Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Country Life at Winterthur

Why do I love Winterthur? Perhaps it’s the extraordinary collection of American decorative arts housed in the stately Du Pont home. Maybe it’s the bucolic setting in the picturesque Delaware Brandywine Valley. Or, the specimen trees, shrubs and rare plants on the estate’s naturalistic landscape. I would say all of the above. 

Winterthur was the country home of Henry Francis Du Pont---industrialist, collector and horticulturalist. Unlike his contemporaries collecting European furnishings, Du Pont had a passion for furniture, antiques and decorative arts made or used in America. He furnished his 175 room home with the best of the best. Always with the intention of sharing his collections, he opened Winterthur to the public in 1951.

I love to visit this special home, museum, library, and horticultural gem. Winterthur, to me, is gracious country living in a magical setting. Enjoy these photos from my weekend trip.
The formal box scroll garden adorned with ornaments.
 The last few peony flowers in the walled peony garden. Sadly the peak was over, but still so beautiful.
 The stately conservatory fitted with bronze and glass windows and doors.
 A lattice pavilion with carved millstone as stoop.
 Lilies and ferns naturalizing in the woodlands.
 Elaborate terracing leads down to the formal reflecting (formerly swimming) pool.
 I love the steep land - looking back and up towards the house.
 A bronze sea horse.
 Potted plants on the upper loggia.
 An intricate fan light and elaborate moldings.
 Classical style furnishings with delicate fretwork.
    An impressive curved, floating staircase.

61 comments:

  1. No wonder you love it so, I couldn't get enough . That cherub fountain is exquisite

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  2. What an exquisite house and the gardens are a delight - I especially love the classical detailing on the conservatory! The staircase too is absolutely magical - and yes - I am most certainly imagining myself wafting graciously down those steps to greet my guests!!!
    Paula xx

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  3. I still have not visited Winterthur and kick myself every time someone does a feature on it. Looks like you had a lovely time.

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  4. That is quite the "back yard" :)
    How come "old things" are so damn gorgeous......

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  5. What a house - and in an incomparable setting. Though it has been a few years since I visited, I do think the Brandywine Valley is one of the prettiest places I have seen. Your excellent photographs really let one imagine being there right now. Looks like it was a great weekend! Phyllis

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  6. It's so easy to see why you love it! Winterthur looks absolutely wonderful! Adding to my list of hope to see. Thanks for your beautiful tour. :)
    Robin

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  7. Wow! What a lovely post Loi. Your pictures, writing and of course the setting draw one into the scene with you. A great reminder that good taste always holds its beauty. Thank you for sharing this...your weekend seems so much more cultural than mine;)!!! I think that Mr.Du Pont would think The Trump'ster' gauche! Have a great day:)

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  8. Stunning photos Loi!
    I have long wanted to visit but have never had the opportunity...will put it at the top of my list again!
    I love the look of that fabulous conservatory! Thanks so much for sharing your weekend visit with beautiful photos! :)

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  9. What a beautiful house! The garden is so green, it never gets that green here in the South...Winterthur takes you back in another time..
    Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Lovely, lovely photos of a lovely location. My fave would be the solarium!

    best, teaorwine

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  11. Stunning pictures of an exquisite home and gardens. Thank you Mr. Dupont, and thank you Loi for sharing your wonderful commentary and photos with us!
    Lisa in Charlottesville, VA

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  12. Beautiful photos! sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! I love the conservatory!

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  13. A fantastic place both inside and out. Thanks for the tour, Loi!

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  14. Hey! that is gorgeous! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, it looks like you did! Is it me, or do some of their hedges and plants look like they're in need of trimming? I shouldn't talk, I can't even keep up with my few. Are they " naturalizing" a bit more? It still is absolutely gorgeous. Ive decided on ferns under my shady Japanese Maple..they grow wild in Bethany's yard, so Im going to go dig some up. Have you done much with ferns?
    Have a great week.
    XO Nancy

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    1. Yeah, they do look like they need a little haircut!! :-) Nancy, how about Hellebores for under the Japanese Maple? If you have other shady areas, try them. I sent you an email. Ck them out, okay?
      Loi

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  15. You never disappoint, Loi! I appreciate you sharing your weekend, friend!!
    The conservator is breathtaking. Can you imagine, and the gardens are perfection, as is the fretwork you mentioned.
    Happy Tuesday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  16. Hi Loi,

    Such a beautiful treat today, thanks for sharing your weekend visit to Winterthur. I love the stucco and stone exterior and the intricate weaving of the landscaping throughout the property. I'm aware of how utterly grand this estate is, nevertheless, I see an inviting home nestled in a shady wonderland that seems warm and welcoming.

