Kurume and other hardy Azaleas at Winterthur, Delaware

 

2008-2019 

Winterthur, Delaware:  legacy of Henry Francis du Pont, American, 1880-1969 

 

 

Three groupings of azaleas grow in Winterthur: hardy kurume azaleas, hardy azaleas; and native and other  deciduous azaleas. 

 

Rhododendrons are also planted in many areas of the gardens.  Winterthur notes that azaleas and rhododendrons are in the same genus (rhododendron)azaleas having 5 stamens and rhododendrons 10.

 

 

 

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Azalea framing a lilac rhododendron at Winterthur

 

 

The major concentration of Kurume azaleas are in an 8-acre area: Azalea Woods.  They grow there in dense thickets among rhododendrons, small and tall trees, shrubs, ground covers and perennials.

 

 

 

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White flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) at Winterthur.  They flower at the same time as Kurume azalea

 

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Pink flowering dogwood; actually flowering in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Church, Philly

 

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Pink flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) at  Winterthur, 2018.  They flower at the same time as the Kurume azalea.

 

 

 

 

Henry Francis du Pont created Azalea Woods from the early-1920s onwards with a planting of Kurume azaleas to replace diseased chestnut trees. In some years, Kurume azalea plants are added.

 

 

 

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Kurume azaleas self-hybridize to produce wonderful effects on the eye from slight variations in colour distribution and stippling.

Pied beauty.

Dazzling in dappling sunlight. 

 

 

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Hardy azaleas grow elsewhere on Winterthur’s grounds. The earliest, varieties, Asian, bloom in April. The last are still in bloom in early November.

 

 

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Korean Azalea (Rhododendron Yedoense) blooming in late April at Winterthur.  Korean rhododendron bloom even earlier.

 

 

 

The weeks in which Azalea Woods are in full bloom may vary but are usually the second and third week of May.

Images of deciduous native azalea may have crept into this post as this wonderful land creeps often into my waking dreams.

 

 

To sustain me for all the years of our companionship. 

 

This bit of earth calls out in May and June.   You walk out

 

 

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into dense flora

 

 

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Miss Suzy (azalea) with pink Chinese ball viburnum

 

and then away under hovering flowering dogwood

 

 

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to the many wreaths that crown these gardens in May and June.

 

 

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Flowering dogwood above a floor of white azalea at Winterthur

 

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an azalea bush growing on Sycamore Hill far away from all its confreres

 

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Azalea woodlands Winterthur May 2015-05

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the day after heavy rain

 

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Winterthur's azaleas May 2013-04

Winterthur's azaleas May 2013-05

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Spanish bluebell growing with Kurume azalea

 

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Azalea woodlands Winterthur May 2015-12

 

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Azalea woodlands Winterthur May 2015-11

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Azalea woodlands Winterthur May 2015-02

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-08

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Winterthur's azaleas May 2013-23

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-13

 

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-07 - Copy

 

 

 

The fragrance of lilac flowering above white azalea leads you to the pale lilac azaleas which keep company with Hippocampus.

 

 

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Underneath a crowing rooster calling attention to white azalea and a crouching lilac rhododendron

 

 

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to the kingdom of Hippocampus.

 

Hippocampus rules over the The Reflecting Pool, originally the family’s swimming pool commissioned by H.F. du Pont in 1927, is surrounded in May/June with hardy lilac and white azaleas.

 

 

 

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In the Enchanted Garden, an area scaled and designed for children especially

 

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-13

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-06

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-12

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Azalea woodlands Winterthur May 2015-02

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Azaleas Winterthur May 2015-06

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Royal Azalea

 

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Royal Azalea seen from a flower wreath of a Sargent Crabapple stand to which they form an honour guard

 

 

 

Flame Azalea

 

 

 

 

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Winterthur's azaleas May 2013-03

 

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Winterthur's azaleas May 2013-03

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In my memory, an azalea of an autumnal red is the last to flower and that in late Autumn

 

 

 

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Winterthur's azaleas May 2013-07

 

 

 

By which time the flowering dogwood flowers are long since done.

 

 

 

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White flowering dogwood above the azalea at Winterthur

 

 

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Pink flowering dogwood; actually flowering in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Church, Philly.  May 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Kurume and other hardy Azaleas at Winterthur, Delaware

  1. What glory in these gardens. Imagine if humans had chosen to make gardens with sheds to live in instead of building skyscrapers. We would feel like gods amidst such beauty. I look forward to the possibility of another spring visit to Philly and a drive down to Winterthur to see the amazing azalias

    1. I was thinking y’day to publish a post about one of my ideal homes: pods of woven willow!

      Also, I was looking at the history of the Rosa abyssinica which is used as a living fence around kraals. With your comment, I am thinking that our early hominid forbears lived among flowers and trees until migration into Europe etc. forced them into architecture against the cold. I was remembering also the glass house in an enclosed garden which Philip Johnson built for himself in New Canaan.

      And the house high in the Paoli woods which the woodwright Wharton Esherick built. There there are no angles and everything is curvilinear to conform to the natural world.

      So I agree with you and Winterthur was an antidote to the several skyscrapers I worked in with their life-crushing neutral interiors.

      Yes, I hope you can come in May and if in June also, there are the sunken gardens of roses in Brooklyn and the Bronx. And the 3 , of 4, Cloisters if gardens high up over the Hudson. One growing food, medicinal and mortiferous herbs grown in the gardens of Charlemagne. You would so love these all. Sarah

    1. Oui, je suis d’accord. De plus, il y a une trentaine des ces parcs dans la ville et autour de la ville. Il y a aussi le tres grand Fairmount Park dans le quel la ville se situe.

      Vraiment on est gate! Quand meme, je n’ai pas reussi a faire visiter beaucoup des autres! Un peu etrange. Sarah

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