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Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

In cooperation with: Delaware Tourism Office
New Jersey
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Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

We just visited Winterthur, March 22, and although we enjoyed the house, etc, the garden was still largely crocuses. We would like to return for a visit to the garden only, at the height of it's splendor. What week represents the best week of the year to visit the Winterthur Gardens?

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Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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1. Re: Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

I an sure that the flowers kinda roll with the season but late spring, summer are better than winter.

Wilmington, DE
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2. Re: Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

Have to ask........have you done Longwood Gardens?

Brandywine Valley...
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3. Re: Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

Did you see this section of Winterthur's website? http://www.winterthur.org/?p=479, There's also this: http://gardenblog.winterthur.org/

If I had to pick, it'd be around Mother's Day, when the azaleas are in full bloom.

If you went to the Downton Abbey exhibit, would love to hear what you thought of it.

New Jersey
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4. Re: Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

Thanks for the tip about Mother's Day, and yes, we have done Longwood Gardens in the past and would like to combine that with another trip to Winterthur's Gardens.

We took this trip with a friend, an anglophile, who very much wanted to see the Downton Abbey exhibit and my daughter who has been wanting to see the decorative arts at Winterthur for quite a while. I have somewhat mixed feelings about museums that do exhibits about TV shows. Also, I find historical costumes and textiles to be more interesting than theatrical costumes. But, the people at Winterthur have done a nice job with this exhibit and it was more interesting than I anticipated. They created a parallel exhibit about the DuPonts describing their country house lifestyle, but distinguishing it from Downton Abbey in a description about how American uber wealthy life was different from English uber wealthy life. For intance, Americans didn't like to use the word "servant" preferring "staff". There was also some material about servant's clothing on Downton that I found interesting, as I have never understood the different outfits that the female staff appear in. Also interesting were the compromises in costume necessary to make a TV show, such as the need for the dress of the housekeeper to be more elaborate than a housekeeper would wear in order to present different textures which would then work well on film to define movement. Perhaps most interesting to me was the desciption of how certain costumes began with an actual garment that was then changed into a costume for the show, such as the way a beautifully embroidered pre-existing train was used as the basis for Lady Edith's wedding gown. Rather interesting was how they then were able to reproduce the embroidery on other parts of the gown. In person, you can see slight differences between the original piece and the newer addition, but that would not have been apparent in the show.

The exhibit looks like it is a big winner for the museum. I get the impression that they are not used to such hordes of women visitors as they have been having which requires a not overly restrictive timed ticket scheme.. They sell tiaras and other items to warm the hearts of the Downton crowd in the small gift shop, but I believe I saw at least one woman arrive wearing a tiara. (I tend to get the heebee jeebies when I see a museum exhibit that starts to look like a PBS version of a Star Trek convention, but that is just me.) They have really struck gold with the women who love Downton Abbey, many arriving in pairs and groups, some accompanied by the men who love the women who love Downton Abbey. A tip of the hat to Winterthur, for this one!

Brandywine Valley...
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5. Re: Best time to visit Winterthur Gardens

Twofer -- Wow, that was one of the best reviews of an exhibit ever! Wish I knew where to advise posting it for more posterity. And wish I understood Compliments so I could give you one, but I think that's only over on the Review side here on TA. Thank you SO much!!

Hope you do get to come back to Winterthur. I absolutely adore the Enchanted Woods, but they're definitely more fun if you can get someone(s) under 7 to take you. Better late summer/fall rather than spring there. But overall, spring is just spectacular. And then, of course, you'd wander over to Longwood, too, where spring is pretty wonderful, too.

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