Nova Scotia Road Trip! - 2002

10 The Conservatory contains so many special rooms with particular plantings that we spent several hours there. Of course, the wonderful magic wand they give you for free listening on various topics in the gardens made it all more interesting and informative. There is everything there from a cactus garden to Mediterranean gardens, to the banana “ orchard, ” to the Cascade Gardens, to the tropical plant rooms, to the palm terrace, estate fruit house. The buildings have huge columns of stone supporting the interior structure and the roofs are glass to allow the light to pass through. Most of the columns are covered with climbing plants, like ficus and clematis and roses. The floors are done in many different materials from marble to tile. The Idea Garden outside was wonderful too: with many innovative uses of flowers and grasses and other plant materials. We also saw a collection of old tractors from 1928 on. How droll that exhibit was in telling us that when Mr. du Pont first bought the tractors, his men refused to use it after a couple of trial runs because they thought the loads looked messy and that they were doing it better! We had a couple of sessions in the Garden Terrace Restaurant as well. Their corn chowder was really super; however, their misleadingly advertised peach cobbler was a disappointment since it was neither a cobbler or made with fresh peaches as the ads strongly suggested! However, the food did get us through a long day at the Gardens — we spent about 6 hours there and walked our legs off — we are all quite a bit shorter than we were when we started. B RANDYWINE R IVER M USEUM Reluctantly, we bid the Gardens goodbye so we could get to the Brandywine River Museum before it closed at 4:30 PM It is only about 4 miles down the road from the Gardens so it was an easier trip than was the leave-taking. The museum incorporates an old mill with a newly constructed caracole- shaped building for the display of Andrew Wyeth ’ s work, as well as that of his father, Newell Convers Wyeth, and his son, Jamie Wyeth. Andrew is much the best of the three artists and we rather liked seeing his work in the setting where he painted so much of his life ’ s work — the Brandywine River Valley. There were three floors to the Museum and Andrew is on the top floor. There were a few other artists minimally represented, chiefly if their presented work had some connection with the Valley. None of us really liked Jamie ’ s work and we could see that Andrew had certainly bested his father — who was a very competent illustrator and magazine contributor. Strangely, some of his pictures looked better to me when they were printed in the magazines than the originals on the walls. Kay found a picture by a woman, Alice Barber Stephens, which really struck her — “ Women in Business ” from a series of six articles published in a magazine. The picture is quite dramatic in portraying the encounter between a wealthy woman looking at some materials and handwork while a much more needy woman is waiting on her. The faces are very real and the attitudes of the two main characters speak volumes of the times.

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