At Longwood, even our restrooms are spectacular. When it became clear that we needed to increase the number of guest facilities, we knew it was an opportunity to create another award-winning display. When nature calls, don’t miss this fern-laden glen of lush, vertical vegetation planted along 4,000 square feet. Bear’s-, rabbit’s-, kangaroo’s-, hare’s- and squirrel’s-foot ferns grow alongside different varieties of maidenhair, philodendron, spleenwort, and spider plants. At the end of the hallway, a circular reflecting pool of marble awaits your gaze.
About This Garden
In conjunction with the design and construction of the East Conservatory Plaza and adjoining landform, British landscape architect Kim Wilkie envisioned yet another groundbreaking design: a lush indoor Green Wall, completed in 2010. Grown in Florida, each and every plant was numbered and assembled like a puzzle—in order to achieve the mosaic-like design that Mr. Wilkie had envisioned.
Abundant specimens one would typically see in a woodland setting spill from every inch of the passageway, flourishing in the bright, light-filled setting. Over the years we’ve adjusted the plant material in response to growth success rates, finding that ferns are the most adaptive to the climate changes experienced throughout the seasons in this particular setting. A computer program handles the zoned irrigation system, ensuring that the plants are watered in relation to where they are situated on the panels (those closest to the ceiling require more water). In addition, weekly pruning and meticulous fertilization helps keep the plants healthy. Though you can’t see them, we employ the help of tiny beneficial insects (our unsung heroes) to protect the plants against common indoor pests. They are but one part of the complex habitat that thrives in the light-filled hallways of what might be the most beautiful bathrooms in the world.