Archive for kennett square pennsylvania

Longwood Gardens Part 5: Tulips and Natives

Posted in bulbs for shade, garden to visit, groundcover, native plants, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

. Tulips at LongwoodThis color combination is magnificent for spring.

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During 2012 to 2013, I have been visiting Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, U.S., every few months and highlighting some aspect of this amazing place (last year I focused on Chanticleer).  Links to my previous four posts are at the end.  There is much to see there with 325 acres open to the public and 20 outdoor gardens. 

On April 18, Michael and I headed out to Longwood with the specific objective of photographing the plants in the native woodland, Peirce’s Woods.  Of course, on the way to the woods, we got sidetracked by the bulb displays out front and along the Flower Garden Walk.  Although masses of tulips and other bulbs are just about polar opposite to native plants naturalized in a woodland, they are still gorgeous so I will show you a few photos as I explain the history of the woodland.

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Leucojum aestivumSummer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum, is a great plant for massing.  Mine grow and self-sow quite readily in both south-facing and east-facing locations as well as in full deciduous shade in my woodland.

In 1700, a Quaker family named Peirce purchased the area that is now Peirce’s Woods from William Penn to establish a working farm.  In 1798, the Peirces began planting trees to establish an arboretum on the property.  Eventually the area became known as one of the finest collections of trees in the country.  The great industrialist Pierre DuPont (1870 to 1954) purchased the property in 1906 with the specific purpose of preserving the magnificent trees.

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container at LongwoodYou will find fabulous container gardens throughout Longwood, including this one outside the Visitor’s Center with a large native dogwood underplanted with daffodils.

Peirce’s Woods comprises seven acres planted to showcase the ornamental characteristics of native plants from the eastern U.S. deciduous forest.  The shade trees  are mostly oak, ash, maple, and tulip trees, some over 200 years old.  The understory is native flowering trees and shrubs underplanted with native groundcovers.  All the plants are labeled so it is a great place to visit to get ideas for your own woodland garden.  Before I highlight the plants there, a few more bulb photos:

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Narcissus Tahiti and Flower DriftNarcissus ‘Tahiti’ and ‘Flower Drift’

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tulips at Longwood

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tulips at Longwood.

tulips at Longwood

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Tulipa 'Yellow Wave'‘Yellow Wave’ tulip

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Tulipa 'Rococo'‘Rococo’ tulip

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Tulipa 'Rococo'I think this tulip should be called the Little Shop of Horrors tulip—you definitely would not want to stick your finger inside of it.

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Flower Garden Walk at LongwoodAs we neared the end of the Flower Garden Walk, we were greeted by this magnificent vista.

We came to Longwood with the objective of viewing and photographing Peirce’s Woods.  I fully intended to show scenes of the woods as a whole and close ups of individual native wildflowers.  However, I didn’t realize that because the weather has been so cold this spring, many of the flowers would not be blooming yet.  My own garden is always ahead because it is on a south-facing slope and the soil warms up early.  Also, as soon as we got there and typical for this spring, the sun went in, the wind picked up, it started to rain, and the temperature plummeted.

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Matteuchia pennsylvanica The only other landscape shot that I got: ostrich ferns by the shore of the lake.  These ferns can be quite tall, 3 to 5′, spread aggressively by runners, and are the source of edible fiddleheads.

Michael and I were both under-dressed with no raincoats so I decided to take photos of the plants that were blooming and come back the following week for the landscape shots and later-blooming plants.  As usual, work at the nursery got in the way, but I wanted to show you the beautiful native plants that I was able to capture on film.  Just picture me kneeling patiently by each plant and snapping the photo in between gusts of wind and bouts of rain:

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Heuchera villosa 'Miracle' ‘Miracle’ coralbells, Heuchera villosa, is one of my favorite cultivars of this tough eastern native.  The only coralbells I sell at my nursery are offspring of eastern natives H. villosa and H. americana because I find the other types not hardy.

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Anemonella thalictroides Rue-anemone, Anemonella thalictroides, is so delicate looking but  thrives and self-sows in dry shade.

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Trillium grandiflorum‘Quicksilver’ large-flowered trillium, T. grandiflorum, was selected as a rapidly multiplying form of the species by Dr. Richard Lighty, at the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware.

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Trillium grandiflorum 'Quicksilver' and Anemonella thalictroides‘Quicksilver’ surrounded by rue-anemone.

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Trillium luteum, yellow toad trilliumI find yellow toad trillium, T. luteum, quite easy to grow.

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Trillium erectum, purple trilliumpurple trillium, T. erectum

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Trillium erectum, purple trilliumThe two-tone flowers of purple trillium are gorgeous.

