three people planting a a plant in a painted terra cotta pot

Engaging Experiences in a Spirited Space

By Matt Thomas, on

Collaboration. Connection. Learning. These words inspire a sense of opportunity—after all, no person (or organization!) is an island—and any healthy community is inherently diverse, built on the power of different ideas, spaces, and methods. At Longwood Gardens, we collaborate with our national and international peers in the world of public gardens, but also with those in our home community here in Kennett Square … including one of our most exciting collaborations between our Continuing Education division and The Creamery of Kennett Square. Through our Longwood @ The Creamery collaboration, not only are we able to connect with new learners and those in our community through fun, lighthearted events—such as our Plantology on Tap events and our upcoming Holiday Village Market workshops—but we’re also able to make an impact and offer public programming designed to serve the needs of our wonderful community.

Longwood @ the Creamery began in the fall of 2021 with a series of engaging Thursday night events—which are still ongoing—titled Plantology on Tap. With topics and activities ranging from botanical wellness, to tomato and pepper tasting, to houseplant care, every third Thursday our team heads to The Creamery to bring the magic, the beauty, and the fun of the botanical world to downtown Kennett Square—and we have a blast doing it. Each hour-long Plantology on Tap combines a fun botanical talk paired with a delicious small bite and specialty drink created around the theme of the evening.

a group of people seated at tables with a person speaking to them

Tim Mountz of Happy Cat Farm leads the November 2021 Plantology on Tap: Flavors from the Fields and Forests at The Creamery of Kennett Square. Photo by Becca Mathias.

people seated at tables listening to a presentation

Longwood Arborist Manager Tyler Altenburger explored the art of climbing trees during this July 2022 Plantology on Tap at The Creamery. Photo by Timothy Gould.

While the Plantology on Tap programs are a wonderful way to connect with fellow likeminded individuals (and a pleasant way to spend an evening), they serve another noble purpose as well. Every dollar of profit that Plantology on Tap generates goes to free, public programming designed to serve our diverse communities. We held the first of these programs, Learning Together: Herb and Flower Container Gardening, this past May at The Creamery of Kennett Square. Working with Kennett Area Community Services to share this opportunity with local families, and to provide Spanish language translators, we welcomed 20 families to learn together during this exceptionally fun, hands-on event. Each family planted a container of herbs and flowers to take home and learned how to care for them. It was a memorable day—just check out the pictures below!

an adult and child painting a terra cotta pot

Longwood Engagement and Learning Assistant Emily Gerber helps families plant their containers during the May Learning Together event at The Creamery of Kennett Square. Photo by Holden Barnes.

a group of kids painting terra cotta pots with markers

During our May Learning Together event, families decorated their herb and flower containers. Photo by Holden Barnes.

a young child holding a pot of herbs in a painted pot

One of the youngest Learning Together: Herb and Flower Container Gardening participants shares her creation. Photo by Holden Barnes.

Starting in a few short weeks, we are pleased to be offering a new facet of our Longwood @ The Creamery collaboration … in the form of four festive floral design workshops, held onsite at The Creamery during the Holiday Village Market (December 3, 4, 10, and 11). These Holiday Village Workshops give a new spin on holiday floral designs … and they’re perfect for beginner floral design enthusiasts looking to have a great time and take home (or gift!) a fantastic creation to last the entire holiday season. Plus, each Holiday Village Workshop includes a seasonal cocktail and admission to Longwood Gardens on the date of that workshop.

These workshops include creating a beautiful poinsettia centerpiece (December 3); a basket inspired by the swans-a-swimming from The Twelve Days of Christmas (December 4); an indoor-outdoor hardy arrangement of greens, berries, and branches (December 10); and a simple, yet refined wreath perfect for any décor (December 11).

Our Continuing Education division continues to be inspired by collaboration and connection, and as we inch closer to a season marked by gratitude and thankfulness, we are indeed grateful to be part of such a wonderful community here in Kennett. Join us for an upcoming Plantology on Tap, where your ticket purchase helps support free, community-based programming. Upcoming topics include a behind-the-scenes look at the beauty of A Longwood Christmas led by our very own East Conservatory Manager Karl Gercens (November 17), as well as a festive look at which Christmas trees are best for your home—and how to keep them thriving—on December 15. Or join us for a Holiday Village Workshop, where you can take home a festive design that will bring warmth to your home. Either way, reach out to those around you--to connect, collaborate, and learn (and have fun!) together. After all, ‘tis the season!

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