Roaming to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden in Pennsylvania, USA, that consists of more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. It started as a working farm purchased by William Penn in 1700, and evolved over the next two hundred years into one of the earliest and most extensive arboretums in the US. It was nearly sold for lumber but was purchased by Pierre du Pont 1906, who was determined not only to save the property, but to improve upon it for future generations to enjoy.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

Heated indoor gardens comprise 4.5 acres of space, housing more than 5,000 plants. There are fountains, a topiary garden, a beautiful historic mansion, and an incredible variety of mature, towering trees. And 75% of the plants used in the displays at Longwood are grown right there on site, comprising more than 1,000 species.

Now, winter didn’t seem like the best time to visit Longwood, but I was intrigued by their annual Christmas event, which boasted an outdoor light show, decorated trees, and some very cool seasonal displays. It ended up being a beautiful evening and Longwood definitely delivered. The indoor conservatory is breath-taking, and the trees decorated with lights – though they were bare of leaves – made up for the outside gardens being in their winter state of dormancy.

The Children’s Garden was arguably one of the best features of Longwood; I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but at one time my eyes filled with tears because it was so beautifully done, and provoked so much wonder and imagination. And I’m an adult! The kids running around were bubbling with awe and joy.

I’ve selected my favorite shots from the evening to share with you, and highly recommend you visit if you ever have the chance. Longwood is the kind of place you can go anytime of year and fall in love with plants – but I am seriously excited about a spring visit!

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This beautiful Art Nouveau-style bell is at the entrance of the Children’s Garden.

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This dragon is one of many beautiful sculptures in the Children’s Garden.

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Gorgeous stone newt fountain in Children’s Garden. Longwood encourages kids to splash around, and even offer towels to parents.

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camellia

Camellia blossom

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Closeup of one of the decorated trees. Love the pinecone ornaments alongside real cones!

Closeup of one of the decorated trees. Love the pinecone ornaments alongside real cones!

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The desert room, full of incredible cacti and succulents.

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A spectacular chandelier dripping with mosses and orchids.

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Gorgeous lights display outside.

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The “floating” trees display!

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Posted on January 14, 2014, in Roaming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Roaming to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania.

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