In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Throughout his life, Mr. du Pont indulged his passion for gardening, turning his farm into a magnificent horticultural showplace. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and a 4.5-acre conservatory.
From its origins, environmental stewardship has been a priority of Longwood. Every plant used in the seasonal displays is composted in Longwood’s robust composting program, producing soil for future plantings. The Gardens limit the use of pesticides through a leading Integrated Pest Management Program that uses natural means whenever possible. To conserve energy, Longwood’s innovative root-zone heating system in the conservatory planting beds enables heat to be concentrated on the roots of the plants without having to heat the ambient air.
During the Chrysanthemum Festival, October 29 to November 20, more than 20,000 colorful, blooming chrysanthemums flourish in the palatial Conservatory. Longwood’s experts have trained these fall favorites into unique forms including towering single-stemmed beauties and thousand-bloomers.
Explore the Idea Garden, showcasing vegetables ready for harvest, grasses, perennials, annuals and containers at their best (through frost). The Waterlily Display reaches its peak bloom in early October, with giant water-platters reaching up to six feet in diameter. Delight in summer annuals at their peak on the Flower Garden Walk, along with newly-planted chrysanthemums and salvias (through frost).
Longwood's landscapes are painted with autumn's finest colors in October and November, as golden honey-locusts, scarlet sweet-gums, ruby red oaks and more create a patchwork of color!
In October, more than 100 different types of gourds and squash with bizarre shapes, unusual colors and evocative names like “Sweet Lightning”, “Long Island Cheese” and “Full Moon” are featured in unique displays.
During the Chrysanthemum Festival, October 29 to November 20, more than 20,000 colorful, blooming chrysanthemums flourish in the palatial Conservatory. Longwood’s experts have trained these fall favorites into unique forms including towering single-stemmed beauties and thousand-bloomers. See the largest chrysanthemum in North America, the Thousand Bloom Mum!
Horticultural highlights this season:
General Indoor Highlights
Lollipop-plant (Pachystachys lutea)
Mexican Sage (Salvia)
Otacanthus (Otacanthus coeruleus)
General Outdoor Highlights
Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis)
Day-flowering and Night-flowering Waterlilies (Nymphaea)
Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha)
Ivy Geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum)
Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
Source: Longwoodgardens and VisitPA
Photos courtesy of thartz00