    Poppy

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  17. I can see why you love it so much. Its beautiful....The garden looks like you could spend hours in it. A great place for inspiration.

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  18. These are beautiful photos and it looks like you took them on a beautiful day! How come I was cleaning out my garage?!? xo, Kathleen

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  19. This is quite impressive. The gardens are magical. Beautiful stonework, lovely views....peonies giving their last breath. The conservatory was gorgeous. I have always loved them. And if I ever had the opportunity to have one I know I would be found there most days. I also admired the details along the staircase. That lovely little flourish of trim........the sort of thing, you don't see today. Mostly because no one can afford the level of craftmanship required. What a lovely tour of a lovely estate. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  20. Thank you for this beautiful post! I love Winterthur; it combines the best of formal with the natural landscape that supports wildlife!

    What a great idea to do with a swimming pool if one no longer wants or needs one. Make it a reflecting pool. One needs only to plant it with water plants and stock it with mosquito fish, and others; bingo! No filters, no recirculating. I have done this with a few clients. It is nothing short of miraculous how quickly the animals and birds find it.........and after a few months.....it no longer looks like it ever was a swimming pool! (make holes in the hardscape and plant plants if there is too much decking around it! We have taken so many water sources; (pond, lakes, streams) away from wildlife that they descend upon a restored water hole!!

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  21. Hi Loi,
    We love Winterthur too. Your photos are the best I have ever seen of Winterthur! So fresh and green.

    I love the scroll garden, the elegant conservatory, the little garden building or folly, whatever it is called... with the ferns in urns(that rhymes!) and the delicate lilly. Thank you for taking us along with you, such beautiful photos! Another lovely post by Loi!
    Cindy

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  22. I visited there many years ago about this time of year. It is even more beautiful than I remember. I especially love the cherub fountain and bench and the bronze sea horse. One day I hope to go back again, but for now, thanks for the tour.
    Best...Victoria

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  23. What a great garden and a wonderful house!
    Markus

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  24. We love Winterthur and I've had the great fortune of being able to do some work there. We haven't been down in two years but might be time for a drive down. Your pictures are stunning as always you captured everything beautifully!

    XX
    Debra~

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  25. Very lovely. Very you!

    Beautiful picture Loi! That conservatory is something to write home about.

    Hugs from Seattle.

    Mon

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  26. Wonderful post, wonderful house.
    The gardens are to die for and that conservatory.........
    Would love to visit, but am to have enjoyed your picture tour.
    Hope you have a lovely week Loi.
    Lizx

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  27. What a beautiful calm and serene atmosphere Winterthur appears to have. I have fallen for the conservatory. I can imagine growing beautiful exotics in a conservatory like this to sit beneath whilst taking afternoon tea. Love the picture of the floating staircases, it could almost be an M C Escher.
    Paul

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  28. I couldn't read this post for scrolling through all the beautiful pictures, which led to looking at older posts.....Absolutely gorgeous photography. I can't wait to check out your Pinterest boards!

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  29. Hi Loi,
    That was a lovely post about Winterthur. It is a great garden and house in any season. Have you ever been to Chanticleer in Wayne, PA? I think it is my favorite garden in Pennsylvania. I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and am looking forward to retuning for a visit, including Chanticleer, this week.

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    1. Hi Michael - Thank you. I've never been to Chanticleer---on my list! Also Bartram's garden. Would love to see that, too. The rhododendrons in the Brandywine Valley are beautiful right now. Hope they will still be blooming when you visit. Very hot, and lots of thunderstorms!
      Cheers,
      Loi

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  30. I LOVE your weekend trips! Beautiful gardens, conservatory,(those windows!) home and your photos do it all justice. Very nice.Thank you for taking US with!
    Monica

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  31. Be still my heart Loi!
    I have been wanting to see Winterthur for years! It's on my bucket list!
    I too adore the grounds and elegant buildings~so beautiful!
    I am planning a trip to see my son in Virginia this Fall and hopefully...we can make my dream a reality!
    Thank you for sharing your trip!
    Have a great week!
    Donna

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  32. Hi Loi,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such great comments! This estate is absolutely gorgeous, especially the garden and conservatory!! I love your blog and you have amazing antiques! My husband is from New England and there is so much more history back East compared to the West! I am a new follower!

