Saturday, January 3, 2015

CHRISTMAS AT LONGWOOD

by Mary Kennedy                           

 Christmas at Longwood Gardens is one of Delaware's most popular sights. This year, over 15,000 visitors enjoyed the fabulous former Dupont estate that is world famous for its gorgeous plants and shrubs. This is the first time I've visited Longwood at Christmas and it definitely has a wow factor. Exhibition Hall, pictured above, was once used for dances and dinner parties.                                               
                                                            
 
 
There were dozens of Christmas trees, each one unique. One of my favorites was decorated by children.  Think of how much love and attention went into each home-made decoration, and I'm sure the children were delighted to see "their" tree on display in the main conservatory.
                                                      
                                                           
Longwood has a wonderful educational program with world-class gardeners who explain how their four acre conservatory operates and how they maintain the beautiful plants on display. 
                                                          
 
The Orangery is one of Longwood's iconic indoor displays.
 
 
The Orchid House was truly amazing. Pierre Dupont's sister donated 2300 varieties of orchids to the conservatory.
 
Amazingly, all these plants are hand-watered. There are over 100 gardeners at Longwood and several hundred devoted volunteers. It is truly a labor of love. People come from all over the world to visit Longwood and when I worked in the travel industry in North Carolina, we used to send so many tourists to Longwood. Everyone raved about it and said it was the highlight of their trip.                                         
 
If you have the opportunity to visit Longwood--in any season--I hope you jump at the chance. You won't be disappointed!
 
Happy New Year! from Mary Kennedy