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 path leads through natural garden beds lined by green trees

    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 small river lined with flat rocks as well as lush green trees and plants

    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

  • Amur Adonis

    Adonis amurensis
  • Dark colored peeling bark


    Corylus fargesii
  • Tiny, white flowers growing along rosemarry like stems.

    Winter Heath

    Erica carnea 'Springwood White'
  • Winter Jasmine

    Jasminum nudiflorum
  • Multiple yellow buds coming up from the ground with collars of green leaves.


    Eranthis hyemalis

    One of the first blooms to appear in the new year, Eranthis hyemalis, has sunny yellow flowers with a sweet honey-like fragrance. Its flowers look like solitary buttercups sitting on a circle of lacey green leaves. They open wide on sunny days from late winter to early spring and thrive in the shade of deciduous trees.  They will naturalize in well-drained, fertile soil under deciduous trees.