philadelphia’s longwood gardens

Friday, June 10: This morning, I get up early so I can get to Longwood Gardens by its opening time of 9:00.  I stop in at a tourist information office just outside Longwood and pick up a pile of brochures about things to do in the Brandywine Valley, good ideas for another trip. 🙂

Yesterday, I used my Olympus PEN EPL-1 and my iPhone at Shofuso and Chanticleer.  Today, I used my new Canon Rebel for Longwood and Winterthur.  Some of the pictures came out okay, but I deleted way too many that looked a little blurry. Many of these don’t seem very sharp and some seem overexposed; I used the automatic setting but they should look better than they do, in my opinion.  I have since sent the Canon back to the Canon factory for an adjustment; instead of fixing the camera, they sent me a new one, which I haven’t tried out yet.  There are a few pictures here with my iPhone; they sometimes turn out sharper than either my Olympus or Canon, but today, they seem of equal quality.

Longwood Gardens, founded by Pierre S. duPont, is 1,077 acres, larger than either Shofuso or Chanticleer, which I visited yesterday.  My first stop is the Rose Garden, where the planting arrangements and architectural elements are typical of an early 20th century rose garden.

Rose Garden at Longwood
Rose Garden at Longwood
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
peachy rose
peachy rose

Adjacent to the Rose Garden is the Topiary Garden, which includes more than 50 specimens in 20 different shapes.

Topiary Garden
Topiary Garden
Topiary Garden (iPhone)
Topiary Garden (iPhone)
Topiary Garden
Topiary Garden

The 4-acre Conservatory at Longwood is something to behold!

The Conservatory
The Conservatory
The Conservatory
The Conservatory

The East Conservatory is under glass with water features.

Inside the Conservatory
Inside the Conservatory

The Orangery offers flowering plants and manicured lawns.

Orangery
Orangery
Orangery
Orangery

Click on any of the pictures below for a full-page slide show.

The Waterlily Display features aquatic plants from all over the world

Waterlily Display
Waterlily Display
Waterlily Display
Waterlily Display
Waterlily Display
Waterlily Display

The Palm House, or Banana House, features 30-foot herbaceous plants filled with unique flowers and highly recognizable fruit.

Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House

And then there is a little hallway with Bonsai plants.

Bonsai
Bonsai

The Mediterranean garden features plants grown in Mediterranean-type climates characterized by moist, cool winters and hot, dry summers.

Mediterranean Garden
Mediterranean Garden

After leaving the Conservatory, I meander through the 86-acre Meadow Garden, with its three miles of walking and hiking trails.  Here I can see native wildflower plantings and broad sweeping views.

Meadow Garden
Meadow Garden
Meadow Garden
Meadow Garden

After a long walk through the Meadow Garden, I follow signs to the Italian Water Garden.  According to Longwood Gardens, Mr. du Pont planned every aspect of this Garden, from the sculptures inspired by his travels in Italy to the hydraulic calculations. He even calculated that the northernmost pools needed to be built 14 feet longer than the southernmost pool to appear symmetrical from the viewing deck.

Italian Water Garden
Italian Water Garden
Italian Water Garden
Italian Water Garden
Italian Water Garden
Italian Water Garden
Tree house
Tree house
water gardens
water gardens
water gardens
water gardens

The early Flower Garden Walk, laid out in 1907, “reflected what he termed “old-fashioned” influence, with nostalgic cottage-garden flowers, rose-laden trellises, picturesque benches, a bird bath, and even a shiny ‘gazing ball.'”

I find some pretty gardens by the Peony and Wisteria Gardens.

Fountain
Fountain
Flower pots
Flower pots
Fountain (iPhone)
Fountain (iPhone)

I rest a bit after all my walking in this shady little arbor.

Arbor
Arbor
Fountain in the Flower Garden Walk
Fountain in the Flower Garden Walk
Flower Garden Walk
Flower Garden Walk

Finally, I end my tour of Longwood at the Rose Arbor.  This area serves as an outdoor concert area when the roses are blooming in June.  In the center of the arbor is an old Italian wellhead surrounded by seasonal displays.

