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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.

Picturing the Past: A Gift from Eugene L. DiOrio

February 3, 2016
The Longwood Gardens Library & Archives recently received a generous gift from longtime guest, local historian, and avid travel photographer, Eugene L. DiOrio. Since May 2013, Mr. DiOrio has presented 1,073 black-and-white negatives, 11,652 color slides, and approximately 3 boxes of brochures, pamphlets, and maps to Longwood. The collection covers Gene’s local, regional, and European travels, with a focus on historic architecture, estates, and gardens; it will comprise approximately 40,000 black-and-white negatives and 40,000 color slides when complete.

Graduate Fellows’ Australian Travelogue

January 21, 2016
The Longwood Graduate Program Fellows have nearly finished our time in Australia. We visited eleven different sites including botanic gardens, a national park, and a zoo. Each location has filled a different niche and given us a unique experience. Our goal for this trip was to learn how Australian gardens are evaluating the success and social impact of their site and programs. As an element of that goal we have also been investigating community engagement strategies. Evaluating social impact is a challenging task, in fact simply agreeing on definitions can be a challenge. Assessing social impact, or return on mission, is something we are currently working on as part of the next 5-year strategic plan here at Longwood Gardens.