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Orchid Extravaganza

October 24, 2012
Longwood Gardens transforms its majestic conservatory into an Orchid Extravaganza January 19-March 24.

Longwood Gardens has acres of reasons to visit this winter.  The horticultural showplace near Kennett Square, PA, transforms its majestic conservatory into an Orchid Extravaganza January 19-March 24. The heated 4-acre conservatory transports guests into a warm oasis featuring thousands of orchid blooms displayed in extraordinary ways. On special Saturdays, Longwood invites guests to Go Beyond the Garden Gates to meet our gardeners, see our workspaces, and discover how we create our dazzling displays.

Featuring a plethora of colors, sizes and shapes, guests will be amazed by the variety of orchids on display, including Cattleya, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum and Oncidium, among others. In all, more than 5,000 blooming orchids will delight the senses. In the East Conservatory, white and yellow Phalaenopsis artfully arranged adorn the oval basin, welcoming guests to the Conservatory, while white and yellow Phalaenopsis fashioned into gigantic 6 hanging orbs usher you into the Main Conservatory. A dazzling floral arch rising 15 feet and containing more than 1,100 white Phalaenopsis marks the entry to the Exhibition Hall, while chandelier of various orchid varieties hangs over the Exhibition Hall stage. Hanging baskets of Cymbidiums line the yellow-blooming Acacia Passage as a waterfall of red-golden Oncidium marks the entrance to the South American-inspired Cascade Garden.

Additional indoor highlights include the Mediterranean Garden, a riot of vibrant color January through April with Australian purple coral-pea (Hardenbergia) vines blooming like miniature wisteria; while the Estate Fruit House displays nectarines, melons, and other fruits and vegetables flourishing in the midst of winter.

In early March, Longwood’s famed Blue Poppy (Meconopsis) returns to the Exhibition Hall. Usually, to see masses of blue poppies in bloom, you needed to travel to Scotland, Alaska, or the Himalayas. Not anymore.LongwoodGardens has successfully produced a stunning crop of blue poppies that decorate the Conservatory’s Exhibition Hall with their unique blue blossoms.

Beyond the Garden Gates Days

Experience the Orchid Extravaganza like never before as we invite you to meet our gardeners, go into our workspaces and learn how we create our dazzling displays during Behind the Garden Gates Days. January 19, February 2 & 16, and March 2 and 23 from 11 am -3 pm, hear our experts talk about Longwood’s historic and vast orchid collection of 9,000 plants; hear and see how we create our displays during informative talks and demonstrations by our gardeners; and visit areas rarely  open to our guests including, our orchid growing houses and library.  Go beyond the garden dates and discover that what happens behind the scenes is also a thing of beauty.

OrKid Days Family Fun

The entire family will enjoy Longwood’s “OrKid” Days. Spend a Saturday experiencing a children’s performance (Noon & 2 pm) and activities (Noon–3 pm), including discovery stations, orchid sketching and more. OrKID days are free with Gardens Admission.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels will bring a lineup of exotic animals to the gardens for children to see and learn more about.

January 21:
Folk musicians Kim & Reggie Harris share family friendly music about the underground railroad. Animal fun abounds when the Elmwood Park Zoo brings a variety of furry friends to delight young visitors.

February 18:
Two of a Kind perform upbeat music about the environment designed just for children.

March 16:
Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble presents jazz music for kids.