Winterthur, Delaware on April 4, 2021
Legacy of Henry Francis du Pont, 1880-1969, American
So happy every time I am to be walking into the woods at Winterthur
This last week has seen at least two nights of freezing temperatures.
A week after my last visit, a large-leafed flower of a blue-purple not yet seen catches my eye:
the leaf hiding a Virginia Bluebell
the extravagant Virginia Bluebell with its green-green large leaves, now beginning to lord it over the long lasting Glory-of-the-Snow
Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica)
Not that the Glory-of-the-Snow have let go their grip yet. I have seen them floating over a coating of snow and a little frost does not do them damage.
Their coronets and carpets everywhere
in the protection of tree roots also:
although this year they are very scarce in the peony bed
the immature peony bushes looking out to see what gives
Here and there a few Italian windflowers have survived freezing nights
Italian windflower (Anemone appenina)
and an entire slope of the delicate pink-veined Spring Beauty also
Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
The dawn redwood, my personal totem, has finally dropped all its seed pods
The Sundial putti point to the watery kingdom of Hippocampus
whose waters have been cleared of the leaves of last year
Hippocampus is now able to look down at the patterns formed by the aquatic plants sunk into its waters for flowering in summer
at the same time as the lilac azalea which surround it and for which I long:
Hippocampus surrounded by lilac azalea in the summer every year
The damage and flowering-delays of freezing nights in the last week are clear.
the early rhododendron has lost its early crown, its flowers discoloured and bedraggled like wet tutus.
the flowers of the Star Magnolia, which have not yet shed its petals, are likewise burnt by the frost
Star Magnolia beyond the leafing Sargent Crabapple
Star magnolia flowers today
Likewise Magnolia Soulangeana which flowers not long after the Star Magnolia
The crabapples are struggling out of their grays also
An avenue of flowering crabapple bushes, normally red-orange fire at this time of year, has yet to shake off its winter grays
The flowering of the spirea is later than usual this year
The cherry trees are wraithed and not wreathed this year
The Ipheion in a circle around the carmine crabapple tree are sparse this year
Daffodils on slopes have yet to erupt:
their banners carried by others planted, warm and cozy, inside Winterthur’s buildings
But the Forsythia is waltzing with a juvenile conifer in anticipation of warming days…
So who am I not to dance also?
Especially since last year, these magnificent grounds were closed at this time of year.
Their only visitor was the Covid-19 virus stalking human prey.