Wilmington, DE Real Estate News

By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
It's always nice to see how the gardeners are doing at the plots in Bellevue State Park, and yesterday was a particularly nice day to walk through the woods and meadows on the way to see how these "worker bees" are doing.  In the woods, I found this overturned tree displaying what is probably the reason the wind knocked this tree over.  And, since it had rained for the last couple of days, the woods appeared in duplicate in a puddle.  Arriving at the around 300 garden plots that Bellevue State Park rents out, I found one man tending to his well-kept plot. He said he brings in new soil each year, and that it has been so windy that this year's flags that decorate his fencing had already begun to tatter. Being a fan of flamingos, I complimented him on his pink beauty!  This gentleman said ...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Between my plant buying at garden centers and a masks for plants trade with a horticulturally inclined friend, I have been busy putting in new plants and potting others.  Luckily, they all seem to be getting along with each other and the current garden occupants. (clockwise starting from top left: Clematis Vivienne, Knockout rose, Columbine or Acquilegia, Bluestar Ansonia, Dahlias, Yellow Twig Dogwood, Petunia and Golden Leaved Pineapple Sage.)            
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Being that Sunday was Mother's Day, I thought the parks and gardens in Wilmington would be full of people, which turned out to be untrue for 2 out of 3 that I visited. The one thing they all had in common was ROCKS.  And also, 2 out of 3 also had flowers. Gibraltar gardens had Bluebells in bloom, taking the place of all the tulips I saw there a couple of weeks ago. And of course, there was the very large Rock of Gibraltar.   Was this how the estate got its name? Never thought of it before! Wilmington's "Class A Affiliate" baseball team of Kansas City is called the Blue Rocks. I once took a tour of rock sites around town and was told that the land under the city is igneous rock, formed when the area was islands of volcanos, sort of like Hawaii is today. So dig most anywhere around here, ...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Today is overcast with occasional drizzles.So let's see what is blooming in the garden.  Hmmm. I'm seeing a dark undercurrent here.IrisTulipsLilacsCherry laurel
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
The Goodstay Gardens are one of Wilmington's  lesser known public gardens, located  on the University of Delaware Wilmington Campus. Ellen du Pont and her husband, Robert Wheelwright (who was a landscape architect) restored the mid 17th century property in the early 1920s. The garden was originally a vegetable site, and the Wheelwrights transitioned it into the stunning iris, rose and peony paradise that it is today.I went there today hoping to see the irises in bloom, since they are blooming in my Wilmington garden. But it seems the climate gnomes have this area tagged as "tulips featured, irises and peonies not yet ready." Fine with me--the tulips are spectacular, with some of them having blooms as large as peony blossoms. And in the center of the knot garden, the sundial was keeping ...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
After lunch today seemed a good time to do a few garden chores, so I took my seed packets, garden gloves, and trowel into the patio. Let me recount the damages:1. A squirrel had gone crazy in a flower pot on my table and scattered the just starting to grow tiny flowers all over the place.2. While I was cleaning up the scattered dirt, a strange buzzing sound was in the air. I looked up and a few feet over, and a giant swarm of bees was headed my way--maybe 12 cubic feet in size. No pictures of this, because I swiftly abandoned my tools and moved towards my back door. The swarm moved in the same direction, loudly swirling toward me. I moved inside the house. Noisy buggers! (I found this picture  of an attack by bees earlier today-so don't tell me they won't hurt you.)3. I watched through ...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
It may be overcast today, but this fragrant bouquet will take you away to the far away garden of your dreams.The iris have just started to open their blowsy blooms right next to the fragrant lilac bush, both vying for my attention. Nearby, the lillies of the valley are just starting to open, their strong frangrance just starting to send out tentacles of fragrance which will soon overcome their neighbors, just as the lilacs start to fade away. As I cocoon inside my home, this gift of nature's bounty makes its fragrant presence known.