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Dicentra cucullaria, squirrel cornsquirrel-corn, Dicentra canadensis

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Caulophyllum thalictroides, blue cohoshBlue cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides, has these unprepossessing flowers in the spring followed by bright blue berries.  I love its leaf and stem structure and elegant overall habit.

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Caulophyllum thalictroides and Dicentra canadensisBlue cohosh can act like a small shrub, here with an underplanting of squirrel-corn.

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Mertensia virginicaVirginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, were everywhere just like they are in my own garden where they seed prolifically.

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Enemion biternatum, eastern false rue-anemoneEastern false rue-anemone, Enemion biternatum, is a new plant to me.  I am going to look for it though because its flowers were lovely perched on reddish stems and it evidently spreads to make an eye-catching patch.

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stump in Peirce's WoodsI thought what Longwood had done to the stump of a tree that came down was very interesting and actually quite attractive.

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Erythronium americanum, adder's tongueAdder’s tongue or what I call trout lily, Erythronium americanum, usually produces hundreds of leaves and a few flowers in my garden, but this year it is blooming well everywhere.

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Polstichum acrostichoidesThe emerging fronds of Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, look like fairies should be dancing among them.

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Onoclea sensibilisSensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis, is a great native fern that is underused in gardens.

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Onoclea sensibilisSensitive fern looks great in a mass planting.

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Claytonia virginica, spring-beautyThe wind was roaring when I tried to photograph these spring-beauties, Claytonia virginica, so they are out of focus, but I didn’t want you to miss them.

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Claytonia virginicaSpring-beauty really has an amazing flower even when blurry.

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Hydrophyllum macrophyllum, large-leaf waterleafLarge -leaf waterleaf, Hydrophyllum macrophyllum, has very pretty foliage.

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Cardamine concatenata, cutleaf toothwortCutleaf toothwort, Cardamine concatenata, is a spring ephemeral that naturalizes slowly to form a colony in the shade.

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Uvularia grandifloraLarge-flowered bellwort, Uvularia grandiflora, is one of my favorites.  It grows 1 to 2 feet tall, has unusual and elegant yellow flowers, and grows in full, dry shade.  I don’t know why this plant isn’t more popular, but it doesn’t sell well at my nursery even though I have big stands of it in my display gardens.

All the plants profiled are native to Pennsylvania and the East Coast.  If you would like to see if a plant is native to your state, the best place to look is the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database.  All you do is put in the name of the plant and you will be shown a map of where it is native in the U.S.  I also have all these plants in my garden except toothwort and false meadow-rue, and I highly recommend them.

To read more about Longwood Gardens, follow these links:

Groundcovers, Thinking Outside the Box

Longwood Gardens Part 2: At Night

A Longwood New Year’s Eve

Cold Weather Antidote: Longwood’s Orchids

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The 2013 Spring Shrub Offer is now in full swing and orders are due May 18.  To read about the plants available and place an order, click here.  The 2013 Miniature Hosta Mail Order Catalogue, containing choice selections of miniatures for shipping all over the US, is now on the right sidebar here, and we are ready to ship.  If you are local, you can use the catalogue to see what miniatures are available at the nursery.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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Cold Weather Antidote: Longwood’s Orchids

Posted in garden to visit, winter, winter interest with tags , , , on February 23, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Longwood East conservatoryFor Longwood Garden’s Orchid Extravaganza, the East Conservatory is filled with yellows, blues, creams, and whites—one of my favorite color combinations.

Before I get to my cold weather antidote, I want to mention another upcoming breath of spring:  The Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest indoor flower show in the world.  The theme this year is “Brilliant”, a tribute to the majestic culture and creative gardening tradition of Great Britain.  It runs from March 2 through March 10 at the Philadelphia Convention Center.  I will be giving a presentation on Sunday, March 3, at 5:00 pm in the Gardener’s Studio on “Hellebores for Your Garden: Selection, Maintenance, and Division”—don’t miss it!


Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'
‘Jelena’ witch hazel outside the Longwood Cafe.  I highly recommend eating there when you visit.  The food is very good, especially the local mushroom soup, and in the winter you can sit by a fire.

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Hamamelis x intermedia 'Luna'‘Luna’ witch hazel also outside the cafe.

On a recent Friday, my husband and I were suffering from cabin fever and decided to visit Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, US.  For 2012 to 2013, I have been writing posts every couple of months about Longwood (last year I choose Chanticleer), and I will provide links to my posts at the end.  Usually we walk around outside, but it was cold, overcast, and raining so we opted to explore The Orchid Extravaganza in the conservatories instead.  I did photograph some token but gorgeous witch hazels on our mad dash for the cafe, and I have included their photos above to show what braver souls were viewing.

