Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA

Longwood East Conservatory's Christmas 2011 display
Longwood East Conservatory's Christmas 2011 display
Before everyone is totally over-satiated with Christmas, I must squeeze in these pictures of our visit from last week to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. This property has a venerable history; many of its fine trees were planted in 1798 by the Quaker family that had purchased the property a hundred years earlier from William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania). The farm was then purchased in 1906 by Pierre du Pont and he set about, at the age of 36, to create a garden like the ones he had admired in Italy and France. There are allees, an aged topiary garden, a long boarder, the preserved arboretum, an enormous conservatory and fountains galore. If you have not been, it really is worth the trip for every gardener, especially those in the the US.

I have been able to visit several times in the past few years due to having some family shockingly close to its location (ten minutes or less!). I will share these holiday photos in this post and follow up with a few outdoor shots and unique plant selections in the future.
Narcissus 'Ariel'
Narcissus 'Ariel'
Poinsettia planters and citrus trees in the East Conservatory
Poinsettia planters and citrus trees in the East Conservatory
White Cyclamens and red Pentas in the East Conservatory
White Cyclamens and red Pentas in the East Conservatory
The tree in Exhibition Hall
The tree in Exhibition Hall
View across the water in Exhibition Hall
View across the water in Exhibition Hall
View of one of their enormous gingerbread trees into the Orangery
View of one of their enormous gingerbread trees into the Orangery
Oh, to have the light and room for one of these poinsettia beauties!
Oh, to have the light and room for one of these poinsettia beauties!
Whole view of Exhibition Hall, with its pink Bougainvillea just starting to bloom in the roof
Whole view of Exhibition Hall, with its pink Bougainvillea just starting to bloom in the roof
The Orangery, a bedding wonderland in the wintertime
The Orangery, a bedding wonderland in the wintertime
Hydrangea 'Shooting Star', a cousin to the one featured at the Phipps Christmas show this year
Hydrangea 'Shooting Star', like the one featured at the Phipps Christmas show this year
Mini white lilies among the bedding plants
Mini white lilies among the bedding plants
Poinsettia and paper whites with lite evergreen trees along one conservatory wall.
Poinsettia and paper whites with lite evergreen trees along one conservatory wall.
Poinsettia 'Peppermint Twist' is full of ruffles
Poinsettia 'Peppermint Twist' is full of ruffles
Begonia 'Looking Glass', almost entirely silver
Begonia 'Looking Glass', almost entirely silver
Begonia foliage and red poinsettias
Begonia foliage and red poinsettias
White hanging poinsettias in conservatory
White hanging poinsettias in conservatory.
Blue Plectranthus thyrsoideus flowering above the double white poinsettias
Blue Plectranthus thyrsoideus flowering above the double white poinsettias
Amaryllis and hydrangeas atop the children's maze... more on this magical conservatory area later!
Amaryllis and hydrangeas atop the children's maze... more on this magical conservatory area later!
This is my pick for most magical area... the potting room. What madness must have ensued here in November!
This is my pick for most magical area... the potting room. What madness must have ensued here in November!
A bit of history
A bit of history
Plant holding area for quick fixes
Plant holding area for quick fixes
a beautiful variety of colors just in their extras
a beautiful variety of colors just in their extras
Wreath in the chilly hall to the fruit houses
Wreath in the chilly hall to the fruit houses
View into the bottom of the Palm House at Christmas
View into the bottom of the Palm House at Christmas
Bromeliad Guzmania 'Symphonie'
Bromeliad Guzmania 'Symphonie'
More from the Cascade Garden
More from the Cascade Garden
This tree: Pink bromeliads surrounded by golden philodendron, Epipremnum pinnatum 'Neon'
This tree: Pink bromeliads surrounded by golden philodendron, Epipremnum pinnatum 'Neon'
Stars over the Rose house for evening viewing
Stars over the Rose house for evening viewing
Another bromeliad tree in the Tropical Terrace
Another bromeliad tree in the Tropical Terrace
My favorite tree for last: Red-leaved geraniums and dwarf red hot pokers (similar to Kniphofia hirstuta 'Traffic Lights')
My favorite tree for last: Red-leaved geraniums and dwarf red hot pokers (similar to Kniphofia hirstuta 'Traffic Lights')
The lights were just kicking up for the evening spectacle in the Mediterranean Garden
The lights were just kicking up for the evening spectacle in the Mediterranean Garden
Hope you enjoyed the quick tour. Their orchid extravaganza begins in two weeks, for those that might be interested in planning a winter trip to the Philadelphia area. And next summer, they will be featuring a garden lighting installation by British artist Bruce Monro which looks beautiful in the previews.

See more from Longwood Gardens in my posts this week:
Longwood Outdoors in Winter
Longwood's Green Wall (Indoor Vertical Garden)

15 comments:

  1. What a treat! The fourth (I think) pic looks like white cyclamen and red Kalanchoe. So many pretties and ideas; thank you for posting these.

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  2. Pretty photos. Thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed your visit! Let's catch up soon...

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  3. That just blows my mind! WOW! Thanks for sharing all that beauty.

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  4. That Exhibit Hall is amazing! And I love the stars over the roses! That last Christmas tree is so unusual and eye-catching. I love the gingerbread tree, too! How nice to have family so close. What a beautiful place to visit.

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  5. What a wonderful tour! I love the gingerbread tree and that wreath is amazing. I will have to put this on my places to visit at Christmas time!

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  6. This is on my bucket list as a must see at Christmas just once in my life...these images make me want to plan a trip already for this coming Christmas...that gingerbread tree is just too adorable...great tour!!

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  7. It's all so pretty, Julie! A perfect post for the 12th day of Christmas. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely photos!

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  8. Julie, if I'm ever in Pennsylvania, Longwood Gardens is on my "must see" places to visit. You are so fortunate to have a gem like this near you! I could live there all winter! Everything is so meticulously thought out! Sooo beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Absolutely breathtaking! Such beautiful photo's you captured. I feel like I was there with you..
    Thanks so much for sharing Julie!

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  10. WOW...they certainly go all-out, don't they! Love the gingerbread tree :-)

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  11. How incredibly beautiful! Thank you for sharing - I had no idea the Longwood Gardens are so beautiful.

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  12. Dear Julie, I am ashamed to say that although I live within one hundred miles of Longwood Gardens I have never visited. Your posting inspires me to declare 2012 the year I will go there. P. x

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  13. Astonishing. Practically the Chelsea Flower Show. The Dog Blogger is my lesser incarnation should be Catharine Howard

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  14. What a beautiful place. Every photo was exquisite. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. how beautiful, would I love to visit there. Thank you for sharing that, it has made the holidays complete. Our poor flowers down here don't know what to do down here in Florida, we had a couple of nights of freezes and now it is like the beginning of summer. My Christmas catcus is blooming for the second time. Thank you again,
    Elaine

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