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Butterflies of Longwood

August 11, 2016
Like many gardens throughout our region, Longwood has been doing its part to help the monarch butterfly. A wonderful byproduct of these efforts is that many other native butterflies also benefit. In fact, Longwood's Meadow Garden is home to dozens of different butterfly species, with more being identified each year as the landscape matures. While many of these butterflies are important pollinators like the monarch, others will ignore flowers almost entirely, and are drawn to the Meadow Garden for other reasons. Indeed, in order to enjoy these beautiful insects, we need to manage their habitat in ways that benefit all of their different life stages—larva (caterpillars), pupa (chrysalises), and adults (butterflies).

Save the Majestic Monarch

June 21, 2016
The Meadow Garden at Longwood is a beautiful space that helps to inform visitors about native and naturally producing flora throughout the seasons. The Meadow Garden also illustrates how native plants can be used in our own gardens both for aesthetic benefit and wildlife habitat. Each habitat in the meadow demonstrates the complex interrelationships of plants, insects, birds, amphibians, and many other small animals. Sadly, in recent years the beloved monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) has been in decline due to habitat destruction. The good news is we can work to reverse this trend in our own gardens.

Horticulture in Any Language

March 31, 2016
Longwood Gardens is known not only for its leadership in horticulture, but also for its excellence in education—both at home and abroad. Among its many outstanding programs is Longwood’s International Training Program, which was founded in 1956 with Aage Anderson of Denmark as its first participant. This year there are international trainees and interns from Poland, Spain, South Korea and the UK. The program allows each individual to focus on key areas of interest and to broaden their learning experience by rotating through different areas of the Gardens, including outdoor display, indoor display, natural lands, production, education, marketing, plant records, and research. Participants live with American interns, Professional Gardener (PG) students, and Great Gardens of the World TRIAD fellows on Red Lion Row, which is just a short walk from the Gardens. “The Row” was originally built by Longwood’s founder, Pierre S. du Pont, to house employees and their families. Nowadays 20 to 40 students live on “The Row” at one time, which leads to a unique and highly sociable international community, sometimes known as plant camp!

On Meadowview Street: A Family Community Read

March 22, 2016
What if you visited Longwood Gardens and it didn’t have any gardens? What if you moved to Meadowview Street and it didn’t have any meadows? That very question got author/illustrator Henry Cole thinking. And so he created the story of a young girl named Caroline, who grows her own meadow in our 2016 Family Community Read selection, On Meadowview Street. “Isn’t it ironic to see street signs everywhere with names like ‘Cardinal Way’ or ‘Fern Street’—and there are no cardinals or ferns anywhere near!” says Cole in a recent email interview with Longwood. “Places are called things to make them sound inviting and beautiful but it is seldom that communities are planned (and planted) with the environment first and foremost.”

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: A Community Read

February 24, 2016
One person. One step. That is how some of the most wondrous journeys—and stories—begin. The inspirational power of one is the theme of Longwood’s third annual Community Read, an event that moves us to pick up our feet as we journey along with this year’s book—Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail—by Pulitzer Prize finalist Ben Montgomery.