    Have a great week!
    Cindy

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  33. An impressive curved, floating staircase! Beautiful scrolling garden and I would love to see the Peony Garden. Wonderful photographs here and thank you for taking us on a tour of this historical property. It is truly stunning.

    leslie

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  34. How beautiful and serene is that setting! Wow! Thanks for sharing this tour. I love that seahorse. :)

    xo Terri

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  35. A fabulous house and garden, all that lush greenery must be watered and fed within an inch of it's life. I think I would be very happy to move into the conservatory and set up camp. I am sure they wouldn't notice me and what a view to wake up to in the morning.

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  36. Hi Loi,
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful weekend trip with us, I enjoyed your photos and descriptions of this impressive home.
    The grounds are fantastic! Makes me want to plan a trip!

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  37. Hey Loi, what a lovely place to visit. It is one impressive estate. The staircase and conservatory are magnificent. The garden - WOW, landscaping that steep site must have been a job!! The view back up the house is amazing though, amazing achievement.

    Sharon
    xxxx

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  38. Oh my! I don't think they would ever get me to leave there! This was unbelievably beautiful and I'm so glad I got to "visit" it! I know I will be re-reading this post often! Thanks for sharing and have a great Monday!
    Carolyn

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  39. It IS magical, and those statues just make me happy :) I'm guessing you have some Longwood Garden photos up your sleeves - Hope so, love that place!

    note to self...fuschia peonies...gorgeous.

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    1. Many thanks, Donna! It's been years since I visited Longwood. Will definitely do a future blog post on it. Loi

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  40. Absolutely beautiful! Your subject is amazing, but your photography skills are incredible. Lucky for me that I get to enjoy them so frequently!

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  41. Beautiful post and I must put Winterthur on my bucket list of beautiful places to visit! Thanks for the virtual tour! ~Delores

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  42. Loi,

    You are so generous to take such time to plan out your lovely photos and share with us..Thank You! There is so much that can be learned from the history of property (masters) and the landscaping that has and has not changed through generations. I love everything here and as it appears I am not alone by the responses of others. I will add to my bucket list (oh gosh) as well.

    Bette

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  43. Dear Loi, thank you for visiting my blog and following. I have now joined yours, and it looks as if it will be a very interesting journey. Winterthur is a stunning place, the house and gardens beckon to you, come and visit.

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    1. I have just realised that you do not have a follower button, so will put you on my sidebar.

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  44. You visited one of my favorite places in one of my absolute favorite areas of the country - fantasy house territory. Did you visit Longwood and the Brandywine Museum? Never enough time when visiting there. Thanks so much for the pictures of a place I love.

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  45. Hello !
    I love your blog !
    Thanks for all this photos...
    Céline, french watercolorist.

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    1. Bonjour Celine,
      Merci pour votre visite.
      Je visite votre blog.
      Loi

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  46. Incantevole!...un piccolo paradiso!
    Loi, grazie per avermi fatta partecipe di queste meraviglie,e grazie
    per il bel pensiero che hai lasciato sul mio blog.
    Ciao:)
    Luci@

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  47. I'm so glad I found your blog. The pictures are fantastic. I love your shop too!

    Lynn

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. Hope to see you at the shop soon. Cheers, Loi

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  48. This is just a lovely area to visit and no one within striking distance should miss visiting the house and gardens. I haven't been in a while, but your photos look like it is as I remember....stunning.

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  49. Winterthur is a gorgeous home with amazing gardens. Peonies are a favorite of mine and this image is so beautiful. I especially remember the conservatory...fabulous!!

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  50. Beautiful photographs. I love Winterthur, tho I haven't been there since I was a child. Your post has got me thinking it's time to go back. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.
    Jennifer

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  51. Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I love this home how amazing! Gorgeous windows and garden!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

    Best,
    Christina
    greige

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  52. Beautiful images of Winterthur. I've never been but it's on my bucket list. Those peonies are gorgeous. My favorite flower!

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  53. Amazing photographs! Love the peony flowers and the lattice pavilion. Your work is amazing (just read the post at the Red Door Home :) fabulous!)

    leslie

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi