Longwood Gardens

PENNSYLVANIA

That’s the way it is with entrepreneurial people. You try one thing, it doesn’t work, you try another.

~Pete du Pont

 

Longwood Gardens is a previous estate of the Dupont family.  They are a very large family living in the United States who first descended from Pierre Samuel du Pont who immigrated from France in 1799.  A smart, wealthy, business family, they have been thriving ever since.  You may recognize the name Dupont as it is everywhere from common household items to large industry.  Not only that but I have a lot of respect for this family.  They have been large contributors to the arts and education.  Every family has black sheep but, for the most part, the Duponts have made many positive contributions.  My favourite picture at the gardens was of a garden party with over 600 guests.  I was shocked when I read that those in attendance were all family members.  I thought I had a big family!

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The spring is a beautiful time to visit Longwood Gardens which is located in the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania.  Its long history includes habitation by the Lenape tribe, to various botanist treasures, the Dupont estate, and today, the botanical gardens.  Pierre S. du Pont purchased these gardens in 1906 and really developed them into what they are now.  Part of this includes art performances, fountains, and walkways.

Walking through the Dupont estate was also very informative.  It is so nice to experience another person’s home and see what they lived in and how they lived.  It gives a person a whole new perspective.  There were also large pipe organ demonstrations which contributed to the overall feeling of beauty.

I was lucky to experience the orchid extravaganza exhibit.  Lilies and orchids happen to be my favourite flowers so I was in heaven.  The fountains were not in order at that time but I imagine that they are expensive to run.  It would have been nice to see.  I particularly enjoyed wondering around the little paths and seeing the crocus in bloom.

I even saw my first cardinal which was pretty amazing.

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The trees in the area are spectacular also.  Longwood Gardens house champion trees which I recently found out means the largest specimens of a particular species.  However, this was not what caught my eye.  My favourite tree that I noticed was the birch tree.  There aren’t many birch trees where I am from but they were everywhere there.  They were not green at this time of year, but rather, the leaves were dried and a light beige colour.  Against the sun they created a type of wonderland as you wondered amongst them.

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