Learn This: Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley

February 29, 2024

On the Philadelphia Space Fling final September (click on right here for my posts about it), attendees got a duplicate of recent ebook Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley. The nice people at Longwood Gardens handed the books out as we boarded the buses after a stunning dinner with reside music adopted by prime seats on the Longwood fountain present. Sure, we have been handled like royalty!

Once I received house, I set the ebook on my towering to-read stack and turned again to writing my very own new ebook. (It’s about Texas gardens throughout the state, popping out subsequent yr.) And there it sat till final week, once I lastly had time to crack it open.


Du Pont Gardens is a heavy hardback of good-looking images and historic information about 5 grand gardens created by the rich Du Pont household over a 100-year interval, from the early 1800s to the early 1900s, within the Brandywine Valley, a congenial gardening area between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.


The early Du Ponts immigrated from France in 1800 and made their fortune in gunpowder manufacturing. Ultimately the household expanded into the chemical and automotive industries. They weren’t solely good at earning money. They have been good at making gardens. A shocking variety of the Du Pont descendants put their fortunes to make use of in constructing extravagant nation properties and gardens, after which they ensured that, after their deaths, the gardens would reside on as public areas. In the present day, we’re the beneficiaries of their horticultural and philanthropic designs.


The 5 estates featured on this ebook are Longwood Gardens, Nemours Property, Winterthur, Hagley, and Mt. Cuba Middle. Of those, I’ve visited Longwood and Winterthur a number of instances (discover my picture excursions in Should-See Gardens underneath Delaware and Pennsylvania), and I’ve been eager to see Mt. Cuba. The opposite two I wasn’t conscious of, however I’d wish to see them now.


Larry Lederman produced the stunning images for this ebook, which present the Du Pont gardens throughout the rising season. Marta McDowell, who teaches panorama historical past and horticulture at New York Botanical Backyard, gives the historic context for every backyard. I loved studying how every backyard got here into being, and the way that individual area and period gave beginning to so many grand gardens.

Mt. Cuba

In case you’ve toured the Brandywine Valley’s gardens or hope to, or in order for you a memento out of your go to to Longwood or different Du Pont gardens, I feel you’ll take pleasure in this ebook too.

All images are by Larry Lederman from Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley, courtesy of Monacelli Press.

Disclosure: Longwood Gardens gave me a duplicate of Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley, and I reviewed it at my very own discretion and with none compensation. This publish, as with all the things at Digging, is my private opinion.

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Digging Deeper

March 16: Attend the third annual Budding Out Plant Sale & Competition on 3/16 on the John Fairey Backyard in Hempstead. Uncommon and distinctive vegetation from the backyard’s nursery and from choose plant distributors will likely be on the market. Extra choices embrace artwork, ceramics, jewellery, meals, music, and shows. Admission: $5 for members, $10 for non-members, kids underneath 12 free. Hours: 10 am to 4 pm; members get early admission at 9 am (memberships accessible on day of occasion).

March 30-31: Come see the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Present at Zilker Botanical Backyard on 3/30 and three/31, from 10 am to five pm. Features a plant present with specimen cacti and succulents, handcrafted pottery, every day silent public sale and hourly plant raffles, and skilled recommendation. Admission is included with paid admission to Zilker Backyard, $5 to $8 for adults, $3 to $4 for youngsters (underneath 2 free).

April 6: Come out to Austin’s Mayfield Park on 4/6 for the Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium & Fundraiser, 8:30 to 11 am. This annual profit for the park features a raffle, plant sale, and backyard audio system.

Could 4: Discover “good backyards, good swimming pools and pergolas, and out of doors rooms and gardens” on the ATX Outside Residing Tour on 5/4, 10 am to three pm. Panorama architects, designers, and builders will likely be available to reply questions. Tickets are $33.85 for adults, $17.85 for youths age 10-17.

Could 11: Save the date for Austin Residence’s Nice Outside Tour on 5/11.

June 1-2: Take a self-guided, 2-day tour of ponds and gardens in and round Austin on the annual Austin Pond and Backyard Tour, held 6/1 and 6/2, 9 am to five pm. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Come study gardening and design at Backyard Spark! I manage in-person talks by inspiring designers, panorama architects, authors, and gardeners a number of instances a yr in Austin. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out shortly, so be a part of the Backyard Spark e-mail checklist to be notified prematurely; merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Keep tuned for more information!

All materials © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized copy prohibited.

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