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.
Adjacent to the Rose Garden is the Topiary Garden, which includes more than 50 specimens in 20 different shapes.
The 4-acre Conservatory at Longwood is something to behold!
The East Conservatory is under glass with water features.
The Orangery offers flowering plants and manicured lawns.
Click on any of the pictures below for a full-page slide show.
The Waterlily Display features aquatic plants from all over the world
The Palm House, or Banana House, features 30-foot herbaceous plants filled with unique flowers and highly recognizable fruit.
And then there is a little hallway with Bonsai plants.
The Mediterranean garden features plants grown in Mediterranean-type climates characterized by moist, cool winters and hot, dry summers.
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.
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.
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.
I rest a bit after all my walking in this shady little arbor.
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.
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.