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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.
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.
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.
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.
January 11, 2016
As Pennsylvania finally seems to be settling into winter weather, the First Year Longwood Graduate Fellows are excited to be setting off for the southern hemisphere. Since July, we have been researching and developing an itinerary to explore the social impact of Australian gardens in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. This trip was designed to align with Longwood Gardens’ strategic planning goals to measure the effect of education and community engagement programs beyond the garden gates.