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
We had a whole lot of rain yesterday, but luckily for my neighborhood, it just meant a few branches down, the usual soggy ground at the bottom of the hill, and a gushing Shellpot Creek (a name left behind by early Swedish settlers) at the bottom of the hill.  Today I decided to do some weeding and pruning, and heard a slithering noise (yes, you can hear slithering if it's through dead leaves).  I haven't seen a snake for a couple of years, but if they are hiding, they probably have been there the whole time. No problem.   Some good news is that the tree people who have been telling me they would be here in 3 weeks since before Christmas, say they will be here tomorrow.  I'll believe that when I see them. I have a big oak in the back yard (which the squirrels love) and a red maple in the...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Every day, I check on what is in bloom in my garden and today I also checked to see if any branches were down after a hard rain storm last night.Luckily, there didn't seem to be any damage (except for the tulip blooms bitten off by an over-active squirrel).Today's bouquet contains daffodils, tulips, hosta, and hellebores.  
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
This afternoon, I headed out for a walk to see if anything had changed since my last walk. I knew the County said they were fencing playgrounds and discouraging group play.  Back in the 1950's, when they built these houses, each neighborhood had a small park or two. We got two because there was a winding creek (a tributary of Shellpot Creek which leads to the Brandywine Creek) and some marshy land that was probably considered un-buildable. Checking out the park with a playground, it looked as if they decided that the playground equipment and the tennis courts didn't need any modifications.  Then, crossing the creek to the basketball court, I found the only change: no hoops on the backboard (if that's what you call it). There had been complaints in the past about noisy activity after dar...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Yes, I live in the well-populated area of Brandywine Hundred outside of the City of Wilmington, Delaware. But it is an area which honors its history. Highland Farms, an organic market, is just down the road from me and across the street from Brandywine High School.  How did the Webster family farm manage to survive amid suburbia? The story is that Clark Webster purchased the land in 1832, and as was common at the time, the deed was written on deerskin.  At that time it was mostly rocky pasture.  In 1835, Clark's son, Isaac, began clearing the land and planting crops. John Webster gave the farm the name Highland Orchards, officially, when he was registering his Guernsey milking herd in 1940. His daughter, Ruth Linton, and her family still own and manage the farm and market store. They gr...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Today I visited Bellevue State Park in North Wilmington. The crowd in the main parking lot drove me to park near the tennis courts (they are waiving entrance fees at present).  On over 28 acres of land, this former duPont estate and 1830 Mt. Pleasant School building were given to the State in 1976.It has become a favorite place for the walking track, a pond for fishing (toss back), garden plots, summer concerts, horse training facility, and you can rent the mansion for events.   Since there were a lot of people spread out and families with kids and bikes, it wasn't too hard to keep the 6' safe area around as I walked on the trails. It was just a little chilly (below 60 degrees) but sunny, so a perfect day.  A fisherman told me that the previous Saturday was even more crowded. And there ...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
A new "organic" grocery store, "Sprouts," has opened this week in North Wilmington (or Brandywine Hundred, the historic name). Since we really don't have a lot of sources of entertainment after all the museums and theaters have closed, they had a good number of people yesterday. The other end of the parking lot at Concord Mall with its retail stores, looked almost deserted, compared to the food market (formerly a Barnes and Noble book store). So what is different?  The specials that were advertised, such as Sockeye Salmon and avocados, looked good (actually the salmon also tasted great). The pre-sliced cheese was twice the price of the nearby farmer's market. Good news: They gave me $.05 for using my own tote bag, and they printed the receipt on both sides of the tape (so it was not a f...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
My favorite perennial flower is the Hellebore, or Lenten Rose, a late winter bloomer that is a member of the Buttercup family. This morning I started cleaning up one of the 3 planting beds in my back and front yards that become more crowded with Hellebores every year. Not that I mind them spreading their seeds, as long as they stay roughly in the same area. Nurseries say they do well in shade (check) but leaves can become dry and tattered over the winter if not covered by snow (check--no snow this year in Delaware).  So it's these ratty looking leaves which I have been trimming. The reward is that the blooms are hiding under the ugly stuff along with fallen oak leaves which I grab out by the handfuls. Not that I would try this, but apparently the roots are "strongly emetic and potential...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
You know I am a history junkie when I get charged up over  the only Revolutionary War battle fought in Delaware, the September 3, 1777 Battle of Cooch's Bridge.  Remarkably, the home (photo)  that served as headqarters for Colonial General Wm. Maxwell, then British General Cornwallis was in the Cooch family for 9 generations. Legend says that Betsy Ross' flag first flew here at the Battle in Newark, Delaware (note: I said legend) Today, I attended the George Washington Society of Delaware's annual toast to Washington and program honoring the Cooch Family, owners of the Circa 1760 house since it was built.  Over a year ago, the property and 10 acres were donated to Delaware's Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs by the Cooch Family. Delaware being Delaware, I knew Ned Cooch, an at...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
There is a house in the Wilmington, Delaware area that would win a Christmas decorating contest every year--except there is no contest.For over 30 years, the Smith family on Prior Rd. has been mounting a display with over 700,000 lights that can be seen by traffic on nearby Interstate 95. Two years ago, Thomas Smith passed away, but his wife and family have continued the tradition in his memory. The house next door to them has also joined the celebration by putting up a slightly smaller in scale display one can see by walking down Prior Rd.I go every Christmas Eve after attending the Candlelight Christmas Eve service at my church, and there is always a steady stream of cars. This year,  some young men were directing each other to pose for pictures, using a language I could not recognize...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont arrived at the site of Eleutherian Mills on the Brandywine River outside of Wilmington, Delaware in the spring of 1802 to begin the construction of a black powder mill, barn, and a home for his family along the Brandywine Creek. His wife and three children joined him in July 1802, and by 1803, the residence was complete. Their home served as a center of business and social life at Eleutherian Mills for years to come.Today, visitors to Eleutherian Mills and the adjacent Hagley Museum and Library  find a National Historic Landmark home which has survived despite being located on a hill overlooking a site that has seen 288 explosions from the black powder operations leading to the deaths of 228 people until the operations ceased in 1921. (Photo -far right is former...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
DELAWARE EVENTSLombardy Hall is the colonial home of Gunning Bedford, Jr, one of the Delaware signers of the U.S. Constitution. They will be holding their annual Open House on Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 1-4 PM. Lombardy Hall is a National Historic Landmark home c 1750 in North Wilmington at 1611 Concord Pike.  Lombardy is usually open only by appointment. Located between Independence Mall and Lombardy Cemetery.  Yuletide at Winterthur is now open until January 5 daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. Please get reservations in advance which are available only by calling 800-448-3883.  I just did the Yuletide tour and can strongly advise getting reservations ahead of time, because it was VERY busy. Their theme this year was bringing back favorites from the past tours. As alwa...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
THE LATEST NEWS FROM BRANDYWINE HUNDRED It's a sunny morning, so why not use my apple coupon to go to Marini's Market on Veale Rd. in Brandywine Hundred (Colonial name) or North Wilmington (modern name).Not only did I find my Gala apples, but the Marini family seems to have gone all out or somebody took a marketing course and learned how to create a great fall display of mums and pumpkins!It goes to show that you can always learn something new about how to market your business. I hope it works for the Marinis and that their pet pig enjoys being next to all that color (can pigs even see color?). Norman the pig picture from a couple of weeks ago before the pumpkin blitz.  Want to learn about homes in Brandywine Hundred? Contact Carolyn Roland.
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
After many years of neglect, the Forwood School has met a sad fate, the bulldozer. The land had been donated by Forwood ancestors for a school in 1799. It was believed to be the oldest extant building in the original 13 states that had been used for a school. This strikes me as such a sad sign that the almighty dollar still rules when a developer sees dollar signs when preservationists see our living past being destroyed. As a preservationist and homeowner in the adjacent neighborhood, South Graylyn Crest, this strikes me especially hard.  And I really don't look forward to seeing the small stone structure (from the sketch presented at a well attended meeting 4 years ago, it looks like a stone outhouse) they say they will build in memory of the Forwood School. Plans had been submitted f...
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