Longwood GardensKennett Square, Pennsylvania
THE LONGWOOD HERITAGE EXHIBIT, located in the historic Pierce-du Pont House, traces the evolution of Longwood Gardens through old photos, artifacts, home movies, and video to tell the story of the stewards of the land who preserved and developed the property. Longwood Gardens now encompass 1,050 acres and 20 indoor gardens of exquisite flowers, trees, opulent architecture, sparkling fountains, exotic plants.
CONSERVATORY renovations to the 74-year old central greenhouse (the Orangery with two rectangular lawns and the Exhibition Hall with the flooded floor and tree ferns) were completed in 1996 as part of ongoing restoration to preserve the Gardens for future generations. Eighteen other conservatories include the East Conservatory with its honeycomb roof, Orchid House, Rose House, Children's Garden, Silver Garden, Cascade Garden, and the new Mediterranean Garden.
THE POPULAR CHILDREN'S GARDEN, located in the East Conservatory, is open every day. Kids can meet a trio of larger-than-life topiary rabbits, get lost and found in a maze of hedges, and enjoy the fountains which spirt on and off in endless variations. Outdoor attractions with family appeal include a lake with huge goldfish, a Chimes Tower with nearby waterfall, and a vegetable garden with a life-like scarecrow.
THE LONGWOOD GARDENS SHOP, located at the Visitor Center, offers books, horticultural gift items, plants, and gardening tools and supplies. The Shop is open the same hours as the Gardens.
THE TERRACE RESTAURANT, located near the Conservatory and featuring full-service (April-December) and cafeteria dining, is open daily and on evenings of holiday displays, fountain shows, and summer concerts. Gardens admission is required for restaurant access. Phone reservations are suggested for full-service dining and when special buffets are planned.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES include year-round Continuing Education courses; a 2-year Professional Gardener Training Program; 3- to 12-month Internships; 1-year training for international students; and a 2-year Graduate Program in conjunction with the University of Delaware. Videos and slides for education and entertainment are also available. Call or write for details.
LOCATION: US Route 1, Kennett Square, PA. Phone 800-737-5500 (recorded information), or 610-388-1000. For group sales, call 610-388-1950. For Terrace Restaurant reservations, call 610-388-6771.
HOURS: The outdoor gardens and Conservatory open at 9 am and 10 am, respectively, every day of the year, and close at 6 pm from April through October and at 5 pm from November through March, although both are frequently open later for special events and holiday displays.
ADMISSION: See the museum's web site at http://www.longwoodgardens.org
DIRECTIONS: Located on US Route 1, three miles northeast of Kennett Square, PA, and 30 miles west of Philadelphia in the historic Brandywine Valley. Exit I-95 at Wilmington, DE and take Route 52 north to US 1. Turn left onto US 1 South.
Recommended BooksNational Geographic's Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways