The White which Survives May Rain

Late May, Winterthur, Delaware

 

The ephemerals are long gone.

The great flowering non-native magnolias, cherry trees, flowering quince, spirea, many azaleas, some rhododendrons and so many other flora are done flowering. 

 

The Spring schedule is somewhat disturbed this year and so the peonies are still blooming between washes of rain.

 

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The insistent rains of late Spring have come now and this week tornadoes touched down north of Philadelphia.

 

The rains wash away many colours.  White survives.

 

Not exactly because nothing is that simple…

 

I cannot stand the cold of winter and these photos will keep me until the Spring comes again.

 

 

White Mostly

The major flowering  season here is mid-April and May and it is passing. 

 

Winterthur, Delaware: a series of gardens designed by Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969, American) to flower in succession across the park from March to November.

One such garden is Sycamore Hill.

Its major features are an old sycamore tree standing at almost the half point of a wide sward of trees and bushes.  The sward is perhaps a half-mile long

 

This is a partial record of mid- to late May  through early June on Sycamore Hill.

 

In winter, the sward: 

 

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In May:

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 The sycamore in winter:

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In May:

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Along one side of the sward, a fence separates it from a park.

 

In winter:

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  In May:

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The sward ends at its northern end at an architectural garden folly perched on a promontory.

Behind it grows a magnificent tulip poplar.

Below this folly is another such folly said to be in the shape of an Ottoman tent even if the design seems Indian to us: Indo-Saracenic, perhaps.

 

In winter: 

 

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In May: 

 

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Tulip tree on the promontory.  Its flowers bloom in late May with green and orange flowers

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The tenting of the Indo-Saracenic folly had different furnishings in 2018

 

 

On one side  of the promontory, the park. 

 

On the other and below the promontory is the Quarry Garden, the last of Henry Francis du Pont’s gardens.

Here the dominant flowers are candelabra primulas. 

 

 

In winter

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In May:

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From the old sycamore to the tip of the promontory are dense plantings of trees and bushes.

 

The sward transforms into an allée:  actually three allées so wide is the sward with, here and there, an intersection formed by a bush or a tree. 

 

 

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These break the perspective down the allées and encourage you to halt and turn around and look.

 

 

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After mid-May, it is in these three allées, that, mainly white-flowering trees and bushes continue to flower.

 

 

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A little world and a fragrant shady passageway between bleak winter and summer heat.

 

 

 

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Japanese Spirea

 

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?

 

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Styrax Obassia (Fragrant Snowbell)

 

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Deutzia crenata

 

 

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Kousa Dogwood

 

 

And  deep red Deutzia here among the whites to show up their brilliance……..

 

 

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You think of flamenco.

All these plants stamping and stampeding up and down the green.   You remember the light in southern Spain.

 

An extract of music from Carlos Saura’s expose of the variations of the art of flamenco in I don’t know which year.

 

 

 

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Deutzia cultivar

 

 

The whites reclaim you.  No reason not to be here, you think. 

Cool shade and fragrance when there is a breeze especially.  A concentrated loveliness.

 

 

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American Fringe Tree.  Fragrant at certain times in its flowering.  Distinct but not overwhelming. 

 

 

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Deutzia Cultivar

 

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Fragrant Abelia yet to open this year in mid-May

 

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White mountain laurel still to bloom in mid-May

 

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?

 

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Oyama Magnolia

 

 

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Large-leaved native deciduous magnolia.  At Mt. Cuba, flowering in late May

 

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Tea viburnum in two colours

 

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American yellowwood

 

 

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Philadelphus mock orange

 

 

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Cotoneaster salacifolia

 

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Fairy Wand (Chamaelirium luteum), actually at Mt. Cuba, Hockenville, Delaware. 

But who can resist its curved delicacy and its many names: devil’s bit; false unicorn?

 

 

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Chinese snowball viburnum

 

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Virginia sweetspire also at Mt. Cuba at the end of May

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “The White which Survives May Rain

  1. What an extravagance of wand-changing magic! Thank you, Sarah for sharing your long time of observed appreciation with us.

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