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The state-of-the-art East Conservatory opened October 29, 2005 after three years of renovations. The greenhouse was originally constructed in 1927–28 by Pierre du Pont as an addition to the Main Conservatory complex. It was know as the Azalea House and featured an outstanding collection of non-hardy azaleas and rhododendrons that blossomed in late winter.
The new design derives inspiration from Moorish, French, and Modernist influences but it is distinctly unique to Longwood. Flowering trees and fragrant shrubs abound, creating a park-like setting. Permanent plantings of Mediterranean and sub-tropical flora complement large-scale displays of seasonal blooming plants. Large hedges create intimate areas for quiet contemplation. Plants chosen for color, texture and fragrance invite exploration and a stream and a waterfall add sound and motion.
Noteworthy plants: Ever-changing seasonal displays provide a wealth of color and fragrance. Towering bamboo with black and silver culms reach to the sky. Our rare wood's cycad (Encephalartos woodii) is one of the best in the world. Colorful trees like bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis), siala (Markhamia hildebrandtii), flame-tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) and Cootamundra wattle (Acacia baileyana) bloom throughout the year. Camellias, jasmines and sweet-box (Sarcococca confusa) provide fragrance year-round!
Construction is now complete on the East Conservatory Plaza and Green Wall. Find out more!
The Ballroom, which re-opened in October 2005 after extensive renovations, was originally constructed in 1929 to house Longwood’s pipe organ and serve as a venue for concerts, lectures and dinners. The room is unique for its elaborate finishes including a parquet floor, fabric-paneled walls, and ceiling comprising 1,104 panes of rose-colored etched glass.
Re-opened in October 2005, visitors can once again enjoy this elegant room. The Music Room, with its walnut and silk paneled walls, teak floor, grand fireplace, and elaborate molded and painted plaster ceiling was built in 1923 for private entertaining by Pierre and Alice du Pont, whose portraits hang on opposite walls. Originally it housed the first organ console and one of Pierre du Pont's two Steinway concert grand pianos. Today, Longwood uses the space for art exhibits, small lectures and receptions.
Music has been a part of Longwood's Conservatory since it first opened. In 1921, an Aeolian Pipe Organ was installed in the Exhibition Hall. In 1929, Pierre du Pont ordered a much larger Aeolian Organ for Longwood's new ballroom. A new bleached mahogany console was installed and the instrument was completely re-leathered in 1957-59. An extensive renovation of the Pipe Organ was completed in February 2011.
You can currently visit the Pipe Organ and Gallery, an interactive exhibit that explores the history of music and performing arts at Longwood Gardens. Read more about the Pipe Organ.
This conservatory space was originally designed as a "Spring Walk" of acacia trees, bulbs, and primroses that provided an intensely colorful once-a-year show. Newly re-opened, the plants are combined to create an informal tapestry of color, texture, form, and fragrance in all seasons. New plants are brought in frequently from Longwood’s production and experimental greenhouses to keep the display fresh and ever-changing.
Camellias bloom indoors in this newly re-opened indoor display garden, adjacent to the new Indoor Children's Garden. Longwood has designated camellias as a permanent display in recognition of their historical importance. Visitors can expect blossoms from November through April with peak flowering in January and February. Many of the same varieties that were growing here during Mr. du Pont's life are being propagated by Longwood Gardeners, and will be added to the display in the future.
Longwood debuted its dynamic new Indoor Children's Garden October 27, 2007. The 3,700 square-foot garden is three times larger than Longwood's previous indoor children's garden and is filled with intricate water features, handcrafted artisan elements and engaging horticultural displays that invite children into an imaginative world all their own.
Visit Longwood's online plant database, Plant Explorer, to learn more about the plants in the Indoor Children's Garden.
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A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
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Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
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When you visit our Idea Garden you will discover something new: our first-ever Trial Garden on view for our guests. This square space houses more than 250 cultivars within 10 genera: Clematis, Dahlia, Paeonia, Capsicum, Agastache, Salvia, Pentas, Lantana, Colocasia, and Canna.
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Enjoy family-fun activities, an outdoor concert, and behind-the-scenes experiences.
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