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.