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December 22, 2015
A little boy dashes from the Visitor Center into the brightly quiet wonder of A Longwood Christmas. His eyes, wide as the night, reflect the glow of the big old elm, tall as the sky and brilliant with light, perhaps borrowed from the stars above. “How do they do all of this?” he exclaims. A December breeze catches the branches and makes the lights twinkle even more brightly. Or could it be the spirit of Christmas at Longwood—the unseen essence that animates the place and its people?
December 17, 2015
This Christmas, our Fern Passage provides a natural twist on our fountain-inspired theme. To accentuate the subtle beauty of this ancient plant family, we have installed some very unique igneous stone fountains. Robert Wertz is the artist and owner of Igneous Rock Gallery in Mechanicsburg, PA, and the creator of this special display. Robert obtains his stone from a small lava deposit in the remote Beaver Canyon, located in the Okanagan Highlands of Washington State. The stone of Beaver Canyon is a vibrantly-colored columnar andesite that formed as a result of a volcanic eruption some 45 million years ago. It is unique in the world, and though Robert occasionally works with other types of rock, the Beaver Canyon columns are his preferred artistic medium.
December 9, 2015
It was the age of flappers and jazz … but at Longwood Gardens it was more about industrial-strength classicism and illuminated fountains, thanks to the vision of Pierre S. du Pont. Mr. du Pont was in the technology business of chemistry and automobiles. He was building skyscrapers, chemical factories, and assembly lines, so it wasn’t hard to adapt technology to make fountains spurt and glow. Longwood’s first fountain (1907), on the Flower Garden Walk, was supplied by gravity from a tank in the Peirce-du Pont House attic, which in turn was fed from a hydraulic ram at the Large Lake. No electricity was required since the power to push water uphill came from the water itself...