A Garden for Everyone
Left: Tulips along the Flower Garden Walk.
She's not alone. For families, Longwood offers the chance to learn together and to unplug from the noise of modern life.
Inside the expanded conservatory, plaques carry Latin plant names, and brochures detail the global design influences of the stunning building--standard stuff for most public gardens. Look closer, though, and you'll notice five small stands scattered throughout the conservatory. These "stamp stations" offer kids a chance to fill in the blanks in their stamp hunt booklets and read about what a gardener, a volunteer, or a painter does.
Left: Families particularly enjoy the gardens.
Mary Luca, in between chasing her little ones through the Children's Garden, sums up the appeal. "I've been coming here since I was a child," she says. "They give you a different reason to visit all the time."
Left: Paths wind through dozens of out-of-the-way spots, such as the Wisteria Garden, with its violet blooms.
At the Terrace Restaurant, you can have a glass of wine and dessert or a full meal. It makes a great place to relax and schedule the rest of your day--even if you plan on doing nothing more than finding a slant of late-afternoon sunlight in which to doze. Sometimes, nothing's more romantic than that.
Left: The six-story Chimes Tower
Don't let the size overwhelm you. Start by breaking Longwood--or any public garden--into a series of "rooms." Stroll the paths in Peirce's Woods and along the Hillside Garden to see how a meandering trail can add an air of mystery to a garden of any size. As you walk, take in the plants and their environments to see what might flourish in a similar location at your home.
Left: The end of the Flower Garden Walk as you enter Pierce's Woods.
Next, wander over to the Idea Garden. This area inspires and informs the home gardener with more home-scaled planting beds. You'll find new plants that are coming into the marketplace as well as beds filled with plants that fall into a specific theme.
Left: One of the neatest things about visiting Longwood as a home gardener is that you still have time to re-create many of the looks you see inside the Conservatory in your own garden this spring.
The best reason of all to explore Longwood now is to see spring in bloom inside the Conservatory. In fact, one of the neatest things about visiting as a home gardener is that you still have time to re-create many of the looks you see inside the Conservatory in your own garden this spring. Their displays inside are six or so weeks ahead of what you could do outside.
Longwood Gardens: 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348; www.longwoodgardens.org or (610) 388-1000.
Left: The Exhibition Hall connects the Main Conservatory to the newly renovated East Conservatory. The floor is flooded with a thin layer of water to look like a sheet of glass.