Chimes Tower District

Aerial view of large grassy area with a small pond and stone tower surrounded by a forest

About This District

Originally designed as an arresting backdrop for the Main Fountain Garden, the Chimes Tower District is now a series of standout gardens and water features that warrant more than just a passing glance. The Hillside Garden features an enviable roster of rare and unique plants, thriving harmoniously throughout the sun-dappled slopes. At the crest of the hill, Oak and Conifer Knoll boasts an array of celebrated tree specimens, with some planted during founder Pierre S. du Pont’s time. The Eye of Water, Pear-Shaped Basin, and Waterfall—all originally part of the gravity-fed pump and reservoir system that once serviced the Main Fountain Garden—are three unique, and interconnected destinations for your exploration.

Gardens in this District

  • Hillside Garden
    a walkway lined with green trees and shrubs

    Hillside Garden

    Dappled sun flirts with open vistas and shady, intimate perspectives as you wander the paths past beds brimming with a who’s who of rare and unique plants from around the world, set to the occasional tones of the historic Chimes Tower.

  • Oak and Conifer Knoll
    A path winds through a walkway of green trees and bushes

    Oak and Conifer Knoll

    Towering, century-old trees and sun-dappled vistas await in this living gallery of champion specimens with four seasons of stunning highlights. In the early spring, sweeps of colorful geophytes bloom to create a stunning tapestry.

What’s in Bloom

  • Clusters of pink miniature blooms along stock

    Common Milkweed

    Asclepias syriaca

    In honor of the upcoming Pollinator Week (June 17-23), this native wildflower supports many pollinators including native bees. Common Milkweed serves as the sole host plant to Monarch butterflies, and blooms June into July in a range of colors from rose pink to deep purple with some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom. 

  • White, cup-shaped flower with many yellow anthers

    Japanese Stewartia

    Stewartia pseudocamellia

    Although known as the Japanese stewartia, Stewaria pseudocamellia is found in both Japan and Korea. It is a small, slow-growing, pyramidal, deciduous tree which typically matures to 20 to 40 feet. It has cup-shaped, camellia-like white flowers two and a half inches in diameter with showy orange-yellow anthers. The flowers appear in early summer. The Korean name for this tree is No-gak-namu which translates as "deer's horn tree", which symbolically describes the beauty of the mottled, peeling bark with its tones of orange, green and grey.

  • Purple flowers with five petals.

    Armenian Cranesbill

    Geranium psilostemon
  • Racemes of purple pea-like flowers with pinnate compound leaves.

    Indigo

    Indigofera heterantha
  • Cluster of purple flowers on tall stems

    Betony

    Betonica officinalis ′Hummelo′