Longwood East ConservatoryThese lovely arrangements of moth orchids greet you as you come through the main entrance into the East Conservatory.

 

I am not an orchid lover and really know little about them.  But I knew that if Longwood did orchids, they would surpass my wildest expectations, and they did.  Orchids are an over-the-top plant perfect for an over-the-top display, and Longwood is the perfect place to view them.  Longwood has 9,000 orchids in its collection and used 5,000 plants, representing 2,300 species and cultivars, to decorate its four acres of conservatories for the current display.  Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe it so I will have to use photographs, beginning with more of the East Conservatory:

Longwood East ConservatoryWhen we entered, a bride and groom were having their wedding pictures taken.

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Longwood East Conservatory.

Longwood East Conservatory.

Longwood East Conservatory

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Longwood Velvet Groundsel & Flowering-bush PlectranthusThe yellow-flowered plant on the left is velvet groundsel and the blue on the right is flowering-bush plectranthus.  

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Longwood East Conservatory.

Longwood East ConservatoryLooking back down the East Conservatory towards the main entrance.

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Longwood orchid orbThis orchid orb, at the far end of the East Conservatory, contains 160 0rchids and weighs 200 pounds.  The custom metal frame was constructed by Longwood craftspeople.

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Longwood orchid orbA close up of the orb.

From the East Conservatory we entered the Exhibition Hall with its sunken and flooded marble floor surrounded by tree ferns:

Longwood Exhibition HallAbove the Exhibition Hall hangs an “orchid chandelier” featuring over 100 yellow Cymbidium orchids, 200 white Phalaenopsis orchids, and Algerian ivy.

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Longwood Exhibition Hall.

DSCN9176This 13′ tall arch at the other end of the Exhibition Hall is composed of 800 yellow Phalaenopsis orchids and is much prettier in person.

The third huge room in the conservatories is called the Orangery and features colorful displays of a wide range of unusual plants:

Longwood Orangery

Florist’s cyclamen, tulips, and oriental hybrid lilies underplant bronze-leaved clerodendrum.

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Longwood OrangeryVine-covered pillars line the walk around the edge of the Orangery.

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Longwood Orangery.

Longwood OrangeryI was particularly taken with this combination of ‘Tete-a-Tete’ narcissus, orange mother-of-thousands, ferns, and orange roses.

No matter what time of year you visit the conservatories, between 200 and 500 orchids are on display in the Orchid House.  The orchids residing there during this special show are the cream of the crop.  I have diligently copied the names off the tags because I know a lot of readers are orchid fans.  But beware, my career as a recorder at the Philadelphia Flower Show receiving the orchid entries was short-lived after trying to deal with their confusing names.  

orchid x Laeliocattleya g. (unnamed) x Laeliocattleya g. (unnamed)

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orchid no labelOne of my favorites but there was no label.

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Schomburgkia undulataSchomburgkia undulata

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x Sophrolaeliocattleya Rosemary Clooney 'Wanre'x Sophrolaeliocattleya Rosemary Clooney ‘Wanre’

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Miltoniopsis Mary SugiyamaMiltoniopsis Mary Sugiyama

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x Beallara Pluto's Drummer 'Pacific Pink'x Beallara Pluto’s Drummer ‘Pacific Pink’

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x Sophrolaeliocattleya g. Jewel Box 'Dark Waters'x Sophrolaeliocattleya g. Jewel Box ‘Dark Waters’

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Dendrobium Oriental Smile 'Fantasy'Dendrobium Oriental Smile ‘Fantasy’

Orchids are beautifully incorporated into most of the many gardens in the West Conservatory Complex.  Here are a few of my favorite combinations, but it is well worth a walk through the whole area:

x Bratonia Kauai's ChoiceDozens of this eye-catching orchid, x Bratonia Kauai’s Choice, surround the waterfall in the Cascade Garden designed by Roberto Burle Marx.

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Orchids with Calathea lancifolia, prayer plantIn the Tropical Terrace, white orchids are planted among this striking prayer plant, Calathea lancifolia.

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Orchids with 'Moonlight Bay' aglaonema & 'Lutea' elephant's-ear plantAlso in the Tropical Terrace, yellow orchids with ‘Moonlight Bay’ aglaonema and ‘Lutea’ elephant’s-ear plant.

Despite all the grandeur of the big orchid displays, my favorite orchid presentations are found in some of the smaller and narrower gardens.   Perfect specimens from the same orchid family but in varying colors are displayed in containers like majestic houseplants.  If I had orchids this is how I would want to present them:

Lady's Slipper OrchidsA small garden, called the Garden Path, on the left side of the East Conservatory was lined with moss planters of lady’s slipper orchids.

