Sunday, July 2, 2017

Fling Prequel : Longwood Gardens

 Once you've committed to a 5+ hour flight and the associated time zone warp it seems prudent to make the most of the journey, and a perusal of a map of the region made it clear that I would be flinging within reasonable driving distance to both Longwood Gardens and Chanticleer. I was able to entice a few of my east coast garden touring pals to join me and along with fling-bound Sue of Idyll Haven we rendezvoused in Pennsylvania for 2 days of garden visits.

 Longwood is located in Kennett Square PA and has along history with multiple transformations from a farm, to a park to a country home for Pierre du Pont. Luckily , Mr du Pont had an interest in preserving his 'farm' and created a foundation in 1946 establishing Longwood as a public garden. I was unable to find a definitive statement of exactly how large Longwood is, but the conservatory alone is 4 acres; you could almost make a day of it just hanging out in there.












 The dry climates were represented under glass as well, in the silver garden.



  I manged to drag myself back outdoors and passed through the beautiful courtyard that features lotus, water lilies and other aquatics in a architecturally imposing setting -as you can see I was not up to the challenge of getting a shot that wasn't full of fellow gawkers.

 I managed to grab a photo in an unoccupied corner.

   It would be an understatement to say that this garden is impeccably maintained; they are clearly well-funded and well marketed as a destination that can be enjoyed by both serious gardeners and non-gardeners alike. The next several images are taken in what is called the 'idea garden/ trial garden.' There were certainly flowers in this area but the emphasis was on texture, foliage and movement.












 Topiary garden.



 Rapunzel was not at home.


 The flower Walk is a series of long bloom-filled paths radiating from a central fountain.I almost missed this altogether, and as dinner reservations were nigh , it was a brief stroll.  After returning home and starting to process all the photos I took , I saw that there were a few areas of Longwood I didn't make it to, and some notable features I failed to photograph. I guess I'm going to have to go back !




22 comments:

  1. Longwood is hard to beat. I took some of these same shots but they didn't come out nearly as good as these. When you and Deanne are snapping I best just keep my camera closed...lol.

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    1. I had to do quite a bit of tweaking to fix these photos Sue-I was snapping away without much attention to what I was doing. It's pretty easy to get distracted at a place like Longwood !

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  2. I must admit that my life is very West Coast-centric and that I have never visited a public garden east of the Mississippi. Clearly I'm missing out!

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    1. It's definitely not the same out yonder in the east. I love visiting there and seeing gardens that actually get rain in summer !

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  3. Wonderful photos of a fabulous garden, wish I could visit again, it's been over 20 years.

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    1. I imagine they change things every few years to make multiple visits worthwhile-I would love to go back .

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  4. If my life were without its particular responsibilities, and had you invited me, I would have been along for this portion of your adventure in a heartbeat. Both of the gardens you mention are ones I hope to visit...someday. Your photos reinforce that.

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    1. Damn those responsibilities ! You are always invited Loree ..if you have a good excuse to go to Boston in August I'm doing Coastal Maine Botanic . Maybe PHS needs an article contrasting Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden with Coastal Maine !

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  5. My son lived in the Philadelphia area for 10 years, and whenever we visited I tried to talk both husband and son into going to Longwood. Never could get them to go. I should have just taken off by myself. Some day I'll get there. It looks so fabulous, especially in your great photos. Thanks for sharing them.

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    1. I know you would enjoy it Alison. I like going to gardens by myself, it's fun to pursue my own agenda.

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  6. Isabelle Greene's silver garden in the conservatory probably looks as foreign to East Coast visitors as the rest of this garden does to me -- all that rain-drenched, lush, billowing green! Fabulous. So glad you caught up with the gang!

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    1. Seems like it's been forever since I went back east, and now I'm going again in August! It was great to see everyone again. I took lots of photos of the silver garden, and probably could have given it it's own post.

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  7. What a spectacular garden! I've never seen it in person and I don't think I've even seen photos or videos of it since HGTV effectively removed the "G" from its line-up. Thanks for sharing your visit. Your post leaves me wondering why I haven't planted bromeliads in my garden.

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    1. Maybe you haven't planted Broms because they cost and arm and a leg ? Maybe not down there though. They are all over the place in frost free gardens in the East Bay, Oakland , Berkeley etc.

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  8. Wow. That must have been seriously fun. The Conservatory looked like California under glass.

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    1. The humid version of California !

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  9. Well, that's the way to make a Fling trip even better -- add some great botanical gardens to the front end of the trip! You got some really nice photos. I look forward to seeing your pics from Chanticleer too, since that's my favorite public garden of all time. :)

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    1. Chanticleer has been on my bucket list for years Pam. I was not disappointed! Of course now I want to go back.

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  10. These tropical glass houses are always a fun walk through. The mere colorful collection of foliage is dessert for the eyes.

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    1. This is certainly one of the best !

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  11. Fantastic photos Kathy and beautiful tour of Longwood. I'm actually going back next week for a round two. I actually did spend my entire time in the conservatory! I need to get over to the idea garden and the flower walk. So much to see and take in there.

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    1. Lucky you! I would love a round 2 ...maybe some day !

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