Friday, August 7, 2015

Longwood Gardens

We did a day trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.  The gardens date back to the time of William Penn.  In 1700 it was purchased from Penn by Joshua and Samuel Peirce who planted the first specimens in the arboretum. It was known as Peirce Park until it was bought by Pierre S. du Pont in 1906.  It was du Pont's private estate until the 1930's.  During that time he added several features including the huge conservatory and fountains.
The beauty of the 1077 acre gardens starts at the entrance .
One of several fountains on the grounds.  This one performs to the beat of marching tunes on the half hour.  The old main fountain is undergoing a major renovation and will not reopen until 2017. I'm sure it will be fantastic. 
My beauty among the beautiful flowers.
They have a great tree house, but my picture was not very good.
The Italian Water Garden is unique.  The two pools in the back are 14 feet longer than the two in the front creating the illusion that they are both the same size. 
The conservatory, which was built in 1920, covers four acres.  It has several different environments and was used to grow fresh fruit for the du Ponts during the winter months.
The East Conservatory has a variety of plants and fountains.
One of my favorites was the bonsai room.  Many of them were over 100 years old.
Another interesting conservatory room was the orchid house.  There are many varieties and colors.
The Silver Garden had plants in an arid desert climate. 
Another favorite was the waterlily display.  The variety of colors was fantastic.
One of our favorites was the Idea Garden.  The are about 16 plots with different varieties of plants in each.  This is the wildflower plot.
Some plots had plants to attract butterflies, bees and birds.
One of the butterflies.
Of course there were different beautiful flowers at every turn.
The Topiary Garden had many evergreens cut into many different shapes.
A must see if you get to Longwood before the end of October this year is Nightscape.  It is a light and sound experience set in several different areas throughout the garden.  Here is a short video of the experience.  Above is the Topiary Garden during Nightscape.
The lights in the Palm House were some of the best.
The Silver Garden was also very interesting at night.  If you are in Southeastern Pennsylvania Longwood should be on your must do list.  We have been to many gardens over the years and this is one of our favorites. 
Kennett Square is also the home of a couple of very good brewpubs.  Kennett Brewing just opened in June and offers an interesting but small selections of brews.  Victory Brewing has been been brewing great beer in Kennett Square and Downingtown since 1996.  They have a great variety of beer and an interesting menu.  We would recommend both.


Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Exceptional butterfly photo. Another great blog entry.

The Hesters said...

Just saw that post! Glad you went to Longwood...we have not seen a botanical garden that compares!