Longwood Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens celebrates National Public Gardens Day by giving you free admission to participating gardens.  This year, NPGD is on Friday May 10th.  If you’re interested, click here to look at the nationwide list of participating gardens and to request your free ticket.

While it won’t get you into Longwood, it will give you access to many smaller gardens.  Last year, Megan and I visited Bartram’s Garden through this program.  The garden was much smaller than the one I’m about to write about, but still amazing.  We’re thinking of visiting a Japanese Garden this year.

With that PSA out of the way, it’s time to get down to business.  Today, that business is showing you tons of photos of amazing plants (I narrowed it down A LOT, I swear!) while trying to explain the pure epicness of Longwood Gardens.

Longwood is one of the top rated botanical gardens in the United States.  The grounds cover over 1,077 acres in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  It started as a working farm, but an arboretum was started in 1798.  It’s basically been open to the public since then.  It was Pierre S. du Pont who made it into the garden it is today.

The grounds are changed based on the season and what flowers are blooming at that particular time.  They have light displays during the Christmas Season.  Right now, in late April, it’s tulip time!  There were more tulips than I think I’ve seen in my life.  They had displays of them everywhere, including The Idea Garden, where gardeners can observe and compare reliable plant varieties for southeastern Pennsylvania.  The different groupings of tulips in The Idea Garden looked like a patchwork quilt.

Seeing all these fabulous tulips made me want to fill my whole yard with them!  Daniel had picked a bunch up from the farmer’s market after Easter.  So, next year my yard should be beautiful.

Of course, tulips weren’t the only flowers on display.  Other varieties of early spring flowers were blooming outside, and there were TONS of varieties of plants on display in the conservatory.  Said conservatory is one of the world’s largest greenhouse structures, and it houses over 5,500 varieties of plants.  I took WAAAAY too many photos, but I’ll only share a few of my favorites.  It was pretty overwhelming how many flowers and plants they had!

There are a few other points of interest within the garden.  The first one we happened across was the whispering bench.  What is a whispering bench?  It’s a 25 foot, semi-circle bench.  It’s perfectly shaped to carry sound.  Seriously.  Megan sat at one end, and I sat at the other.  When I turned my head and whispered, she didn’t believe I wasn’t shouting!  It was pretty amazing.

Whispering Bench

I totally stole this picture from Corinne’s Facebook. Hope she doesn’t mind, haha.

Longwood isn’t home to the only whispering bench in existence.  A quick google search shows a few in the area, including some in Fairmount Park.

Next, we came across the resident Longwood organ, which is housed in the conservatory.  It was built in 1929, and has over 10,000 pipes.  There were rooms and rooms of pipes behind the organ.  It was crazy!  They say it took 14 railcars to carry the organ!

Longwood Organ

It doesn’t look that impressive… until you see the rooms and rooms of pipes behind it.

Next, we happened across the Chimes Tower.  The setting was so beautiful; it seriously looked like something out of a fairy tale.  The tower was constructed in 1930, and is now home to a 62 bell carillon.

Chime Tower

I could look at this view all day!

After that, we hiked up the hill to our last stop of the day, The Eye of Water.  It’s a pretty cool water feature that pumps something like 5,000 gallons of water per minute.  The way the water flows looks like the pupil of a giant eye.

Eye of Water

Ignore the shadow… or pretend it’s an eyelid.

The Eye of Water is located in the most gorgeous scenery.  I could have sat there forever… and we did.  Well, we sat there and talked while Koa slept and Charlie played.

Scenery

I want this to be my backyard.

It was a pretty wonderful day.  Megan, Corinne, and I had a great time talking and taking photos.  The kids had a great time posing and running around.

There was only one bad thing to happen.  It was pretty scary!  Koa adores water, and he’s been known to run up to the edge of the ocean and other bodies of water.  He had always stopped at the edge to look.  So, when he took off running like this…

Koa Running

Corinne was behind him, but wasn’t too worried.  He didn’t stop, though.  He ran right into the water.  Corinne was two seconds behind him, and didn’t think twice about going in after him.  We were amazed by how many strangers came running, too.  People ready to jump in, offer CPR, hand off some extra clothes, whatever was needed.  As long as there are so many people ready to lend a hand to a complete stranger, I still have hope for the human species.

Thankfully, none of the offered help was needed.  Koa came up crying, not coughing or sputtering.  Corinne is lifeguard trained, and we were all so happy he didn’t need her expertise!

Wet Koa

Nothing makes a little one feel better than cuddles from mommy.

