Archive for Longwood Gardens

Native Fall Color at Longwood Gardens

Posted in Fall, Fall Color, garden to visit, green gardening, native plants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2016 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

 

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A view across the lake of the color in Peirce’s Woods, an area of native plants.

We have been having one of the most beautiful falls that I can remember.  Every day is bright and sunny, between 50 and 60 degrees F (10 to 15.6 degrees C) except when we have just the right amount of rain. The fall color on trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials is spectacular.  I am blessed to live in an area where I can enjoy one of nature’s most majestic shows just by walking outside my door.  So I decided to post photos for gardeners in the US and abroad who don’t experience this amazing prelude to winter.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for 2016.  For announcements of spring 2017 events, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Let us know if you are local or mail order only and if you are particularly interested in snowdrops and/or miniature hostas so we can put you on the right email list.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Taxodium distichum

Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, native to PA.

All but two of these photos were taken during a visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, US, on November 2.  Every plant is native to the US and most to Pennsylvania (PA), which is part of the mid-Atlantic.  A similar color riot is still going on today, November 12, in my own PA garden.

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Pitcher plants, Saracenia, native to PA, even the planters near Peirce’s Woods are filled with natives. 

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Hydrangea quercifolia

One of my top five shrubs: oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia, and fall color is a big part of that along with gorgeous flowers, tropical-looking leaves, peeling cinnamon bark, and its status as a native albeit slightly south of PA.

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Hydrangea quercifolia

The words “jewel-like color” were made for oakleaf hydrangea. 

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Cornus florida

Flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, native to PA, one of the best small trees for fall color not to mention spectacular flowers and fruit as well as a unique and elegant habit.  This is a young specimen.

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Aesculus parviflora

Bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora, a PA native with beautiful flowers in the late spring.  Great for creating a grove in dense shade and dry soil.

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Fothergilla gardenii

Fothergilla, F. gardenii, native just south of PA, provides a mix of oranges, reds, and yellows that lasts a long time.  In the spring it sports lovely fragrant flowers.

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Looking across the lake towards Peirce’s Woods, the red tree to the left of center is a red maple, Acer rubrum, and the smaller peachy tree to the right is sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum.
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Acer rubrum
Red maple is a shade tree native to PA.  It colors early so I was surprised to find it still stealing the show.  Here is a view from the other side looking down at the lake.
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Oxydendrum arboreum
Sourwood, also known as dead man’s fingers due to the unusual habit of its flowers, is a smaller flowering tree native to PA with many ornamental attributes including unbelievable fall color.
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Taxodium distichum 'Prarie Sentinel'‘Prairie Sentinel’ pond cypress, Taxodium ascendens, has a more upright habit than its cousin the bald cypress and is native just south of PA.
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Acer saccharum
For all-round large shade tree, I would nominate the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, native to PA.  Photos don’t do its color justice, and large specimens have a habit that is purely regal.  This one is a youngster.
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Calycanthus 'Hartlage Wine'

I had to throw in this photo from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens of ‘Hartlage Wine’ allspice, Calycanthus raulstonii.  Top five shrubs again with absolutely gorgeous, bright yellow fall color; long-lasting, exquisite, large red flowers; and big, shiny, smooth blue-green leaves.  It is a native hybrid.

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Also from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, another favorite tree native to PA, yellowwood, Cladrastis kentukea.

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Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery or are mail order only.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

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.

Longwood Gardens: The New Meadow Garden

Posted in garden to visit, green gardening, landscape design, native plants, sustainable living with tags , , , , , on September 5, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

.Senna didymobotrya, candalabra-treeThe entrance garden outside the visitor’s center at Longwood is lush and tropical right now.

Michael and I are members of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, US, and visit on a regular basis.  We have been excitedly awaiting the opening of Longwood’s new meadow garden.  We visited the meadow this week and were very impressed.

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Longwood September 2014 9-3-2014 11-05-48 AMA longer view of the entrance.

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Longwood September 2014 9-3-2014 11-10-25 AMAnother pretty entrance to the rose arbor.

The scope of the project is immense.  The garden is 86 acres filled with native plants appropriate to a meadow habitat.  There are three miles of walking trails through the meadow and its environs.  What Longwood has created in this meadow through ecological management of the property for native plants and animals is breathtaking and magical.  I highly recommend a visit right now because the meadow is at its peak.  However, for those of you who aren’t local, a virtual tour follows.  Keep in mind that photos cannot truly convey the amazing diversity and breadth of this project.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 12-08-49 PMA patch of Joe Pye weed in a sea of goldenrod, sunflowers, and other native plants.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 12-07-27 PM.

Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 12-04-05 PMNative grasses in the meadow area in front of Longwood’s scenic barn complex.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-42-22 AMThe newly restored Webb farmhouse, built in the 16th century by one of the original landowners, houses a very informative exhibit on the history of the area and the evolution of the meadow through the seasons.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-33-26 AMThree miles of trails circle and crisscross the meadow.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-31-52 AMThe native sunflowers really stand out.

