Friday, December 31, 2010

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is a locally well known botanical garden located between Chadd's Ford and Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. As a boy I grew up on a farm in nearby New London, PA and so visited the gardens several times each year with my parents. 

Longwood was purchased from Pennsylvania's Quaker Proprietor, William Penn, by the Peirce family in 1700.  The farm was in turn purchased by Pierre S. DuPont (one of the "chemical" DuPonts) in 1906.  DuPont continued the development of the Peirce family's earlier arboretum and during the 1930s created much of the gardens which are preserved today.  Longwood was transferred to a foundation in 1946 and opened to the public.  Both of my readers can learn more about Longwood Gardens by visiting their web site:  Yesterday was a rare late December day with temperatures flirting near the upper forty degree mark.  My wife, her parents and our daughter decided to make the two hour trip north.  I decided to stay home and work on one of my boats since the air temps were just high enough for epoxy resin to cure before it freezes.  But no matter; my wife, the goodly Elisabeth, took the family digital along and captured a few exposures for your enjoyment.

Longwood has extensive outdoor fountains (not active in winter) but for the Christmas season the outdoor light display is well worth a visit.  Sadly, no outdoor pix this time.  The photo above shows part of the interior of the main conservatory.

 A closer view of the poinsettia-ringed column seen above.

One of several Christmas trees in the Orangery.   Note the waterfall; a nice indoor touch don't you think?  The rich really are different from you and me.

The tree at the opposite end of the Orangery

Longwood has an extensive collection of orchids.  The Cattleyas were putting forth an elegant display.

An unusual holiday wreath made of orchids and fern.

Paper whites and Poinsettias; a touch of winter with the promise of spring.

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