After thinking it over, I changed my answer to spring. It really is my favorite time of the year and it all has to do with the color green.
There's something unique about the shades of green that occur in April and May. They're fresh and vibrant. The greens of summer are dull and washed out by comparison. When the tree leaves begin to grow in April, it's an explosion of life in green. I learned about Longwood Gardens only a few weeks earlier. I'd never heard of them so a quick search told me that it was part of the du Pont estates. In 1906, Pierre du Pont, great grandson of the founder of Du Pont Chemicals bought a well known Quaker farm to save its trees from being cut for timber. He spent years as a "gentleman farmer" tending the arboretum, fixing the place up and expanding the gardens. Eventually, the property was opened to the public.
|Stunning Italianate garden.|
|I so badly wanted to walk barefoot up these steps, but the whole area is closed off.|
|Some of these "rooms" were used to host garden parties.|
The property was running a special on the day I visited. For a few dollars more I was given a ticket to the nearby Du Pont family estate of Winterthur. Despite of the threat of rain, I decided to check it out. Henry Francis du Pont had studied horticulture and put his knowledge to good use on his father's estate. The home, although enormous, is lost in a forest of trees and gardens surrounding the estate.
|The "Fairy Wood" is the most appealing part of the estate and the most whimsical forest garden I've ever encountered. Through the trees you can make out organic buildings that blend into the forest.|
|The structures in the wood were designed for the Du Pont children.|
|A garden path near the house.|