He was a little wet, cold, and scared, and he had to walk around barefoot the rest of the day, but he was safe.  That’s all that mattered.

Looking back, I can now see the humor in the moment.  The moment he hit the water, all the fish and geese in the pond swarmed him.  Corinne had to shoo one of the geese away!  They’re probably used to everything hitting the water being food for them, but Koa isn’t fish food!  Corinne had a HUGE piece of pond scum stuck to her shoe, and squished with every step for the next few hours.

That happened a half hour after we arrived.  We stayed for another 5 hours or so.  We didn’t get to see everything they have to offer!  It’s a great place to explore and adventure, and I look forward to going back.  Best part?  With the always changing displays and features, there’s always something new to see!

Click that link in the beginning and find a garden to visit on May 10th!

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About pamasaurus

"I have learned to keep to myself how exceptional I am." ~Mason Cooley I'm a married stay at home mom living in Southern New Jersey. I have one daughter, one son, and three furbabies. I love to cook. I love to craft. I love to sew. I just.... love to create in general. I also am pretty fond of adventuring, of exploring new places. I'm shy when I first meet people, but once I'm comfortable with them, you can't shut me up. I'm crazy and silly. I have an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
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17 Responses to Longwood Gardens

  1. Juliet says:

    What beautiful photos!! :0)

  2. Jennay says:

    Thanks for this post! Loved all of your beautiful photos! =) We only have one arboretum that is listed but we might try to get out there if we can! So glad Koa made it out ok! That’s scary! So thankful that you guys were right behind him!

  3. picassoqueen says:

    These photos are awesome as always! I love flower pictures and have been wanting to go take some of the wild flowers around here before the summer heat kills them all.

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thank you <333

      Hopefully you get your pictures before the heat hits!

      • picassoqueen says:

        You’re very welcome! <3333 Thanks! I'll do my best to remember to put my camera in my purse next time I'm heading over to Mammaw's for longer than 30 seconds. lol

  4. Hmmmm……nothing in Oklahoma. But, I’m not surprised, that’s just how we are here. At least I got to go on a visit to a beautiful garden with you and it also had excitement with Koa falling in!

    • pamasaurus says:

      Nothing? That’s no fun! I don’t think I could live in an area without public gardens.

      Actually, I hadn’t been to one until last year. So I probably could.

      I’ll be sure to take you guys with me when we go to the Japanese Garden on the 10th, too!

  5. msdulce says:

    This IS the mother of all gardens!! It looks absolutely amazing, and all these pictures made me so happy (minus poor Koa running into the lake)… I think Longwood is a reason in itself for us to return to the Philly area! I love, love, love tulips and other bulb flowers… your garden is going to look so beautiful next spring!! 🙂
    Kind of unrelated, but the orchid made me think of it: I stopped to get some new shoes last week, and the salesgirl told me I looked “super stupid” in them. I stared at her like, wha?? cuz I was thinking how rude kids are these days, but she was still looking at my feet and said “Totally. Like DUMB stupid. You HAVE to get those.” Apparently ‘super stupid’ is the new ‘awesome’? Or she was making fun of me. I don’t know, I’m old. But maybe ‘awesome’ is what the flower-naming people meant with genus: Super Stupid. 🙂 I hope the orchid takes it as a compliment.

    • pamasaurus says:

      Oh, yay! Glad the photos could make you happy. It’s pretty awesome there, and totally worth the trip! It’s about 45 minutes outside Philly in the Brandywine Valley. BUT! There’s lots of cools stuff to do in that area. I hear the $5 donation zoo is amazing!

      I can’t wait to see what my yard looks like with all these flowers next year 😀 I’m waiting for my lilies to bloom this year!

      What? I must be old, too, because I’ve never heard of this stupid being a good thing craze. I just checked the urban dictionary, but it didn’t come up. Weird! Hopefully she wasn’t making fun of you.

      Although, the orchids were super awesome. I wouldn’t mind being lumped with them in that way 😉

  6. Beautiful place for sure! I hope that water wasn’t too cold… My youngest would do that too (he kinda does, still).

  7. TheLittleGSP says:

    Gorgeous photos! I LOVE the tulips (especially the top left ‘glowing’ photo) and I also like your ‘favorite shot of the day’ of the African Daisy. Very sad about Koa running right into the water but it sounds like no harm was done… maybe Koa will think twice before doing that again! 🙂

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thank you! I love all flowers, really, but these tulips were so gorgeous!

      He’s a year and a half, so he probably doesn’t even remember doing it now 😉 It’ll make a fun story for Corinne to tell his future wife, though!

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