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Helianthus sp, Joe Pye

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-39-49 AMBands of color through the meadow are created by swathes of different plants.

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Pycnanthemum viginicum, mountian-mintSome areas are still filling in so the meadow will look even better next year.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-44-54 AMLongwood’s bluebird box program is over 30 years old and fledges an average of 170 bluebirds a year.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 12-37-27 PMOver 1,100 native trees and shrubs have been added to the woodland edges bordering the meadow.

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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-32-54 AM.

Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-26-50 AM.

The pictures make the beauty look subtle, but it’s not.  The sensation of walking through the meadow with the sun shining, the bees buzzing, the butterflies nectaring, the birds collecting seeds, and the grasses swaying in the breeze cannot be captured in a photo.  If you can visit Longwood, try to do it now so you can share our magical experience.

I will leave you with the following quotation, for me the answer to the ending question is a resounding yes:

“What if, instead of depicting nature, we allowed nature in? What if, instead of building and maintaining artistic creations, we worked to develop and manage living systems? What could we learn . . . about how nature works? Could we create landscapes that were more efficient, more connected, more effective, and ultimately more valuable?”

Travis Beck, Director of Horticulture Mt. Cuba Center

Carolyn

P.S.  I am excited to report that the stat counter for Carolyn’s Shade Gardens blog has now recorded over 1,000,000 views.  Thank you to all my readers all over the world!

Nursery Happenings:   You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. 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.

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.

Longwood Christmas and a Surprise

Posted in garden to visit, winter, winter interest with tags , , , on December 29, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News: The 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue, featuring snowdrops and other winter interest plants like cyclamen and hellebores, is posted here, and we are taking orders.

Snow storm 12-10-2013 12-10-2013 4-14-049Carolyn’s Shade Gardens in the snow

Starting in late November this year, we had five snow storms before Christmas.  I like snow but was already feeling a little cabin crazy when an email arrived from Longwood Gardens offering a great deal on a renewal of my long-expired membership.  We usually visit Longwood for a special event, but it struck me that the Longwood Gardens conservatories are a great place to go for a walk in the winter.  Renewal was easy, and Michael and I headed to Longwood bright and early the next day to test out our new indoor walking venue.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 1-34-24 PM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-17-49 AMTopiary Garden

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 1-41-01 PMGreat use of dried hydrangea flowers along the front entrance gate.  I almost got killed taking the photo so I wouldn’t recommend stopping there.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 1-28-14 PMCreative containers outside the cafe where we ate lunch.  The food is very good, especially the soups and chilis, and members get a discount.

There is plenty to see outside at Longwood even in the winter as you can tell from the above photos.  However, it was quite cold that day so we headed for the four acres of indoor conservatories.  We intend to go back in January in the late afternoon and evening to see the outdoor Christmas display.  If you haven’t done that, you are in for a treat.  For photos of the lights at night and tips for visiting, read my post A Longwood New Year’s Eve.

Mid-morning on a bright and sunny day turned out to be a bad time to photograph the conservatories so I don’t have as many photos to show you.  You will have to go yourself to see all the sights:

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-24-51 AM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-28-33 AM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-27-55 AM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 12-50-47 PM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-47-08 AM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-46-57 AM

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-44-22 AM.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-33-20 AMThe Exhibition Hall featured an elaborate and beautiful tapestry composed of 18,540 Granny Smith and Rome apples floating in 4″ of water and kept in place by a hidden structural form fabricated in house.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-40-21 AM Christmas rose hellebores lined the edges of the floor.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-33-51 AMA close up of the apples, which came from a local grower and will be donated to a local farm for cattle feed.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-51-08 AM

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 12-41-31 PM.

Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-55-15 AM

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Our surprise occurred as we were admiring this wreath in the back corridor of the greenhouses.  We ran into our friend Scottie Pennett who works at Longwood as a grower for the conservatories.  She is in charge of several of the antique glass greenhouses actually used by the DuPont family and offered us an impromptu behind the scenes tour.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 12-03-59 PMScottie in one of her greenhouses.  On the left you can see a standard she is growing for a future display.  Weights have been tied to the branches to make them cascade down.

The attention to detail that is required for these plants is amazing.  Each one is individually groomed and manipulated to achieve the desired effect.  Plants are started as long as three to five years before the time that the actual display for which they are intended appears in the conservatory.  Scottie also trials plants that she thinks will be effective additions to future displays and presents them to the designers for consideration.  It is amazing to think that a plant that you breeze by in the conservatories might have begun from a cutting in Scottie’s greenhouse five years before.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 11-59-36 AMA fuchsia basket where each branch needs to be tied down with string to give it the proper shape.

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Longwood Xmas 2013 12-19-2013 12-04-18 PMAnother plant being tied to a frame to give it the proper look.

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Thanks, Scottie, after our tour we had a much deeper appreciation for your work and that of all the other Longwood employees who produce such a gorgeous show in the conservatories year after year.  The Longwood Christmas display will continue through January 12.

