Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 18- Longwood Gardens

October 23,2007
We are back from a week away from Iowa. We went to the east coast for good weather and good friends. Along the way we went to Longwood Gardens for the first time. This is one of the Dupont estates, which is a whole bunch of acres with a staff of 300. I do not lightly devote space to other gardens but just have to tell you and show you some of these wonderful things we saw.
We went on a Thursday, about noon, and it was a work day for some of that staff. We approached the visitor center where there were the expected beds of pansies. But what was happening at that very moment was bulb planting. More to the point there was bulb preparation. These first two pictures show pansies and bulbs and then a bed of all bulbs, presumably tulips with some hyacinths. In the all bulb picture I think there are about 25 rows. I think there at least 50 tulips in each row and that only gets you to the place where the different bulbs start. 50 times 25 I think is 1250. Let’s just say that it is almost worth getting a plane ticket for April.

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Let me talk about waterlilies. These are tropicals. The lilypads by themselves are rather impressive. Then you realize that it is all one plant. The second picture shows the center with the tendrils going out.

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The waterlilies were located in the area of this enormous conservatory. There are conservatories lots of places. You expect the banana trees and the tropical ponds. This one started out with some of the greenest grass you ever saw. It has enough room so that you can start with just grass. I can only imagine how that must be in February. The second picture is one wall of the orchid room.

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Finally there was the topiary area. I am not usually one for topiaries but this was pretty special. If you are ever within a few hours of Philadelphia you should make the trip.
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