Best to go when they have special events so that you can get more out of it. Check their events page for concerts, fireworks, light displays.
Also best to rent a scooter especially on those hot days. There is a lot of ground to cover. It is accessible for the most part but there are some areas where the wheelchair can not go so bring either a cane or crutches.
Not easy to get to without a car. Since I was unable to rent a car. The site says Delaware Express will take you but that is no longer the case. I used Cornucopia tours who picked me up from Delaware hotel. I found it less expensive than taking a cab.
In the summer of 1966, my very first job as a summer intern was to trim vines that had climbed to the top of this structure. I learned not to be up there at the top of the hour; its really loud when you are that close!
I waas lucky to record a short video so that you could hear the chimes for a few seconds. My problem is that I haven't yet figured out how to download it to this page! If you know, let me know!
THE WATERFALL, ALTHOUGH MAN-MADE, IS beautiful to see and to hear. It is turned on each morning and off again at night.
In 1966 we had a contest among student interns to design something of interest at the point where the water begins flowing above the falls. I designed a gazebo and had the water flowing out from underneath it. My design didn't win the contest but they also didn't accept any of the other designs. Hwever a couple of years later they came up with the "Eye of Water" feature, shown in my photos. It certainly is unique.
IF LONGWOOD IS FAMOUS FOR ANYTHING, it is the fountains. They are spectacular and serene at the same time. Of course the nighttime display of colored fountains is incredible. The show, complete with music, is computer-controlled and very well done.
WATER FEATURES are an important part of the Longwood experience. Generally they can be grouped into two types: Lakes and fountains.
In this series of photographs (5) I will show you some of the lake features.
When I worked here long ago (1966...see my "Off the Beaten Path" review) I thought this first photograph showed a scene that was the most beautiful spot on the earth.
Longwood Gardens is a lovely place to visit if you find yourself in this part of Pennsylvania, over 1,000 acres of gardens and green space featuring 20 outdoor gardens and 20 indoor gardens.
I wasn't there during the right time of year but my sister in law said that there were evening shows illuminating the many fountains on the grounds and set to classical music in the summer months (Memorial Day-Labor Day), check the website for information.
Longwood Gardens was purchased by industrialist Pierre du Pont in 1906 to save the arboretum, originally established by Quaker George Pierce, from being sold for lumber. If you want to see more of the history of the duPont family and Longwood Gardens, there's a display inside the Pierce-du Pont House on the grounds.
There are some great pots on display at Longwood Gardens. It's a great way to get ideas for doing pots at your own place and gives ideas of plants that go well together. I took photos of 2 especially pretty pots. The first was near the beginning of the gardens. It was a very large pot with a Glory Bush (Tibouchinia grandiflora) in the top with Persian Shield (Strobalanthus) and Million Bells underneath. Also in the top were what looked like Papyrus but I couldn't tell if they were in water which I thought they had to be. The 2nd pot was in the Idea Garden. It was brilliant with an orange Canna with purple leaves in the top and orange coleus and nastursium in the lower part.
The Conservatory at Longwood Gerdens is huge. The Orangery and Exhibit Hall were built first about 1921 along with greenhouses to grow plants and fruit. Once it had orange trees here but now it is full of tropical gardens that are beautiful arrangements of plants such as cannas, bananas, coleus, begonia, caladiums, calla lily, and gingers. The outdoor waterlily display area was added in 1957 in a protected courtyard. There are also a Mediterrean Garden, the Palm House, Fruit House, and orchid display. This place is quite amazing with a floor of shallow reflective water, a stream and even waterfall all inside.
In the summers, Longwood Gardens has a beautiful fountain display 3 times a day at 12:00, 2:00 and 4:00. It is held in the main fountain garden and it breathtaking. Water sprays up into the air in many different configurations. It's magnificent. We didn't stay for the display at night but they feature music and illuminated fountain shows 3 nights a week. This 5 acre fountain garden was developed from 1928-31. There is also an Italian Garden in another part of Longwood, which is a wonderful fountain garden designed like the one Mr. and Mrs. DuPont saw at the Villa Gamberaia, near Florence, Italy on their 1913 European trip.
Located in the middle of the different conservatories and greenhouses in Longwood Garden, there is a courtyard that displays a wide variety of waterlilies and other aquatic plants from all over the world. It has 5 large pools that were filled with different types of waterlilies and lotus that were in full bloom in mid-summer. The different colors of these waterlilies was incredible ranging from purple, to magenta, to pink and white. They were incredible and included those types of lily pads that will support a small child.
We visited Longwood Gardens the last week of July and were amazed by the beautiful riot of color all over the gardens. Some of their most effective displays used rather common flowers in uncommon ways such as Alamanda and Lantana standards in a sea of coleus and sunflowers. Or Caladiums in red and green with bright red and green cannas. The shade garden has cardinal flowers, ferns, and iris along a creek complete with bridges.
VISIT THE CONSERVATORIES AND GREENHOUSES at any time of the year; there are seasonal displays at Christmas and other special times. There are so many huge greenhouses that their space can be measured in acres, so there is lots to see.
Oh, and bring your best walking shoes!
They do have a restaurant within Longwood Gardens now. Very nice.
This place is great. many different flowers and plants. There is a lot to see, including a live fountain show. The place also has a enclosed botanical garden that you can visit during winter. They also grow many different fruits like apples, rasberries, pears, plums, strawberries and etc. It is a great place to get out with the family and enjoy a sunny day. This place is really nice during the holidays as it is decorated with many lights. See my pictures.
This is pretty cool. You'll notice a couple half-moon shaped cement benches around the gardens and if two people sit on opposite ends and whisper into the cement, you can clearly hear each other as if you were only inches apart. My nephew got a real kick out of playing this game!!
This giant fountain was inspired by a similar "Ojo de Agua" in Costa Rica. It was built in 1968 and acts as a reservoir for the nearby Waterfall and Main Fountain Garden. The pressure is kept at a steady 5000 gallons per minute throughout most of the day, but there is a daytime display when an enormous flow of water bursts up in the air making this one of the largest fountains you'll ever see. It runs from April to October and there is a schedule on the Longwood Gardens website (www.longwoodgardens.org).