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Diverse Habitats, Diverse Wildlife
A brown and white hummingbird in air approaching a pink flower.

Diverse Habitats, Diverse Wildlife

At Longwood Gardens, we manage our natural areas to both promote native species diversity across the landscape and to help our guests create memorable and inspiring experiences discovering the dynamic beauty of our native habitats.

By Katie Testa, Tabitha Petri, and Lea Johnson, Ph.D., on November 1, 2023
A Triumphant Return
The arms of a person working with chrysanthemum blooms.

A Triumphant Return

This year’s Thousand Bloom of Chrysanthemum × morifolium ‘Susono-no-Hikari’ started its journey as a vegetative cutting 18 months ago—and today is not only a sight to behold, but a culminating example of the unchanging beauty and art of people and plants working together.

By Kate Santos, Ph.D., on October 18, 2023
Reaching for New Heights in Rare Species Conservation
Tall green grass with a single purple flower in the center of the image.

Reaching for New Heights in Rare Species Conservation

Among our many conservation efforts is our recent work in propagating and restoring hundreds of one of the rarest plants in Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium vanbruntiae).

By Peter Zale and Katie Testa, on August 16, 2023
The Art and Science of Beer
A glass of beer on a picnic table in an outdoor beer garden.

The Art and Science of Beer

We’re celebrating our newest brew with a special evening in our Beer Garden featuring Victory’s Senior Manager of Education and Training Max Finnance—who happens to be one of only 22 Master Cicerones in the world.

By Katie Mobley, on July 5, 2023
How to Create an Ecologically Friendly Home Landscape
two bees on organce flowers

How to Create an Ecologically Friendly Home Landscape

While we often think of the landscapes around our homes as self-contained, they’re actually part of a broader landscape mosaic —and each home landscape can make a profound impact on that mosaic and the variety of wildlife (and people!) that rely on it.

By Pandora Young and Lea Johnson with Katie Mobley, on May 10, 2023
Stewardship Science: Testing Techniques to Benefit Biodiversity
a forest floor with many black pots of small trees lined up in a row

Stewardship Science: Testing Techniques to Benefit Biodiversity

The practice of land stewardship constantly raises new questions—how best to approach a new problem; what methods work best—that can be answered using the tools of ecological science.

By Lea Johnson and Kristie Lane Anderson, on April 26, 2023
Restoring Longwood’s Guardian Lions
a statue of a foo dog in front of topiary trees

Restoring Longwood’s Guardian Lions

The removal, restoration, and reinstallation of these finely detailed—and heavy—sculptures required a delicate, almost surgical approach and in the process, we delved into their history and purpose at Longwood.

By David Sleasman, on April 19, 2023
A Taste of Camellias
A pink camellia flower in bloom with many green leaves around it

A Taste of Camellias

Most of our indoor camellias have wrapped up their flowering for the year, but those that are still in bloom give a hint of the camellias planted in the outdoor gardens, and also hint at our behind-the-scenes breeding work with this group of plants.

By Anthony S. Aiello, on March 15, 2023
Every Orchid is an Individual
a terra cotta pot with a purple orchid set against a dark backdrop

Every Orchid is an Individual

Since 1955 all orchids in our collection have been accessioned and their life status tracked in a system whose “record will be of information and great value for our program of public education,” as was reported to our Board of Trustees in October 1955.

By Kristina Aguilar and Beth Pantuliano, on January 25, 2023
Paperbark Maple: A New Look at an Old Friend
close up of the bark of a paperback maple tree

Paperbark Maple: A New Look at an Old Friend

Paperbark maple’s attributes alone make it worth promoting, but its conservation status has lent additional importance to working with it.

By Anthony S. Aiello, on November 2, 2022
The Beauty of Beneficial Bugs
a hand sprinkling a container onto a large green leaf

The Beauty of Beneficial Bugs

For many, seeing insects in a garden may lead to initial alarm and raise questions about what harm those insects could inflict on the plants. Not all insects, however, are bad and here at Longwood, we regularly release beneficial insects in certain parts of our Gardens.

By Beth Pantuliano and Rachel Schnaitman, on October 19, 2022
Growing From Afar
close up of a waterlily platter with a white lotus flower

Growing From Afar

Even though the Waterlily Court can’t be visited until its 2024 reopening, the aquatic plants for which this space is known—including our famed Victoria water-platters—are still growing and thriving while awaiting their newly refreshed home.

By Katie Mobley, on August 10, 2022
A Winged Window into Our Local Ecosystem
a monarch butterfly resting on a pink milkweed plant in a meadow

A Winged Window into Our Local Ecosystem

Through our new lepidopteran monitoring initiative, Longwood’s Land Stewardship and Ecology team is working with dedicated volunteers to understand which butterflies, moths, and skippers are frequenting our Meadow Garden, and what that says about not only the Meadow Garden, but the ecosystem of our greater landscape.

By Noelle Raezer, Kristie Lane Anderson, and Lea Johnson, on August 3, 2022
Disa, Redefined
close up image of a red Disa orchid

Disa, Redefined

Longwood is one of a small number of public gardens around the world who breed and display the Disa genus. We have recently met a major milestone that adds an entirely new dimension to our Disa history and our breeding program—and may increase the ease with which Disa can be grown at home.

By Greg Griffis, on June 29, 2022
Stewarding (and Learning) Our Land

Stewarding (and Learning) Our Land

At Longwood, how do we—Longwood’s Land Stewardship and Ecology team—work to address and advance these complex systems of study here at Longwood and beyond?

By Maya Sarkar, on April 6, 2022
Science Behind the Beauty: Orchid Conservation at Longwood
tall thin flower stem with multiple white orchid blooms in a field

Science Behind the Beauty: Orchid Conservation at Longwood

Longwood developed its Orchid Conservation Program in 2015 to ensure that a variety of orchid species are saved for generations to come.

By Peter Zale and Ashley Clayton, on March 30, 2022
Orchids: An International Floral Emblem
orchids in multiple colors lining the walls inside a glasshouse

Orchids: An International Floral Emblem

Let’s take a trip abroad and explore which orchids that locales from Guatemala to the Seychelles have chosen to recognize and celebrate in their currency, their culture, and more … and discover when those revered orchids are in bloom here at Longwood.

By Emily Conn, on March 16, 2022
Planting the Seed
three standing and smiling for the camera while holding up seeds and plants

Planting the Seed

This project may lead to findings that could inform future orchid restoration plantings at Longwood, throughout Pennsylvania, and beyond … but also one that we hope could help inspire a new generation of conservationists.

By Peter Zale, on February 9, 2022
Using Sound Technology to Make Sound Decisions
a person crouched and tying equipment onto a tree that is in a cemetery

Using Sound Technology to Make Sound Decisions

In the last year, we have started to use a PiCUS Sonic Tomograph, a device that uses sound wave technology to advance tree care and the accuracy of tree risk assessments by allowing arborists to get a look at the inside of the tree when assessing its structural integrity.

By Tyler Altenburger, on January 12, 2022
Name of the Botanical Game
bed of in bloom purple Russian sage plants

Name of the Botanical Game

While I’ve often heard gardeners jokingly remark that botanists like to change names just to keep them guessing, botanical name changes happen often and represent advances in science and our understanding of the relationships in the plant world.

By Anthony S. Aiello, on September 15, 2021