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Cultures of Beauty

November 16, 2015
A life lesson here in Japan is that beauty is, without a doubt, in the eye of the beholder. Learning about the Japanese perception of beauty in contrast to our own has been a fascinating study in aesthetic. The chrysanthemum has provided us with the perfect subject matter to view these differences and has given us a whole new perspective on our own Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens.

Fountains of Knowledge

November 5, 2015
Water—not only does it sustain us with the fruits of our gardens and fields, it elevates our lives with its elemental beauty. This dual nature of water is embodied in the Gardens and fountains of Longwood, where utility and wonder thrive side by side. Essential to life in the Gardens, water is also a wellspring of play and artistry that finds expression in our fountains, which are monuments both to nature and to human ingenuity. Such human ingenuity was a defining trait of Longwood’s founder, Pierre S. du Pont. And yet even the most imaginative ideas build upon the knowledge of what has come before. Pierre "collected" ideas for gardens and fountains during his many trips to Europe and to world's fairs, and then implemented them at Longwood, shaping them according to his own American vision and innovation. He also gained inspiration from the pages of his personal library, a tradition that continues today when staff, students, and volunteers step into the Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.

Gardens On Trial: And the Winner Is ...

October 27, 2015
Something new happened in the Trial Garden this summer. For the first time, Longwood staff members from throughout the Gardens were given the opportunity to design their own plant combinations. Those who participated had to select three to eight plants from a list of over 160 plant species and cultivars. With 26 different combinations, our guests had the difficult task of choosing their favorite three garden beds. Look to see if your vote was one of the winning combinations!
The final installment of the Nightscape Artist & Friends Speaker Series took place last Friday with a new set of panelists. Navid Khonsari and Torfi Frans Olafsson shared stories about their professional backgrounds with Ricardo Rivera, the director of Nightscape and founding partner of Klip Collective. Khonsari is the Executive Producer of iNK Stories, an independent media studio that pushes the boundaries of storytelling through documentaries, film, and video games. Olafsson serves as the Creative Director of EVE Universe IP Development for CCP Games. Friday’s conversation continued the series’ analysis of human agency—or an individual’s power to act—and technology’s ability to enhance the immersive experience of an artwork.
Chocolatier Christopher Curtin, whose acclaimed Éclat chocolates are a Chester County treasure, was looking for a year-round source of freshly grown herbs. Longwood Gardens, whose horticulture expertise is widely known, was looking to garner deeper relationships with local master artisans. The result: a memorable fusion of chocolate and mint for all to enjoy. Since childhood, Curtin had been a fan of Longwood and believed that a collaboration would offer interesting possibilities. His love of experimenting with interesting herbs to create unexpected flavors and the idea of having fresh herbs year-round naturally drew him to think of Longwood. Longwood was well aware of the esteemed Curtin, who spent 14 years in Europe studying the classic chocolate and pastry crafts. His popular West Chester-based store is located just minutes from the Gardens.