More than three miles of walking and hiking trails lead visitors to the diverse habitats found throughout the Meadow Garden’s terrain. Venture in to discover open, undulating fields, lush wetlands, and diverse habitats for flora and fauna. Discover our learning pavilions along the trails and explore the amazing variety of wildlife and habitats that surround you. Visit our Trail Guide and try one or all of our self-guided walks and hikes through the Meadow Garden.
Jens Jensen, Landscape Architect
Flowering groundcovers, glades of ferns, sweeps of color that shift with the seasons. The Meadow Garden is a tapestry of landscapes from woodlands to wetlands, embodying the beauty of the Brandywine Valley. The view is as broad as the sky on the wings of a hawk, or as close-up as a butterfly on thistle.
Bridges connect us to the landscapes they traverse, and to the varieties of life that dwell within those landscapes. Four bridges span the Meadow Garden, putting us in touch with the natural world of which we are a part—its sky, soil, water, plants and animals—all that exists above, below, and around us.
The Hourglass Lake Bridge takes visitors over a body of water brimming with aquatic animals and water-loving plants. Reminiscent of the covered bridges of the Brandywine Valley, it is easily accessible from one of the main Meadow Garden entrances and provides access to the Hourglass Lake Pavilion.
Designed like the hull of a ship, the Meadow Bridge is the largest and most visible bridge in the Meadow Garden. Its views, seating, and interpretive signs provide a key venue for school groups and others to learn about the diversity of plant life in the Meadow and the wildlife it sustains.
At the far northern edge of the Meadow Garden, the Beech Forest Boardwalk provides a view of magnificent American beech trees as it carries visitors across the Pocopson Creek, a tributary of the Brandywine Creek. Finally, look closely for the Earth Bridge, which is covered in soil and blends with the Meadow it crosses.
The Webb Farmhouse & Galleries
The historic Webb Farmhouse has stood on the property since the mid-1700s. Inside, explore two galleries, one showcasing the beauty of the Meadow throughout the changing seasons and the second sharing the story of the people who have inhabited and influenced the land since the Lenni Lenape.
Reachable from both meadow entrances, this ADA-accessible path invites you to take a 15-minute leisurely stroll across a variety of gentle grades and surfaces. Enjoy a lovely view from the raised boardwalk that is, itself, part of the pleasure of this outdoor garden. Here you can rise above the insects, yet still enjoy watching them. Don't miss the quiet busyness of dragonflies, damselflies, and water skimmers, as they take part in the life of the meadow, lake, and wetlands.
Douglas W. Tallamy, University of Delaware
Take your time to linger and learn about the plants and wildlife around you from the interpretive signs you'll find along the way. Then wait and watch as you lean against one of the wide railings, relax on a bench, or rest in the shaded parts of the path. Gaze across at the Forest Edge Pavilion or the Meadow Bridge. Catch a glimpse of the Pollinator Overlook. Or continue on to the Lookout Loft Treehouse or Hourglass Lake, where more wonders await you.
It took a village to create the Meadow Garden, a community of artisans—masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, sculptors, gardeners—working with environmentally-friendly, locally sourced materials to craft the bridges, pavilions and stonework throughout this landscape. The benches are made from Longwood's fallen trees, just one example of our commitment to sustainable practices.
The beauty of the Meadow Garden was an inspiration to those who designed it and constructed it. Come visit and be inspired by a natural aesthetic that is different than what you might find in Longwood's more formal gardens—sometimes wild, unkempt, and subtle, always changing and surprising. Carry its magic home. May it inspire you to make a difference in the world outside your door.