Happy New Year,

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. 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 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue, featuring snowdrops and other winter interest plants like cyclamen and hellebores, is on the sidebar, and we are taking orders.  To access the catalogue, please click here.  Please visit my Etsy Shop to purchase photo note cards suitable for all occasions by clicking 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.

Winterthur Part 1: Late Winter 2013

Posted in bulbs for shade, garden to visit, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Crocus tomasinianus In early March, the courtyard behind the house at Winterthur is completely filled with snow crocus, C. tomasinianus. It is worth visiting in late winter just to see this sight.

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Each year I choose an outstanding Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, US) area garden to profile through out the seasons. There are so many amazing gardens in the Delaware Valley that I will never run out of choices. It is more a case of which wonderful garden to choose. In 2011 to 2012, I visited the enchanting pleasure gardens at Chanticleer. To see those posts, click here. In 2012 to 2013, I focused on the diverse and magnificent gardens and conservatories at Longwood. To see those posts, click here. For 2013 to 2014, I have chosen the elegant former estate of collector and horticulturalist Henry Francis du Pont located in Delaware just over the Pennsylvania line and called Winterthur.

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WinterthurThe Winterthur house holds the premier collection of American decorative art. For scale, look at the two people on the right side of the photo just beyond the path.

Henry Francis du Pont (1880 to 1969) was a voracious collector of American decorative art for his home and of plants from all over the world for his garden. He had a lot of space to work with as the house has 175 rooms and the garden is 1,000 acres, 60 of which he landscaped with naturalistic plantings. About 60 years ago du Pont opened the house and gardens to the public, fulfilling his wish that:

the Museum will be a continuing source of inspiration and education for all time, and that the gardens and grounds will of themselves be a country place museum where visitors may enjoy as I have, not only the flowers, trees and shrubs, but also the sunlit meadows, shady wood paths, and the peace and great calm of a country place which has been loved and taken care of for three generations.

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WinterthurThe paths leading from the visitor’s center to the house and gardens meander through the magnificent trees.

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The “peace and great calm of a country place” is what draws me to Winterthur again and again for the garden is not a botanical collection or a display garden in the usual sense. But rather, as the website states, “an artistic composition that captures a significant period in the history of American horticulture.” It is carefully maintained and preserved to allow visitor’s to enjoy the landscaped gardens as Henry du Pont designed them as well as the peaceful vistas that he carefully incorporated into his designs. Yet it does so with none of the rigidity and dated feeling of many historic gardens. The experience is as fresh and enjoyable as if du Pont himself were giving you a tour of his own backyard, albeit a very large one!

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DSCN9477Another view of the house in winter.

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This post shows photos from my visit to Winterthur for their annual snowdrop event, this year on March 9 (for more information on that event, click here). I apologize for the delay, but I have been so busy with my nursery that I just found time to sort through these images. I also thought that pictures of snowdrops and other winter bulbs might really stand out right now when other blogs aren’t posting them anymore. Most of the plants shown are in the area of the March Bank at Winterthur, which contains the premier collection of naturalized snowdrops and other winter interest bulbs in the U.S.

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Galanthus at Winterthurnaturalized snowdrops

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It is very difficult to give readers an idea of the massive amounts of snowdrops, aconite, crocus, glory-of-the-snow, snowflakes, adonis, and other winter bulbs at Winterthur. The plants are so small that once you back up to show a large area, they disappear into the leaf litter (at least using my camera, which is much better for macro shots). You will just have to take my word for it that in person the sweeps of bulbs are breath-taking and unparalleled.

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Eranthis hyemalisWinter aconite with snowdrops in the background.

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Winterthuraconites, snowdrops, and crocus

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Adonis amurensisAmur adonis

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Leucojum vernumspring snowdflake

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Winterthuraconite, snowdrops, and snowflakes

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Galanthus and Eranthissnowdrops and aconite

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Winterthursnowflakes and aconite

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WinterthurMarch Bank

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Galanthus elwesiiMost of the naturalized snowdrops are the giant snowdrop, G. elwesii.

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Galanthus elwesiiA particularly lovely clump of giant snowdrops with many more (plus a photographer) on the March Bank.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Vidirapice'green-tipped snowdrops

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Crocus tommasinianusSnow crocus growing in the grass courtyard behind the house.

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Crocus tommasianusIt is much easier to photograph the snow crocus set off by the grass. However, all the bulbs in this post appear through out Winterthur in the same massive quantities and are just as awe-inspiring as the crocus portrayed here.

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I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of my year of Winterthur posts, out-of-season though it may be. If you are local, mark your calendars for March 1, 2014, so you can see this wondrous display for yourself. In the meantime, it is finally summer and my nursery is closed. I will be posting on the blog but less frequently. On Thursday I am off to San Francisco for the 2013 Garden Blogger’s Fling. Enjoy your summer.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., 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 nursery is closed and will reopen in the fall around September 15. Have a great summer.

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.

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

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 buy them at the nursery.

. 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.

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

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

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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