Winterthur Bank to Bend 2019

The opening photo for John Anderson’s lecture on Saturday at Winterthur was quite arresting, and the remaining slides were equally as beautiful.

On Saturday, Michael and I attended the annual Bank to Bend lecture at Winterthur Gardens in Delaware, U.S.  The event honors Henry Francis du Pont’s walk from bank to bend to celebrate the gorgeous bulb display on the March Bank.  That walk was beautiful on Saturday as you will see below. 

The lecture was delivered by John Anderson, the Keeper of the Queen’s Gardens of Windsor Great Park, a very big job as the gardens host 6 million visitors a year.  His lecture showed us some arresting views of the Savill and Valley Gardens, totaling over 900 acres, and how they have changed over time as well as his reasoning behind those decisions.   The Queen is Anderson’s boss and there has been a garden here for a thousand years, so any changes must be well thought out.

Anderson is also in charge of the gardens at Frogmore House, which is HM the Queen’s private residence and garden at Windsor.  After the lecture, we had a delicious lunch and walked around Winterthur for three hours.  It was heavenly.

I hope you will enjoy our journey through photos:

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and cell number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


The Savill Garden hosts an outstanding magnolia collection.


The rose garden at Savill has recently been renovated to make it more attractive to visitors and visually interesting.


Frogmore House and Gardens, HM the Queen’s private residence and garden at Windsor.


Frogmore was also the location of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception. Anderson described the incredibly tight security arrangements this entailed.


Our intrepid group left to right: Carol Long, Curator of the Winterthur Garden; Charles Cresson, local horticultural authority and educator; John Anderson, Keeper of the Queen’s Gardens at Windsor Great Park; Linda Eirhart, Director of Horticulture at Winterthur; and Michael Drennan, co-owner of Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  They are posed in front of Winterthur’s dawn redwood, Metasequoia glytostroboides, part of the original collection of these trees in the 1940s.


The dawn redwood was a sight to behold against the beautiful blue sky on Saturday.


We spent most a lot of our three-hour walk admiring Winterthur’s incredible trees, many of which are champions.  John wanted his photo taken with this massive Sargent’s cherry, Prunus sargentii.


He also wanted to record his visit to the champion tulip tree or tulip poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera, by the Winterthur mansion.


The Winterthur March Bank was glorious, covered with winter aconite, snowdrops, adonis, and leucojum.


Nothing like a blue sky to show off winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, to perfection.


The Amur adonis, A. amurensis, was also peaking.


There were massive drifts of the giant snowdrop, Galanthus elwesii.  I have never seen G. elwesii growing as well as it does at Winterthur.


And then you come across something even more special: this little clump of three giant snowdrops that have solid green inner segments and are at least three times the size of a normal giant snowdrops.  Normal size on the right with the giants on the left and behind.  A form well worth naming!


Charles Cresson spotted this three-headed spring snowflake, Leucojum vernum.  I have seen twin heads but never three.  Let’s hope it’s stable.


Isn’t it gorgeous!


This was one of the best “horticultural” days that I have ever spent.  Thank you to Winterthur, John Anderson, my mentor Charles Cresson, and my wonderful husband Michael for making it happen.


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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

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5 Responses to “Winterthur Bank to Bend 2019”

  1. Christine Says:

    Please return to that prunus sargentii this spring and recreate this photo when blooming! Also the first photo is indeed stunning and the lecture sounds very interesting.

  2. Carolyn, You are always doing wonderful things. We will be having Spring before long… (I just know it! ha!)

  3. Leucojum vernum! How cool. Leucojum vernum has naturalized in spots. I sort of like it, and it almost gives me bragging rights, as if it is somehow like snowdrops.

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