Garden Insider

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.


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.


June 6 • H.F. du Pont’s Follies (talk/walk)
The follies that H.F. du Pont added to his garden have a fascinating history, which Director of Interpretation and Estate Historian Jeff Groff will highlight in this presentation. Some other structures that might be considered garden follies will also be examined.


June 13 • Bees, Trees and Where Does All That Honey Come From Anyway? (talk/walk)
Join Winterthur’s Beekeeper Chris Biondi as he explores the basics of honey bees, nectar sources, and honey. After the indoor presentation, enjoy a hay ride out to the beehives!


June 20 • Sycamore Hill: Off the Beaten Path (talk/walk)
Venture into Sycamore Hill with Garden Horticulturist Jim Pirhalla. Learn some history, design, and plant species and discover a garden area with more than just a big tree in it!


June 27 • Exploring Follies Inside and Out at Winterthur (talk/walk)
Join Eileen Scheck, Assistant Curator of Garden Education, for this unique walk connecting one of the new garden follies to one of the most famous rooms in America, Winterthur’s Chinese Parlor. Explore the garden scenes depicted on the hand-painted wallpaper and learn about the images chosen to decorate the Chinese Pavilion Folly.


No Garden Insider on July 4.


July 11 • Propagating Evergreen Azaleas and Rhododendrons for the Home Gardener (demo)
Join Jim Gears, owner of Pennsbury Gardens in nearby West Chester, PA, to learn how to propagate evergreen azaleas and rhododendrons by stem cuttings and by seed. The propagation of native azaleas will also be discussed.


July 18 • Tomorrow’s Leaders in Horticulture (talk)
Go inside the interns’ garden! Winterthur’s Garden Interns will share about their experiences and individual research projects.


July 25 • Enjoying Bluebirds at Winterthur (talk/walk)
A small team of volunteers, natural lands staff, and interns monitors 84 nest-box duplexes throughout Winterthur. Learn how Winterthur is contributing to the study of breeding bird populations while providing habitat for some of our native birds.


August 1 • Gardening For Wildlife (talk)
Learn how to make your backyard an oasis for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Join Jessica Shahan, Naturalist at Newlin Grist Mill & Park, for a focus on native plants and ecological garden design, with a chance to meet some backyard garden inhabitants.


August 8 • Invasive Plants and Native Alternatives (talk)
Prepare for fall planting with Natural Resources Technician Madeline Banks. Learn about common invasive plants, plants that are on their way to becoming invasive, and native alternatives to use to enhance ecological value in your own yard.


August 15 • Designing a Tablescape Inspired by H.F. du Pont’s Naturalistic Garden (demo)
H.F. du Pont was renowned for his naturalistic garden, love of floral design, and lavish entertaining. Watch as Heidi Militana, Winterthur’s Floral Coordinator, designs a setting for a table using materials plucked from the natural landscape. Although a contemporary design in a modern setting, this tablescape will be inspired by Mr. du Pont’s love of the out-of-doors.


August 22 • A Decade of Kids’ Gardening at Winterthur (talk)
Hear highlights from over ten years of gardening with children, ages 6 to 14, through Winterthur’s special garden program for member families, Kids Grow! Director of Garden & Estate Chris Strand and Assistant Curator of Education/Garden Programs Erica Anderson share their experiences gardening with some of Winterthur’s youngest guests.


August 29 • Meadow Walk (walk)
Enjoy a hike through the field trails, following the streams and ponds throughout the property. Please wear appropriate footwear for a 1.5- to 2-hour hike.


September 5 • Late Summer Edible Plants: Identification and Tasting (talk/demo)
Learn to safely identify late summer edible plants and turn them into interesting and delicious treats! Before becoming Winterthur’s Mapping & Records Specialist, Lori Schnick designed and ran “Wild Edible” dinners through the Delaware Nature Society. Her co-speaker, Dr. William Ryan, is a botanist and Senior Ecologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University.


September 12 • The Beloved Koi (talk/walk)
The very popular koi fish in the Glade Garden certainly deserve our attention. Join Amy Bloom-Mountz, Garden Horticulturist, to learn some fascinating facts about these colorful friends of the Winterthur Garden and how to take care of their watery home.


September 19 • Freshwater Mussels at Winterthur (talk/walk)
Learn to be a citizen scientist with Jeff Long, Watershed Outreach Specialist for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. Hear how Winterthur and the Partnership have collaborated to raise juvenile freshwater mussels, amongst the most imperiled organisms in North America. Then get in the stream to look for these fascinating organisms in the wild! You’ll leave knowing how to find and identify freshwater mussels yourself and how to upload data for scientists to use. (Because this presentation involves both an indoor and field component, please allow for 2.5 hours and wear clothes that are stream appropriate, including shoes that can get wet.)


September 26 • The Head Gardener’s Wife: Ruth Wales du Pont (talk)
A talented musician, skilled hostess, and witty and insightful observer of life’s comedy, Ruth Wales du Pont partnered with Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur’s self-described “Head Gardener,” for over 50 years as host and hostess of one of America’s great country estates. Join Museum Guide and researcher Debra Shedrick for a look at the woman behind the man – the Head Gardener’s Wife.


October 3 • Nesting: An Arborist’s Perspective (talk/walk)
Disclaimer: This talk has nothing to do with actual bird’s nests! Arborist Kevin Braun will share more about his month-long task of reconstructing the famous Bird’s Nest feature in our children’s garden, Enchanted Woods. After a brief presentation, join Kevin on a walk to go see the nest construction up-close and personal!


October 10 • Digital Map of the Plants in the Garden (talk)
Come view the (nearly!) complete digital map of all accessioned woody plants within the Winterthur Garden. Learn how the map was created, how it will be used internally by staff, and how the public will be able to discover the location and other information about individual plants on the property.


October 17 • Fall Fruit on Oak Hill (walk)
Come for a walk with Garden Horticulturist Jessica Tsakiris and enjoy the splendor of fall color and fruit on Oak Hill.


October 24 • Fall Flowering Camellias (talk/walk)
H.F. du Pont experimented with many camellias. Unfortunately, none of those survive today, but recent breeding work has made it possible to grow several fall-flowering forms in the Delaware area. Join Linda Eirhart, Director of Horticulture and Senior Curator of Plants, for a presentation on this work, followed by a short walk to see our planting of white-flowering camellias.


October 31 • Celebrating with Cucurbits (demo)
See pumpkins and their allies transformed into festive carvings and elegant arrangements in time for your seasonal décor! Get familiar with members of the diverse gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) in this fun demonstration by Plant Records Manager Patti Pleva and Assistant Curator of Education/Garden Programs Erica Anderson.

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