It’s been a long cold winter, and spring has finally sprung! I decided to visit Longwood Gardens to enjoy the beautiful weather, and get inspiration for my own garden. Sadly, I don’t have a staff of 1,300 employees and volunteers to maintain my garden.
If you have never been to Longwood Gardens I highly recommend it. In Kennett Square Pennsylvania, just a short hour drive from Baltimore, lies the former estate of Pierre Du Pont. In 1906, Pierre Du Pont purchased the 1,077 acre farm to preserve the trees. This estate also became his summer home and favorite place to entertain. Inspired by Italian and French architecture, particularly the garden and fountains of Versailles, Du Point set out to create his ideal garden. When the government enacted personal income tax, Du Pont incorporated Longwood in 1914. The estate was granted a tax-exempt status when it opened to the public in 1946.
Longwood Gardens has numerous fountains incorporated in and around stunning floral displays. It also includes a conservatory, topiary garden, a restored farmhouse, lake, tree houses, and the former DuPont house.
The DuPont house features the history of the estate, the building of Longwood, and its evolution over time. Photos of parties hosted over the years adorn the walls. In addition to the beautiful landscape, symphony orchestras, dancing troupes, and actors were often hired for entertainment. It’s fun to imagine the lavish and extravagant parties. I can’t help but wonder if Pierre Du Pont would have given Jay Gatsby a run for his money when it came to throwing a party and having a good time.
The floral exhibits vary throughout the year, and after my third visit to Longwood, I caved and purchased a yearly membership. The tulips in the Flower Garden Walk are currently in bloom. The first garden planted at Longwood in 1907, it features over 100,000 tulips and is incredibly beautiful.
Longwood is not only beautiful, but very calming as well. Whether you are sitting in the rose garden, fountains trickling around you, or strolling through the quiet meadow, it forces you to stop and appreciate the remarkable beauty of nature.