Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day at Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens, located in Kennett Square Pennsylvania was my choice for what I wanted to do for Mother's Day. A day with family amongst the flowers, gardens, woodlands. Absolutely one of the most beautiful days I can remember. Beautiful weather, not hot, or cold, just right with a cool breeze under the canopy of trees. When I turned 50 and later loss my mother it changed my perspective on life. Death can do that. I promised myself that I'd start doing things that I enjoy sort of a bucket list, not let life pass me by. Part of this was visiting places in Philly and the surrounding counties that I think I'd enjoy. Last fall it was my hay ride at Linvilla Orchards

This was my first visit to Longwood Gardens since I was in grade school. Many people don't enjoy these grand displays but for me, I loved it and would like to visit again with the change of each season in summer, fall, and winter to see what new flowers are on display. Maybe not summer. I can't imagine what it would feel like under glass in the conservatory in the heat of July or August. Come see some of the garden with me. I took over 500 pictures and spent hours walking and amazed at the plants and displays. I'll add to the pictures when I have time. Of course you can't photograph all of Longwood Gardens or see it on one visit. The day was special. If you can't visit enjoy their web site and some of my pictures. 

The land Longwood Gardens sits on was the former home of Native American Lenni Lenape tribe and later Quaker farmers. I find this sad as many Native Americans are still oppressed in the United States in a country where they are the only real natives and everyone else is an immigrant by choice or forced. I love my country of birth and my lineage as an African American and mixture of other races including Native American, but the history of the United States and how many were and are still treated is not a point of pride for me. It was interesting and sad reading the history of the garden as it resonates my belief in what wealth can buy at the expense of the less privileged. You can read about the history of the garden by clicking on one of the links above.

I believe the gardens are on over 200 acres. I didn't look back again to correctly reference this as I read about the history earlier. The garden is divided into many sections including the original farmhouse, a smaller conservatory added to the home, and the larger grander conservatory including rooms and rooms each divided into different houses such as succulents with silver foliage, the rose house that also includes hibiscus, orchid house, a smaller room for bananas and plantains, and many, many others. One of my favorite was being able to go into the nursery where they grow some of their seedlings. All growing rooms weren't open to the public. Not on display at this time was the waterlily display. Maybe they're put out in the summer I'm not sure. The grounds, woodland areas, trees those in bloom and those that aren't, native plants, and shrubs are beautiful. It was nice seeing so many woodland plants that I could identify. Trillium, tiarella, huchera, mayapple, ferns, Jack in the pulpit, and so many others.

Of course it's spring and the bulbs are in bloom along with cool season annuals. If I'd have gone 1-2 weeks earlier the iris, grape hyacinths, tulips, and narcissus would still be in bloom. Most were finished except some late season ones. Although they were past bloom, it didn't take away from the beautiful displays of to die for foxgloves, snapdragons, alliums, columbine, and many other bulbs and plants that I wasn't as familiar with that lined the path leading into the woodland areas. Okay I cheated because the woodland area is where our journey started. I'll update the page as I get time. For tonight, just a little bit.

Display at the entrance to the gardens. The snapdragons were beautiful everywhere.

Cool season violas hanging in there.

Come take a walk.

One of 2 tree houses.

Unique trees. The lined this garden. Didn't see what their name was.

Tried to get a picture of the primrose lining the pond.

Jack in-the-pulpit
Ground was covered with tiarella in bloom and ginger.
I like the small grasses.

No woodland setting is without lot of fern.

There were lots of place to sit and just be. It was beautiful.

There were lots of heuchera.

The main conservatory although I didn't know how in awe I'd be  when I walked in seeing so many types of plants in the conservatory.

I loved the balls and topiaries  throughout the conservatory. Just beautiful.

I like this for containers as they're growing it. Mimulus Aurantiacus. It's a shrub like perennial hardy in my zone, native to North America and Anniesannuals actually has seeds. I'm going to try this in my containers in the spring.

So busy having clivia miniata envy, I didn't see the new clivia hybrid done by Longwood Gardens with one specimen sold on eBay. I don't remember seeing red bronze clivia blooms but the website said they were with the displayed clivia. Maybe next time.


Crown of thorns. The 2 I have at my house are as large as my fist. Puts mine to shame.

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