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A Year in the Life of our Orchid Grower

February 11, 2016
My first year as the Orchid Grower at Longwood Gardens has been quite an adventurous one. This is a large collection to take on, and with its age and tradition, a very serious collection at that. Because of my background in retail orchid growing and the wholesale production of orchids, I was able to identify ways in which I wanted to restructure the culture and methods we use to manage the collection rather quickly.We have very big plans for the collection and its future growth. We are pursuing unusual and uncommon plants of high quality with tremendous aesthetic impact.

Pursuing a Passion for Orchids

January 27, 2016
When Pierre and Alice du Pont were married in October 1915, the Longwood estate already boasted beautiful outdoor flower gardens, the Open Air Theatre, and a brand new addition to the Peirce-du Pont House—a conservatory. Their passion for gardens was evident. Features that we associate with Longwood today, like dahlias, roses, topiaries, fountains, champion trees, and brilliant spring bulbs were already notable; however, there were no orchids.

The Spirit of A Longwood Christmas

December 22, 2015
A little boy dashes from the Visitor Center into the brightly quiet wonder of A Longwood Christmas. His eyes, wide as the night, reflect the glow of the big old elm, tall as the sky and brilliant with light, perhaps borrowed from the stars above. “How do they do all of this?” he exclaims. A December breeze catches the branches and makes the lights twinkle even more brightly. Or could it be the spirit of Christmas at Longwood—the unseen essence that animates the place and its people?

Ancient Beauty in our Fern Passage

December 17, 2015
This Christmas, our Fern Passage provides a natural twist on our fountain-inspired theme. To accentuate the subtle beauty of this ancient plant family, we have installed some very unique igneous stone fountains. Robert Wertz is the artist and owner of Igneous Rock Gallery in Mechanicsburg, PA, and the creator of this special display. Robert obtains his stone from a small lava deposit in the remote Beaver Canyon, located in the Okanagan Highlands of Washington State. The stone of Beaver Canyon is a vibrantly-colored columnar andesite that formed as a result of a volcanic eruption some 45 million years ago. It is unique in the world, and though Robert occasionally works with other types of rock, the Beaver Canyon columns are his preferred artistic medium.

Inspiration Flows: Designing A Longwood Christmas

November 30, 2015
During the past year, Longwood guests have had the opportunity to watch the revitalization of the Main Fountain Garden. The current view in front of the Conservatory may not appear to be an obvious source of aesthetic inspiration for other projects around the Gardens; however, Longwood’s Display Designer, Jim Sutton, has placed this massive project at the heart of the Gardens’ Christmas theme. This year, fountains and the essence of water inform every aspect of the Conservatory’s display as the Main Fountain Garden revitalization continues a short distance away.

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