tiny yellow blossoms of primroses. Throughout the garden there will be thousands of daffodils in bloom along with such spring treasures as early flowering rhododendrons, corydalis, native pachysandra, and many others.
April 20 –White and pink magnolias and pink cherries will be in full bloom along with native dogwoods and redbuds ready to pop. Virginia bluebells, lavender and white Italian windflowers, yellow forsythia, and lavender rhododendrons can all be found blooming throughout the garden. At the March Bank, look for wildflowers such as yellow bellwort, white spring beauty, and cutleaf toothwort. The Azalea Woods is filled with white trilliums, mayapples, and yellow primroses. Make a special trip to the Sundial Garden to see blooming shrubs such as white spirea, flowering quince and early lilacs. Notice the deep pink crabapple at the edge of the Pinetum with a beautiful drift of pale blue starflower nearby. The Pinetum has flowering quince in shades of pink, red and white. There will be spectacular drifts of daffodils along the Front Drive and also at Magnolia Bend and Sycamore Hill.
April 28 - Spring is in full bloom in the garden, and at the center of it all is the Sundial Garden. The lavender of the beginning blossoms of the lilacs combines with a sea of pinks and whites as spiraeas, rhododendrons, cherries, viburnums, and crabapples fully bloom. From here, take a walk toward the Pinetum to enjoy the sweet fragrance of the Viburnum carlesii and the many shades of flowering quince that soften the path. In the Pinetum, the shade from the ancient evergreens is brightened by white spireas, pearlbushes and delicate pink royal azaleas. At the Quarry Garden, there are many bulbs still in bloom with the primroses just starting to flower. Color and surprises will be found throughout the garden with redbuds, Virginia bluebells, and trilliums in full bloom, and the beloved dogwoods beginning to flower.
May 4 - The lavender redbuds and pink and white dogwoods will be in full bloom along with the azaleas just beginning to flower. At this time of the year, the Azalea Woods and the March Bank come alive with white spring beauties. Also in bloom are Virginia bluebells, white and blue Italian windflower, yellow and white trilliums, blue Jacob's ladder, and lavender phlox. The Sundial Garden will be at its peak with cascading white spirea, fragrant viburnums and lilacs. In the Pinetum lie magnificent white pearlbushes and crabapples starting to bloom.
May 13 - The garden will be absolutely filled with color as the dogwoods, viburnums, rhododendrons, and azaleas fully bloom across the estate. The finest azalea show, however, continues in Azalea Woods, where eight acres of white, coral, pink, and red cultivars remain in full flower along with peach and salmon rhododendrons. These colors are offset by the lavender of phlox and Spanish bluebells in flower on the woodland floor. Azalea Woods should be at its peak for at least another week. In the Sundial Garden the theme remains white and lavender with snowball viburnums, lilacs, and the princess trees in bloom. Nearby, in the Pinetum, the deep shade of the mature evergreens will be enlivened by white spireas and pink azaleas. On Oak Hill, bright reds of azaleas and the flame buckeye are paired with lilacs and gold, white, and pink native azaleas, many of which are also quite fragrant.
May 18 - The azaleas will still be making an appearance in every part of Winterthur. The Azalea Woods come alive with pinks, lavenders, deep reds, and whites with the azaleas underplanted with Spanish bluebells and lavender Dame's Rocket. In the Peony Garden, many early peonies in soft ivory, salmon yellow and red will appear as well as pink weigela. The Quarry Garden will reach peak bloom with wild columbines and early primulas in shades of yellow, orange, and pink. In the Sundial Garden, Sycamore Hill, and Oak Hill areas, the last fragrant lilacs still bloom along with white snowball viburnums.
Summer in the Gardens
June 1 - Sycamore Hill will be at its peak bloom in June when kousa dogwoods with their white star-like blossoms, pink spirea, white deutzias, and lavender lilacs all come into bloom. Primroses will still be colorful at the Quarry Garden in shades of yellow, pink, and orange. Throughout Winterthur, late azaleas and rhododendrons will also add their colors to the landscape. Arching sprays of deutzia and spirea are complemented by blue and white iris at Magnolia Bend. Take a stroll and enjoy the interesting textures of ferns, hostas, daylilies, and other delights of the Winterthur woodlands.
June 18 - As summer begins, the Quarry Garden will be full of color with primroses in shades of orange, yellow and lavender. At Magnolia Bend, white roses pair with pink azaleas. The deep shade March Bank is brightened by orange daylilies, white spikes of the bugbanes, and the many shades of green ferns. Throughout the woodlands, color can be found in late-blooming azaleas, lilies, bugbanes, hostas, and hydrangeas.
July – Summer continues as the Winterthur woodlands come alive with the blooms of hybrid daylilies and the delicate whites of joe-pye-weed and bugbane. At Magnolia Bend, the whites of the oakleaf hydrangeas pair with the white blossoms of rugosa roses. In the Quarry Garden amid the soothing sounds of natural springs and meandering streams, you will be able to enjoy astilbes, iris, white bellflowers, and rudbeckia in full flower along with hostas that are just beginning to bloom. The Glade, refreshing with its waterfall and fish pools, will be surrounded by hostas and hydrangeas. Nearby, the Reflecting Pool will be surrounded with containers of colorful summer annuals. And as the summer progresses, the streambanks and wetlands of the estate change weekly as native wildflowers come in and out of bloom.
August – The final month of summer is a great time to enjoy Winterthur. A walk through the woodland areas of the Azalea Woods, March Bank, Enchanted Woods, and the Quarry Garden offers views of ferns, hostas, joe-pye-weed, and other plants with interesting foliage and textures. It’s also nice to find a quiet place to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden. At the Reflecting Pool, admire the shimmering water, or catch a glimpse of the fish in the Glade pond. Venture out to the meadows of Winterthur and investigate the wildlife and various plants with beautiful views of the surrounding hills. In the first weeks of August, you will find red cardinal flower in bloom at the Quarry Garden and at Magnolia Bend with lavender Russian sage and blue plumbago still making a show.
See, the gardens aren’t just for that one perfect Spring day…they bloom for visitors’ viewing pleasure nearly year-round.
To learn more visit: http://www.winterthur.org/visit/garden/