By Mae Linder ‘24
Located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Longwood Gardens is a 1,077 acre picturesque botanical retreat that features woodlands, trails, indoor and outdoor exhibits, fountain shows, and several displays of the art of horticulture. When taking a day trip to Longwood Gardens, you’ll find yourself learning new things, having a sense of exploration, and finding peace, all while getting exercise.
Curious about learning new things each way you turn? Longwood Gardens offers many inside exhibits like the Conservatory, the Webb Farmhouse, and the Pearce-du Pont House. In the Conservatory, you’ll find yourself wandering through acres of a glass enclosed exhibit, witnessing the colors, sizes, and styles of ethereal plants. Sights you won’t want to miss are the Green Wall, the Orchid House, and the Silver Garden. Having background knowledge on plants is not required, as there are signs on display that perfectly describe each plant.
After leaving the Conservatory, make sure to stop by the Pearce-Du Pont House to learn the background on how Longwood Gardens became the spectacle it is today. This space doubles as the oldest building in the Gardens and the first conservatory. History buffs would enjoy roaming the old homestead and learning about the founder, Pearce-du Pont’s, love for plants. If you’re feeling up for a hike, consider visiting the Webb Farmhouse. This museum-like display is located inside a farmhouse plotted on an 86 acre flower meadow. It discloses old maps, pressed plants, and relics of the history of Longwood Gardens.
Longwood Gardens spreads several acres across North-Western Pa, creating endless strolls along the delicately crafted trails. Besides walking around indoor exhibits, there are trails all over the landscape. If you enjoy walking shorter distances, you might like Meadow Boardwalk (.33 miles one way) and Meadow Valley Walk (.75 miles). If you’re looking for a longer trip, try out East Meadow Hike (1 mile) or Outer Meadow Hike (1.7 miles). Besides purposefully made nature paths, the whole park is connected by concrete walking trails, leading you from one place to another. Whether you enjoy walking inside or outside, Longwood Gardens offers an adventure for everyone.
Longwood Gardens gets festive all year round! No matter when you come to visit, Longwood creates special events or displays that correlate with the season. January through March is their Winter Wonderland which showcases the contrast between the gray and dormant natural surroundings and the warm, tropical displays filling the conservatory. March through May is when their collection, Spring Blooms, comes alive. Spring flowers like lilies, tulips, and bleeding hearts can be seen, creating a kaleidoscope of color.
May through September is a popular time of year because of the featured Festival of Fountains. Whether it’s a nighttime light and music fountain show spectacular, or a stroll through the 3 fountain areas in the middle of the day, the fountains are a big attraction for guests. During October and November, the tones of the plants become muted to fall-like colors as the crispness fills the air. Their featured fall event is the Chrysanthemum Festival. Finally, the most popular display is A Longwood Christmas. The whole park is decked out in lights, music, and beautiful plants that fit the theme. It’s essentially a winter wonderland dressed in floral wonders.
Longwood Gardens has something to offer for everyone who visits. Guests will find beauty that sparks their wonder and imagination. From trails to flowers to fountains to lights, each trip to Longwood Gardens is a unique experience and one to remember. The amount of exploration this park offers creates a unique journey through many acres of botanical brilliance. Book a trip soon, you wont regret it!