Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Longwood Gardens

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A few plants that are not mums at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. (Or, bits and pieces of the rest of a fun day.)



The grounds are immaculate at Longwood. A pleasant stroll through Pierce’s 7-Acre Woods is so natural that it is hard to believe it was planned.




The woods artfully combines ancient trees and more recent plantings. Tall holly is trimmed to a perfect cone. A giant Hinoki False Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana) stands 70 to 80 feet tall. I can only imagine what it will be like when the rhododendron, azalea, magnolia and dogwood bloom.

Our guide was a bit rushed so, when I stopped to take pictures or get a closer look at a shrub, I didn’t hear the tour information. I couldn’t help myself; there was so much to see.





Longwood has the same problems as any other garden. A fungus infests ailing tree. Woolly adelgid riddles a hemlock. There are some things that can’t be cured in any garden.









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Tousands of bulbs are planted along the Flower Garden Walk. Covered with mesh to thwart marauding squirrels, they wait for a color coordinated spring display.




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The fruit of the Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) ended up in a pot of Ostrich Fern. Also called “monkey brains” and “hedge apple”, it is said that the thorns are of this tree are large enough to flatten a tire. The fruit is said to repel insects.



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In the Production Greenhouses, the Christmas displays are coming together. (Pictures from my post of last year’s Christmas display here.) Rows and rows of poinsettias, begonias and amaryllis wait for their turn in the conservancy. Longwood closes for 3 days and the magic is done – from autumn yellow, red and orange to Christmas red, white and pink.

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In the Children’s Garden, simple musical instruments, a scavenger hunt, puppets, grottos, mazes, fountains, friendly monsters, ramps and spiral stairs create a delightful, imaginative playground. I turned into a kid in about 30 seconds. I so wanted to play hide and seek.


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The orchid house, at the first crossroads of the greenhouses next to the Main Conservatory, hosts a wall of orchids. Always a wonderful display.





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A pretty plant in the Palm Garden (above), the Amazon Lily (Eucharis x grandiflora) was gracefully tucked in with other tropicals. A future house plant for me? I’ll store the thought in my “maybe someday” brain file.




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In direct opposition to the serene Palm Garden, the Mediterranean Garden is a bright hot spot. Lantana, Kalanchoe and Variegated Spurflower would make a fiery combination for in pot on a sunny deck.


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I’ll try to get back in spring to see the bulb display and trees in bloom. Then I want to go back to see the summer flower gardens. I may try the self-guided audio tour. I guess I’m hooked on Longwood.
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3 comments:

Chandramouli S said...

The amazon lily looks gorgeous and the orchid house, not to mention! What a treat to eyes! You're blessed to have visited it for real, but I should be thankful to you for giving this virtual tour. I totally enjoyed, but the moment I saw title, I was expecting more Mums, but I was not all that disappointed. You're great as ever! Cheers!

MARIE said...

Thanks Chandramouli,

You are correct. Seeing Longwood in person is the best.

The pictures I take can never show the real beauty. I'm glad you enjoyed my little tour.

Maybe someday we will both own an Amazon Lily. :-)

Sue, said...

I'm glad I found your last bloom day pics! They were fun to look at on this dreary cold day that both my husband and I are ill on!