Friday, October 5, 2018

Longwood Gardens

Near the Flower Garden Walk

The large lake

The meadow, perhaps the most beautiful sight at Longwood

The du Pont home

One part of the vast conservatory.  These photos were taken in April 2016.

Click here for more photos of Longwood Gardens.

I had heard that Longwood Gardens was one of the most outstanding gardens in America.  That notion just led me to be disappointed.  It was nice.  But I didn't think it was all that great.  It covers a large area, over 1,000 acres.  Much of that is meadow & forest.  In April, the main cultivated garden attraction, the Flower Garden Walk & adjacent gardens, had planting beds filled with common bulbs; pretty but dull.  Although there are plant collections, it's certainly not a botanic garden like those in New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles.  The Italian Water Garden & the Topiary Garden are just plain ugly.  However, the conservatory is amazing, one of the best I've seen.  The garden is located outside Philadelphia in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Pierre S du Pont, a wealthy industrialist, purchased this land in 1906 & called it Longwood. He laid out the Flower Garden Walk in 1907.  The conservatory was completed in 1921 & opened to the public. After du Pont’s death in 1954, Longwood Gardens was run by garden directors, the gardens were expanded & the entire estate was opened to the public.  In the 1970s, the famous landscape architect Thomas Church helped Longwood Gardens with long-range planning & garden improvement. He designed the Theatre Garden, Wisteria Garden & the Peony Garden.  I've always found Church's work to be a bit bland, like Longwood Gardens itself.