Rose Arbor
Rose Arbor
Rose Arbor(iPhone)
Rose Arbor(iPhone)
Rose Arbor (iPhone)
Rose Arbor (iPhone)

Before heading to Winterthur, which isn’t far away, I go to The Market at Liberty Place in Kennett Square. There I order the Kennett Crepe, with exotic mushrooms, ricotta, spinach and a fruity balsamic glaze.  I’m not that thrilled with it.

After lunch, I head to the other duPont estate, Winterthur.

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16 thoughts on “philadelphia’s longwood gardens

  1. Ah, I wondered what that rose garden would look like. I was at Longwood Gardens the end of April (on my way up to MA), when their spring flowers were in full bloom. It was stunning and the Conservatory just beyond description.

      1. no, the roses were not yet in bloom but there were plenty of other spring bloomers including gorgeous foxgloves lining a walkway, tulips galore and I can’t even think of the rest at the moment. I had been wanting to go back to Longwood for over 20 yrs since the first time I went there. Now I am looking forward to the renovation of the fountain gardens to be completed….

  2. This is the post I’ve been waiting for Cathy. Many years ago I read an article about Longwood Gardens in a Victoria magazine and then a friend sent me a calendar with images of the gardens through the seasons. Ever since, the gardens have been number one on my wish list. You’ve inspired me yet again to go and visit one day. Thanks!

    1. I hope you’ll get to see them sometime, Carol. They’re quite sprawling, but that Conservatory is amazing, as are the fountains. I still prefer the smaller Chanticleer. If you come to Philly, I suggest those first, then Longwood. If you happen to visit, I hope you’ll stay with us here in northern Virginia. 🙂

  3. What a lovely place to wander, Cathy! I love the lily ponds, the beautiful fountains, and especially the glorious rose arbour. Your crepe sounds really delicious. Thanks so much for the virtual tour. xx

    1. It was a pretty place to wander, Sylvia. Too bad the pictures came out so badly. I loved those fountains too. The crepe sounded good to me too, but I have to admit I felt a little queasy after. 🙂

  4. So many lovely gardens, aren’t there, Cathy? I love the Orangery shots and the water lilies, of course, and that simple little display of pots. Nice to escape into a garden. What with shootings and politics, the world’s in a bad way right now. Hugs, darlin. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jo. I loved the Orangery shots too, especially those hanging baskets. I was disappointed, however, in the quality of the Canon shots. I’ve now received a refurbished Canon, but I need to go out on a photo shoot to see if the pictures are any better.

      I agree, the world’s in a bad way right now. Politics here are horrid. I never remember hearing what you thought about Brexit. I wish there was some peaceful and serene world we could all escape to. Hugs to you too, Jo. 🙂

  5. I am thoroughly enjoying visiting your gardens with you Cathy, the weather is conspiring against me this week to get out and visit a garden for real. I have studied your photos and have to say that on my laptop they all look pretty good to me! I did notice that you went to the gardens at different times of the day and that you appear to have had very sunny days – that can cause flower photos in particular to look washed out IMO. Anyway you have a replacement camera which is good, I hope you get out and test it out soon. I am so happy that my camera has returned and working well. So good to use the macro lens again 🙂
    And I hope you have heard from Adam by now and that all is well with him.

  6. There is so much to see and do in Philadelphia!! This was magical!! What a wonderful way for you to get your walk in this day!! Beautiful! I can see the difference in your photos. I think you should have gotten a refund for that Canon and invested in a new Olympus. I always preferred Olympus as they did not have any plastic parts inside (how cameras used to be made) not sure if that is the case now. Canon’s have come down in quality I think but it has been a while since my photography days. Any photos you take are still be than most no matter the camera! Lovely, lovely blog!!!!! Thank you for this!

    1. There really is a lot to see and do in Philadelphia, Mona Lisa. It’s crazy that I had never visited the city until this year, despite being only 3 hours away. I did get a refurbished Canon from the company, but I haven’t tried it out yet; I don’t think they would have given me my money back, but I was thinking the same thing. I should have gotten a new Olympus in the first place, rather than trying the Canon. I think Mario used a Canon and all his pictures are great. Oh well, I’m stuck with it now, and I really hope this new one is better than the other one. I’m glad you enjoying coming along to Longwood. 🙂

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