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June 9, 2015
The Japanese art of bonsai originated in China as the practice known as penjing. Early in Chinese history, trees and other plants were collected from the wild and grown in containers. The practice moved to Japan many centuries ago through social and economic interaction with China. Over the years, both countries developed various techniques that we continue to use in creating bonsai today. The Japanese word bonsai translates to "tree in a shallow pot." Though some plants in our collection date back to the early 1900s, bonsai were not part of our displays during the time of our founder, Pierre S. du Pont. In 1959, five years after Pierre’s death, renowned bonsai artist Yuji Yoshimura presented a class in our Continuing Education program. It was so well received that our staff members decided we should have some bonsai of our own.
April 8, 2015
The beauty of our spring display would not be complete without the towering, striking, and unusual plant, Echium wildpretii, ‘tower-of-jewels’. While this plant stands at nearly seven feet tall, its tiny, salmon-colored flowers are what make it truly magnificent. As each tassel of flowers blooms into graceful curves along the plant, the stamens stick out as if dancing from the tiny flowers, transforming this tower-of-jewels into a whimsical display of beauty.
February 20, 2015
This year, we’ve brought a unique and rare Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian ‘V3’ hybrid to Orchid Extravaganza, which we believe is being displayed for the first time in a US public garden. The ‘V3’ moth orchids featured on the center walk of our Orangery have unusually long flower spikes with as many as 18 open flowers on a single spike (with more buds yet to open)! Photo by Trilbey Smith.
January 26, 2015
One definition of a "standard" is a norm by which similar things can be measured. In horticulture, however, a standard is a plant that is trained or grafted to have a single stem, and a crown of leaves and flowers. Combine the two meanings, and you have the degree of excellence achieved by Longwood in the beauty of its standard forms. Photo by Larry Albee.