Monday, October 6, 2014

Pennsylvania Road Trip - Longwood Gardens

Our road trip throughout parts of Pennsylvania continued with a visit to the lovely Longwood Gardens, one of the great gardens of the world.  Nestled in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, 30 miles west of Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens is the living legacy of Peirce du Pont, inspiring people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts.  Du Pont also loved water, and numerous ponds and lakes are scattered throughout the 1077 acres of gardens, along with majestic fountain shows springing to life throughout each day and evening.

Outside the entrance
A wonderful friend of ours had left us two complementary tickets at the entrance.  Added to the pleasant temperatures and sunny skies, we were set to have a gorgeous couple of hours, roaming the gardens, fountains, indoor conservatory, the du Pont mansion, and two treehouses.  We spent about four hours just wandering, taking photos, and finally dining on the outdoor patio of the on site Cafe.  It was simply a lovely morning, and I took LOTS of photos.  Every place I looked seemed to be filled with some sort of creative beauty.  Consider yourself warned.

I'll let the pictures speak mostly for themselves.

Several views of the Canopy Cathedral Treehouse:

The nearby Italian Water Garden, with its stairway waterfalls:

Centrally located in the gardens is the Peirce du Pont house, home of the man who purchased the land and had the vision for the gardens and waterworks that would be enjoyed by many.  It was an impressive home, but honestly my heart wasn't into it - I really wanted to be outside instead, looking at the gardens on this fine day.

Bell system for the household help

Vintage towel warming closet
Sitting back in a secluded space not far from the du Pont mansion is the Birdhouse Treehouse:

The special current event at Longwood Gardens was an area dedicated to kids of all ages, the Garden Railway.  Several model trains were chugging along through a dedicated garden area.

We headed next to the Conservatory.  Constructed from 1919 to 1921, this Conservatory is one of the world's great greenhouse structures, with more than 4 acres of lush gardens under glass.  We enjoyed 20 rooms of pure sunshine with an expansive variety of plants from around the world.  Again, a lot of pictures.  I couldn't stop myself.

Inside the East entrance of the Conservatory
My crotons never look this good.

The waterlily display is accessed through the Conservatory.  These outdoor water gardens are only open from early June through mid-October, so we just caught the last of them.  

We crossed the waterlily courtyard and went back into the conservatory.  Although the temperatures were a bit more humid in there, we didn't mind.  There was plenty more to see.

In the orchid room

In the Tropical Terrace

The Silver Garden

After exiting the Conservatory, we took a look at the Main Fountain Garden.  Right next to the Fountain Garden is a fun Topiary garden.

Heading back to the exit:

What a beautiful place!  It was a lot of walking, but well worth the effort and time.  We look forward to returning to this lovely place during another season.  I'd like to see how the Conservatory is decorated during the Christmas holidays.

Next on the itinerary:  body parts and medical specimens (We will see them at The Mutter Museum.)


  1. My wife and I looked at all the pictures and enjoyed them. We have an acquaintance that lives up that way and tells us about those gardens which he has visited. They sure are beautiful and we thank you for the guided tour.

  2. It is a beautiful place. Thanks for the flashback tour:)