I love birthdays! Every year I spend the day with hubs at an arboretum of my choice. The New York Botanical Garden was last year’s birthday trip where I learned all about roses! This year we went to Longwood Gardens which is known for being one of THE GARDENS to go to. I wasn’t disappointed. Nor will you be. So, follow along as I give you a little taste of this magnificent garden. Be sure to check out the plants that I fell in love with.
Just a little History About Longwood Gardens
George Peirce purchased 402 acres of land from William Penn’s commissioners. His twin great grandsons created a fifteen acre arboretum; however, over time, it started to deteriorate since their heirs took no interest in the property. It was purchased by a succession of owners and the last owner commissioned a lumber mill operator to remove the trees from a 41-acre parcel of land. In 1906, Pierre duPont took action to preserve the trees and purchased the property.
Since his acquisition of the property, he added many attributes to the property including the stunning conservatory boasting tropical plants, a 10,010 pipe Aeolian organ housed in the conservatory, and beautiful water fountain gardens. (Below is a picture of the Italian gardens.)
Under duPont’s direction, the garden grew to 926 acres. After his death, in 1946, the Federal government approved Longwood Garden’s not for profit status to operate as a public garden.
Today, the property boasts the addition of a sustainable meadow (pictured above) a 10 acre solar panel site, a treehouse, and a dynamic gathering place, which is five tiers of grass overlooking the other gardens. With a $50 million dollar budget and 1300 employees, the garden is dynamic and changes from season to season.
Welcome to Oz.
My thoughts about Longwood Gardens.
The best words to describe this garden is show stopping. We only had a couple of hours to travel through the garden but it is a destination you would want to visit several times a year since it is like a museum with every changing displays. The conservatory displays are changed many times.
I couldn’t help but to chat with the staff as we moved through the different venues. The staff was so friendly and answered all of my “what is that plant” questions. I was struck by the amount of upkeep required of this facility since many of the plants were annuals. The staff was constantly planting, deadheading the spent blooms, and maintaining the grounds. I got tired watching them.
Just to give you an example, the displays in the massive conservatory are changed constantly based upon the season. Many of the plants we saw will be uprooted, composted, and new ones planted for a different display. They grow many of their own plants as well.
Listed below are some of the pictures I took of the plants that caught my eye. To my dismay, not all of the plants were marked. If you know what they are, please list their names in the comments.
Above is a yellow vine called Noon Nooch Vine from Thailand. It is part of the Verbena family.
This plant reminds me of a caladium, but it didn’t have a name plaque.
The plant above was vibrant maroon. Its leaves shimmered. Seriously. Again, I don’t know the name of the plant.
I am in love with this plant called lollipop plant. It was so cheerful and perky.
Spend time in your local arboretum
Gardens are so wonderful and peaceful. They abound with beauty. So, if you have time this year, be sure to find your local arboretum. In the US, see HERE.
Join the Conversation
What are your favorite arboretums and why?