outing to New Castle is a gardener’s delight, with its historic
Green, host of private and public gardens, and Battery Park along
the Delaware River. Among these public gardens are the grounds of
New Castle Historical Society’s historic sites.
Amstel House Gardens
Explore the charming Amstel House garden, with elements of a Colonial
Revival garden designed in the 1930s by noted Mid-Atlantic landscape
architect, Charles Gillette. Walk into this enclosed Georgian town
garden, and wander through its boxwood garden planned with a unique butterfly
pattern in brick. Discover the focal point of this boxwood garden,
a Renaissance-era baluster, originally from London Bridge, topped
with a 1789 English sundial. Step inside its delightful garden house,
tucked into a back corner, to learn more about the history of
gardening on this property. You'll also delight at the modern
perennial bed created by the members of New Castle's Arasapha
In the Dutch House garden, you'll enjoy exploring three distinct
gardens that are a unique combination of gardens not found on other
historic house properties:
the mid-20th century, when the New Castle Historical
Society acquired the Dutch house and grounds, plans were made to
make a Colonial Revival garden. A distinctive smoke house was built
in 1939, a gift from the Colonial Dames of Delaware - the first step
to addressing the interpretation of the garden space. A knot garden
(parterres) and pear orchard were the first plantings. In
1952 the Homsey architects designed a country-formal space
with walkways, fences, notable plants, herb pots and a perennial
the Colonial Revival garden boasts a mature Magnolia grandiflora, Bull
Boy, a Homestead elm, 17th century
York and Lancaster roses, and a bed
of yellow and red perennials and annuals.
site has numerous dwarf trees and berry shrubs and vines. Rest on
the bench beneath a pergola dressed in fall clematis while you enjoy
this special garden.
2011 a unique Dutch-inspired Kitchen Garden was installed in the
Colonial Revival knot garden. The research of culinary author Peter
Rose, author of The Sensible Cook,
inspired our designer to create a kitchen garden appropriate to the
era and space that had been defined by the original Homsey design.
The new garden is woven into the knot garden, just inside of
the garden gate. Nearby
are two raised beds that exhibit root vegetables, colorful herbs and
Kitchen Garden plant materials are attractive and change throughout
the year according to a planned schedule - so there's always
something new to see!
more information about the Kitchen Garden, visit our designer's Dutch
House Kitchen Garden Blog.
Native Plant Garden
at the year-round beauty of this self-contained oasis of North
American native plants, mostly from the Mid-Atlantic region, in a colonial
space. The Arasapha
Native Plant Garden is a reflection of our evolving passion for
knowledge and our awareness of the importance of our gardening
methods impact on the health of our planet.
in the exploration of our historical relationships with the
remarkable collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers
sited in diverse micro-climates. For a detailed look at this garden
visit our designer's
Native Plant Garden Blog.
inspiration for an infusion of native plants in your garden!
Gardens at the Amstel House and the Dutch House are open daily, from
sunrise to sunset, to enjoy at your leisure. Benches are available
in each garden and the public is invited to pick a favorite spot to
read or perhaps enjoy a restful lunch. There are no trash
receptacles to spoil the views so please take any trash with you
when you leave.
tours are included with regular admission to the Amstel House
and Dutch Houses, but guests are encouraged to spend more time in
the gardens on their own after visiting the houses. Printed
materials will be available in each of the gardens to assist
group tours are available of all three gardens. Guided tours of the
gardens may be combined with guided tours of the houses for a
complete and memorable experience.
may choose one of the following options:
Garden Tour - Ideal for all groups, this detailed tour is led
by docents from the Arasapha Garden Club. About 60 minutes in
length, the tour explores all the gardens at both the Amstel and
Dutch Houses. $10.00 per person (Minimum of 10 people).
House & Garden Tour - Ideal for all groups, this tour
explores the interiors of the Amstel & Dutch Houses in
addition to the gardens described above. Allow 2 hours for this
tour. $16 per person (Minimum of 10 people).
make reservations for garden and house tours please contact the New
Castle Historical Society at 302-322-2794.