Monday, June 19, 2017

Visiting enchanting Longwood Garden

Known as The World's Premier Horticultural Showplace, Longwood Gardens are located in the Brandywine Valley between Philadelphia and Wilmington Delaware. The area was originally inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Indians and in the 18th century by a Quaker family by the name of Peirce. Pierre du Pont was the third generation of the famous du Pont family and he purchased this land early in the 20th century to save the trees that were growing on the property. 

Over a period of more than twenty years, Pierre created the garden as it is today. While Pierre created the garden it was the Pierces who created an arboretum of fabulous trees that are in many ways the cornerstone of the gardens even today.

When you arrive at Longwood Gardens you will park and then purchase your ticket in the Visitor Center. There is a four-minute orientation video and then you exit out the rear of the center. Which way you head is up to you. Along with your ticket, you will receive a map, be sure that you have one, this is a large place and it is pretty easy to get confused.

There are always special things going on so you should check that out before you go into the gardens. The fountains do their show at set times as well so you may want to arrange your visit so that you are close by to watch.

Every season is different at Longwood so be prepared to enjoy your visit even if it is a repeat. Christmas time when the bushes are covered in lights is especially lovely. Really every season is lovely. If you go right when you leave the Visitor Center then you will walk along the Cow Lot then turn right and walk past the Open Air Theater and into the Flower Garden Walk. 

This Garden is lovely and the flowers are grown together by color. All blue flowers in one bed, then purples and then pinks. Different varieties that complement each other on one-half of the garden and then reds, oranges, and yellows on the other half and in the middle a fountain. If you are interested in plants there are plaques to tell you what each plant is.

You can walk through the woods to the Large Lake and on to the Italian Water Garden. This garden was designed by Mr. DuPont himself after a garden he saw when he visited Italy. You can walk back through Peirce's woods. This area is rustic but there are surprises, a fountain here a lovely view there. When you leave the woods you are at the DuPont House.

You walk through the house and you can sit and watch another video "Pierre Samuel du Pont A Man and His Garden" which lasts about 15 minutes and runs continuously. 

This was the du Pont's weekend home and they entertained many famous people here. The house was originally built by the Peirce family in 1730 and it was enlarged four different times. The du Ponts added a house of equal size to what was there and then connected the two with a conservatory. In the house, there is a museum with lots of pictures and more.

After the house, you can head for the Conservatory and the wonder selection of exotic flowers. If you love orchids and humidity this is the place for you. If you haven't seen the fountains yet, this is the time to do that as you head to the Topiary Garden and the Rose Garden.

A restaurant and a great gift shop round out the attractions. You can spend two or three hours or a whole day at Longwood Gardens. It is really up to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment