Archive for Longwood

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:  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.

.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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Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-51-56 AM.

Longwood Gardens Meadow 2014 9-3-2014 11-29-50 AM

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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: 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.

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.

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

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