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Lady's Slipper Orchid.

Lady's Slipper Orchid

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Dancing Ladies OrchidsAlong the Acacia Passage are ceramic containers of dancing ladies orchids.

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Reed-Stem orchidsPots of reed-stem orchids line the Fern Passage.

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Reed-Stem orchidsreed-stem orchid

The Longwood Orchid Extravaganza runs through March 24.  If you are coming, check the website because there are lots of special events scheduled.  If you are not in the area, I hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour.

To read more about Longwood Gardens, follow these links:

Groundcovers, Thinking Outside the Box

Longwood Gardens Part 2: At Night

A Longwood New Year’s Eve

Carolyn

I am linking this post to Les’s blog A Tidewater Garden for his annual winter walk-off where bloggers show photos from a winter trip where they did a lot of walking.  Since my husband and I walked Longwood’s conservatories for two hours, Les tells me that this post qualifies.  Follow the link to see Les’s professional quality photos and where other bloggers took their walk.

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  We are now accepting reservations for our very popular Hellebore Seminars to be held on Friday, March 15 (only 3 spaces left) at 1:30 pm and Monday, March 18, at 10:00 am.  For details, click here.  The 2013 Snowdrop Catalogue is on the sidebar of the website and orders are being accepted now.  To view the catalogue, click here.  The 2013 General Catalogue is available here.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

A Longwood New Year’s Eve

Posted in garden to visit, winter with tags , , , on January 1, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Longwood ChristmasPure magic!

For 2012-2013, I choose Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, US, as the garden that I would visit throughout the year and profile.  Longwood is probably the most visited public garden in the US and holds a special place in my heart because I have taken almost 20 courses there, earning two Longwood Certificates of Merit in Ornamental Plants.  My previous posts profiled Longwood’s creative use of groundcovers (click here to read) and Longwood at night, focusing on the Bruce Munro light installation (click here to read).

Longwood conservatory One of the Longwood conservatories decorated for Christmas.

Visiting Longwood anytime of year is a breathtaking experience.  I have been going there for 30 years, and it never fails to delight me.  However, their Christmas display, both indoors and outside, is in a class by itself.  Before I go I always think the magic might have worn off.  But every time I walk out of the visitor’s center and see the lights, I am amazed once again.

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Longwood ConservatoryA long view of one of the immense indoor spaces.

Because Longwood is so popular at Christmas, it takes a little planning to avoid the crowds.  In previous years, we choose a warm and drizzly night and had the gardens pretty much to ourselves.  This year we thought it might be fun to go on New Year’s Eve when musicians stroll through the gardens entertaining the crowds.  Our timing was perfect as we arrived at 2:15 pm, toured the relatively empty conservatories, ate delicious food in the uncrowded cafe, and escaped out into the garden just as it got dark and the hordes descended.

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LongwoodOne of the rooms in the conservatories was set up for an immense holiday feast.  It was gorgeous.

The conservatories encompass four acres so there is a lot to see inside from orchids to bonsai to the actual greenhouses where the plants are grown.  All of it is decorated for the holidays.  Here are just a few displays that caught my eye:

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LongwoodThe maze in the enchanting children’s garden.

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LongwoodA very unusual color for a poinsettia, perfectly complimented.

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Longwood

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Longwood

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Longwood ChristmasThe camellias were blooming.

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Longwood Christmas-001The hibiscus were also in full flower.

As much as I enjoy the conservatories, the real magic of a Longwood Christmas is outside where half a million lights decorate hundreds of trees.  If you think you have seen it all before, I challenge you to come here and not be in awe.  Panoramic shots would really do the display justice, but holding the camera steady for night shots without a tripod proved difficult at best.  Here is a small sampling of the light extravaganza:

LongwoodA photo at dusk by the Peirce du Pont House

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LongwoodThe lights show up better in full dark but this effect was kind of surreal.

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LongwoodThe famous five-acre fountain garden.  It is hard to convey in photos the size and scale of Longwood.

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LongwoodLooking back inside the conservatories.

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Longwood

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Longwood ChristmasThis was my favorite wrapped tree hung with stars and displayed against the ink blue night.

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Longwood

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LongwoodMammoth copper beeches completely wrapped.

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Longwood

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Longwood

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Longwood

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Longwood

If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit.  The display continues through January 6, and timed tickets are required.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  The 2013 Snowdrop Catalogue is on the sidebar of the website and orders are being accepted.  To view the catalogue, click here.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  The nursery is closed until spring 2013.  Thanks for a great year.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

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