A table of merchandise, including items in floral motifs and live plants

Cultivating All We Are in The Garden Shop

By Mary Manning, on

As a garden, Longwood’s horticulture, education programs, arts offerings, and garden design all interplay to inspire and delight our guests. With its fresh, new personality, carefully curated to custom-made selections, and commitment to supporting the local artists and makers in our community, The Garden Shop proudly reflects that same interplay as our Gardens—and is a place to be inspired. Last May, we opened our shop doors after a brief period to allow for the space, and the shop experience, to be transformed. Now, coming up on our one-year anniversary of The Garden Shop refresh, we reflect on a year of new people (from myself as director of retail and my seasoned team of shop managers, to plant specialists and designers), new products (including many of the plants you’ll see in the Gardens), and new processes (such as custom planted containers) in the shop … and we invite you to experience all The Garden Shop has to offer.

As soon as you enter The Garden Shop, you immediately take in the scents, sounds, and textures that grace the 6,000-square-foot space. We’ve brought the outdoors in, mixing plants with home products and gifts for the gardener. You’ll find books about everything from bonsai to birding, Longwood keepsakes to one-of-a-kind works from local artisans, and a kitchen filled with sweets and savory. There are seeds and bulbs, candles and cacti, and a corner dedicated to our young gardeners too.

close up of a moss wall

Our lush, beautiful moss walls divide the home store from the greenhouse. Each panel was hand constructed last year under the guidance of our Shop Visual Experience Manager Kaitlin Dodds. The walls are filled with preserved mosses, wood and bark, and the occasional Tillandsia for an unexpected pop. A plaque on the wall serves as a tutorial to those interested in constructing their own version of the walls in their office or home. It also serves as a favorite selfie spot within the shop! Photo by Morgan Cichewicz.

We’ve also launched a program called Longwood Grown where many of the plants seen on display in the Conservatory and outdoor gardens are available for purchase in the shop, some of which grown here at Longwood. Looking for a garden under glass or a custom planted container? Come see our unique Planted by Longwood pieces created by our in-store team of plant specialists and designers. Have something special in mind? Feel free to partner with our team to have a custom piece created just for you!

potted pink flowers

Our Longwood Grown program offers you the opportunity to take a piece of the Gardens home with you. These special plants displayed in the Gardens and Conservatory have also made their way to the shop for sale. Look for the Longwood Grown stake while you’re in the shop to find these beauties.  Photo by Morgan Cichewicz.

Starting in late April, our outdoor patio opens and is filled with annuals and perennials blooming with color and endless possibilities for your garden or a planted container. A wide variety of potted herbs and spices grow beside our outdoor veggies ready for your enjoyment. Indoors you’ll find a beautiful assortment of houseplants from succulents to ferns, orchids to air plants, and containers big and small to accompany each. Our Longwood Grown program continues outdoors from April through September with a weekly offering of plants seen growing in the Gardens and Conservatory.  

two people planting terrariums

Our in-shop Planted by Longwood team curates stunning, unique planted pieces—including custom orders—perfect for your home or a beautiful gift. Here, Visual Experience Manager Kaitlin Dodd and Planted by Longwood Manager Katrina Probst are shown at our beautiful copper table in the shop greenhouse. Photo by Morgan Cichewicz.

close up of person with blond hair and blue shirt

Director, Retail Operations Mary Manning in The Garden Shop. Photo by Kaitlin Dodds.

We love local! We are passionate about supporting the local artists and makers in our community and are excited to feature many of their works in the shop, from handmade goods to The Painted Lily (Philadelphia, PA) transfers of Longwood’s rare book images to beautiful tiles made exclusively for us. New this May, our Meet the Makers events—offered each weekend throughout the month—welcome you to meet the talented local artisans whose unique works are proudly featured in the shop, learn about their processes and inspiration, and shop their amazing collections.

During our Meet the Makers events, we’ll feature such local products as botanically inspired jewelry pieces by Hattie Weselyk Studio (Unionville, PA), botanical art by Only in The Forest (Philadelphia, PA), and plant-based self-care products by Kindred Skincare Co. (Chadds Ford, PA), among many others.

selection of soaps and lotions on a wood tray

Plant-based self-care products by Kindred Skincare Co. (Chadds Ford, PA) are among our rotating local products featured during Meet the Makers events. Photo by Carol Gross.

This last year has been exceptional, and we look forward to what our second year will bring as the refreshed Garden Shop … which includes plans to bring a variety of The Garden Shop products online for purchase. From our horticulturally inspired, hand-picked selection of plants to home décor, to our one-of-a-kind works from local artisans, The Garden Shop cultivates all that we are—plants, people, beauty at every turn, and a deep sense of place within the Brandywine Valley—and we can’t wait to welcome you.

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