A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill--these are just a few of the inspirations for Winterthur's upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies: Architectural Whimsy in the Garden! The exhibition showcases whimsical and classic garden structures located throughout the Winterthur estate. Follies are architectural constructions, often extravagant or picturesque, positioned within the landscape to amuse, frame a view, or pique your curiosity. You may have seen follies at other estates or in television shows or movies, such as Downton Abbey or Brideshead Revisited. Henry Francis du Pont, who developed Winterthur's expansive gardens from 1902 to 1969, was familiar with follies throughout America and Europe and incorporated several into his own garden plans. Some of the follies you will see in the exhibition were created or procured by H.F. du Pont as he developed the garden. Others are newly built structures inspired by follies at other estates. Together they offer a fresh and delightful way for visitors to experience Winterthur's sweeping vistas, quiet corners, and winding paths. The exhibit can be enjoyed on foot or from the garden tram. The walking loop takes approximately 45 minutes at a leisurely pace. The main path through the garden is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
From the 1600s to the present, dinnerware designs have been inspired by nature. Everything from painted butterflies and hand-modeled flowers to molded seashells can be found on a fascinating range of dishes and plates. Whether it's a recipe for "Barbecued Fawn," fabulous tureens in the shapes of various animals, or instructions on how to fold a napkin so that it resembles a palm tree, prepare to be delighted by this unusual, often humorous exhibition that lets you explore a visual feast of flora and fauna adorning hundreds of dazzling ceramics and tablewares.
Join us for a lecture by John Dixon Hunt, emeritus professor of The History and Theory of Landscape at the University of Pennsylvania, then enjoy a walk or tram ride through the Winterthur Garden and experience Winterthur's first landscape exhibition, Follies: Architectural Whimsy in the Garden. Purchase tickets online or call 800.448.3883. $10 per Member. $20 per nonmember. Free for Winterthur Garden and Landscape Society and Garden Associate Members.
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. April 4 The Inspiration Behind Winterthur's New Garden Follies (talk) 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. April 11 Spring Ephemerals of Azalea Woods (walk) 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. April 18 Getting to Know the Sundial Garden (walk) Originally called the April Garden, the formally designed Sundial Garden provides the framework for a carefully planned succession of blooms 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. April 25 Attracting Hummingbirds with Gardens, Flowers, and Feeders (talk) 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. May 2 Winterthur's Flowering Trees (walk) 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 trees, 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. May 9 Amazing Azaleas (walk) 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." May 16 A Passion for Peonies (walk) 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. May 23 How to Make a Pollinator House (demo) 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. May 30 The Joy of Sketching Outdoors (demo/walk) 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.
Parents and their toddlers in strollers are invited to join Winterthur for fun and informative walks through the garden and galleries. Spend time with your child and make friends with new families while you learn a little about the amazing collections that make the Museum special.