Sunday, April 13, 2014

Longwood Gardens

One of the major attractions in our area is Longwood Gardens. It is close to the border of Pennsylvania and Delaware about an hour's drive from our house.

The entrance from the parking lot. Usually there is plenty of parking. Some of the parking spots are shaded by trees but those spots get taken by the early birds.

A taste of what is to come.

Having paid for your ticket, you enter the Gardens.

We usually do these gardens in a clockwise direction. We head up the hill to the Carillon, over to the conservatories, eat lunch, visit the old Du Pont house, stroll down the avenue of trees, wander by the lakes and then return back up to the main entrance.

The topiary garden. By the way, this blog is long and has many photos of colourful flowers. If you don't like flowers, stop looking at this blog now and get on with your life.

Since it had been a long cold winter, very little was in bloom in the outside gardens. In Summer it is a quite different story. 

There are some small ground cover flowers blooming.

After a while, you see larger swathes of them.

Eventually they look like blue snow.

This is what they are.

The pavilion around the Eye of Water.

They had not turned on the water yet for the season.

The bed of the stream flowing from the Eye was mostly dry.

A pleasant stroll through tall pine trees.

The carillon in a tower.

A bee visiting a flower.

Carillon bells.

It's really just a folly but it looks good.

The gardens has a section of fountains that put on a spectacular display. This building is part of the supporting structure. It was too early in the year for the fountains to be working.

This patch of garden plots is known as the 'Ideas' area. Obviously the ideas had not been put into practice yet.

However, there were quite a few potted plants scattered around to give some colour.

I love orange flowers like this.

An unusual bird house.

An enclosed garden.

An espaliered tree starting to bud.

Flowers and vegies in a raised planter box.

It was very peaceful sitting here by myself waiting for the others to catch up.

Maybe I should build something like this. I do have some 6x6 treated lumber.

We continued on up the hill towards the conservatories.

It's a cornucopia of leaves and flowers inside the conservatories. Enjoy.

Pots visible through gauze.

These autumnal looking leaves were quite different from the more vibrant colours of most of the plants.

You keep walking on and on through what seems like dozens of conservatories, some big, some small.

The potting area is closed to the public.

A display of bonsai.

A tall structure holding large ferns.

A bottlebrush, the state flower for New South Wales.

This garden did not appeal to me at all. The pinkish plants in the middle put me off.

A room of desert plants.

Nothing prepares you for the grandeur of the main conservatory hall. It is simply magnificent.

My mother loved daisies and she really loved these gardens when we she visited back in 1986.

A room off to the side of the conservatory with a player piano. Unfortunately I missed hearing it play by a few minutes.

Eventually we left the conservatories and decided that lunch would be a good idea.

You can sit outside to eat.

Or inside. The tables outside were all taken so we were inside. There is a cafeteria and also a more formal dining room.

Lurking. Well, sleeping may be a better description.

Inside the conservatory.

Marianne wants this chest of drawers.

Du Pont's office. Considering how wealthy and powerful he was, it's quite simple.

The avenue of trees which prompted Du Pont to buy the property to conserve them.

We strolled slowly down the path. In the heat of summer, the trees give plenty of shade.

Lake at the bottom of the avenue of trees.

Formal Garden. In summer, the fountains operate.

It looks like pond scum to me.

This is new since we visited last time.  It appears to be a play house for children. It certainly sounded like it.

Walking up the hill towards the entrance. Be prepared to be tired by the time you do this walk. Take water bottles in summer because it can be quite hot, even with all the trees.

It's a wonderful set of gardens and I don't know of any conservatories that are better.

If you are one of our exchange families, don't drive home via  I-95. Later in the day there is too much traffic. Instead, head south on Route 1 until you reach Route 272 at Nottingham and then head south to Chesapeake Isle. There is much less traffic and most of the countryside is quite pleasant in lower Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome gardens! I feel like I was there with you. I love all those flowers and plants. thanks for the tour!