Restoration of the Du Du Pont Garden in Delaware to its former glory

Hagley is one of the lesser known states built by members of the Du Pont industrial dynasty in Wilmington and Dell, but, on the one hand, it is more important.

A.D. In 1802, the company’s founder and French immigrant Io do du Pont built a magnificent country house on Brandywin Creek’s banks, and as part of Eleutrian Mills, gunpowder grew into an enterprise giant.

Hagle’s main ornamental garden, recently planted and renovated, is home to the patriarch of the company, known for its native, sun-dried apple and pear trees, based on a regular fruit and vegetable variety. But on the other side of the house is the Shadi Garden, which holds the steps leading down to the river, which is even more mysterious, mysterious and fascinating.

This is the Crowninshield Garden, which was built about a hundred years ago as a neoclassical catastrophe and is now a reality, largely untouched for more than six decades. He begins to wake up.

Over the past two years, the director of horticulture, Paul Orpelo, and a small group of gardeners have begun to remove potted berries, bitter gourds, and other wonderful grapes. .

Directly below the house on a hill below, Orpelo suggests a long, quiet spring flower, snowflakes, snowflakes, Virginia blues, trillions, and hysteries that have returned to the underground for decades. A pair of large parotia trees that I saw, but we cut through the size of a red maple, with a distinctive, useless bark.

Much is still hidden, and as such, it is difficult to identify the connection between the garden, the design narrative in one visit, but we are still on the seven hectares of hilly streets (like mountain goats, cautiously), still fascinated by their magical gardens.

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In some places, metal pots, once used in the production of gunpowder, are placed on the walls covered with vegetation. In one of the small weed-infested areas, a large standard pond — the lower pool — is covered with high stone walls, camel-covered walls, and covered roofs. The drama is overshadowed by the weeds that have changed the altitude and still give it a green shade.

Elsewhere, we encountered an elevated facade and a stone face that clearly marked an important place in the garden. In some areas, trees have loosened the masonry. In others, huge stone steps were dismantled over time. Orpelo took me to a sunny space marked with stone and concrete columns, reviving the Roman atrium, with abundant mosaic on the ground. Fragments of other decorative stonework are placed on a stone table supported by carved griffin. He calls it the “Pompeii altar,” which seems to emphasize the prosperity of the place. The self-seed Mullin grew up around the Pegasus mosaic.

This magnificent landscape was invented in the 1920s and ’30s by Louise du Pon Crowninshield and her husband, Frank Crunshield, a member of the Boston Scholars, among other things, by Theodore Roosevelt’s stubborn riders.

Why a neoclassical garden when all the colonial revival was raging? The couple visited renaissance villas around Rome. Edith Warton wrote an influential book on Italian villas, and many industries, including Pierre S. de Ponte, were constructing gardens in the nearby Longwood gardens.

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The distinctive feature of the Crowninshield Garden is that it was not built as a reflective Beaux-Art confection, but as a style of style, broken columns, and lost stucco and brickwork.

There is another spirit here in the game. The heart of the garden includes the main part of the flour mill. In 1890, the magazine exploded with 100,000 pounds of gunpowder. The structure was destroyed, 12 people were killed and the blast was heard more than 30 miles away in Philadelphia.

Members of the Du Pont family moved in, although the house survived relatively undamaged.

After the mills were closed in the early 1920’s, Crownsfield farms came to him but only for a month or more during the spring and fall. They brought in full staff, and once the garden was finished, it became a perfect place for recreation. The restored salt-kettle kettles lit up with kerosene, and their light shone on ancient monuments, columns, furnaces, and so on.

Jill McKenzie, general manager of the Haglele Museum and Library, said that although the Syrians of the night were not Bacchus, Crowninshields was “a very popular social gathering.”

In the 1980s, McKenzie fell in the mosaic terrace, there were still some statues, and there were old roses and iris flowers. “At that moment, I thought I was being transported,” she says. It was the most magical place I had ever been.

The idea of ​​returning such a shocking garden is intoxicating. The actual process is even more worrying. I told Orpelo that it would be Hercula’s job to remove and remove all weeds. He seemed desperate. The gardeners’ garden contains flame weeds, he replied. If I get enough heat, I can kill the roots.

Gardening reflects the idea that he is the perfect enemy. Orpelo does not see some good return to the newly built garden.

But work has begun: not only clearing vineyards and weeds, but also a five-stage development, a $ 26 million plan to renovate the Crowninshield Garden. It includes modern plants that are better for self-care and border control.

“We know there will be a big fundraising campaign, but we believe there are people who appreciate hidden gardens like Hagle,” McKenzie said.

Orpelo also looks forward to the progress of the volunteers. The Delaware Valley has a greater share of people who love vegetables and fruits. There is no such thing in the states, there is no such thing as a recidivism post.

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Before any hard work can be done, the first step is to stabilize the structures and solve the sinks and other traps.

According to McKenzie, the process is “to solve something and find out what’s going on.”

Adrian Higgins specializes in writing to the Washington Post about gardening, landscaping, and related environmental issues.


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