Winterthur is a large, impressive estate in Winterthur, Delaware; just outside of Wilmington. The property upon which the historical mansion is located was purchased in 1810, by a member of the (locally) famous du Pont family. The property changed hands over the years within the du Pont family and was built upon a little at a time, back in the day. Now boasting over 150 rooms, Winterthur is a historic mansion with extensive gardens, a library, and galleries that are all open to the public.
This weekend I finally got the chance to explore Winterthur’s gardens and hunt for each one of the 13 garden follies displayed there. What are garden follies, you ask? Think of them as very fancy “gazebos”. Garden follies first came into popularity in the 1700’s in Europe and also became a trend in America. They are partially for decoration, partially for a little garden retreat. My favorite folly, pictured below, is called the Ottoman Tent.
Aside from the follies, the grounds host many other points of interest; such as a fairy labyrinth, a sundial garden, an Azalea trail, and many lovely pathways. The garden follies will be on display until January 25, 2020. If you visit soon, you may still get the chance to admire the beautiful fall foliage that I was lucky enough to experience this past weekend. To give you an idea of the amount of time you’ll need on your visit to the garden, I would recommend setting aside two to two and a half hours (that’s if you’re not also visiting the mansion and the galleries). There is a tram that will take you around the garden to see the follies, but it doesn’t let you stop to get a closer look, to go inside them, or to take up-close pictures. I was told the tram tour also gives you a run down of the history and design of the gardens, but I did not personally take that tour, I went on foot.
Although I did not visit it this time around, the Winterthur Mansion is amazing. It is decorated with historical period furniture and antiques. A knowledgeable tour guide will show you around. I would highly recommend the Yuletide at Winterthur tours, which begin on November 17th. The whole mansion will be extravagantly decorated for the holidays. I did the Yuletide tour last year and I was very impressed with the detailed Victorian era Christmas décor in each room. You will learn a lot about the different traditions of that era on the tour. I plan on going back to Winterthur for Yuletide, and I will most definitely share some more pictures and information with you about my visit then!
For more information, visit Winterthur’s website: http://www.winterthur.org/
I try to write full articles as often as possible, but sometimes I just share pictures on social media with short informational posts. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram so you won’t miss anything! As always, feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you have any questions or Tri-State area day trip suggestions!