Main Fountain Garden District

Aerial view of a large fountain garden to the upper right, a topiary garden at the top, and a lined flower bed garden at the bottom

The Main Fountain Garden District represents the culmination of founder Pierre S. du Pont’s vision for Longwood: the garden as grand theater. In addition to stunning European-inspired architecture and mesmerizing fountain performances in the Main Fountain Garden, the Rose Garden stuns with four seasons of expression, in view of the expertly clipped Topiary Garden and its geometric shapes. To the east of the fountains, the Idea Garden echoes the orderly spirit of formal design with its Carpinus hedge and rectangular beds—defining a space that celebrates the creative process of gardening.

About This District

The classical gardens of this area have captivated guests for more than 90 years. Inspired by Pierre’s travels to Europe’s great water gardens and his seminal visits to several world’s fairs and expositions, the Main Fountain Garden highlights his lifelong passion for horticulture, engineering marvels, and the beauty of exceptional design.

Gardens in this District

  • Idea Garden
    A brick walkway with a wooden bench winds through green garden beds with fountains in the distance

    Idea Garden

    Horticultural inspiration comes closer to home in this inspired and beloved garden, where educational, experimental approaches to gardening and design are explored using plant varieties that can be reliably grown by home gardeners in the mid-Atlantic region.

  • Main Fountain Garden
    Fountains shoot water high into the air during the day over carved white stone structure and green boxwoods

    Main Fountain Garden

    Splendor awaits in this European-inspired, world-class destination: think classic garden design, extravagant theater, astounding choreography, a spectrum of color, musical accompaniment, and, on special occasions, fireworks!

  • Rose Garden
    A stone walkway leades to a small bench among garden beds of yellow, pink, and green plants with large water fountain streams seen in the background

    Rose Garden

    Striking colors, heady fragrances, and soft textures bud, bloom, and sway harmoniously from spring through fall, providing countless ways to celebrate the rose—and her many beautiful friends.

  • Topiary Garden
    Lush green topiary in various shapes stand among each other in an area of green grass against a blue sky

    Topiary Garden

    From playful bunnies to fanciful spirals, you’ll find more than 35 specimens of meticulously maintained, highly cultivated yews (as well as spirited games of hide and seek)  in our Topiary Garden.

What’s in Bloom

  • Large-flowered Climber Rose

    Rosa ′Direktor Benschop′ City of York

    This old-fashioned, climbing rose is the oldest rose growing in our formal Rose Garden, which was first planted by our founder, Pierre S. du Pont, in 1938.  ′Direktor Benschop′, also known as City of York, has a semi-double, fragrant white flower that blooms profusely in early June and then sporadically throughout the season.  It is also known to have dark green glossy foliage, and grows well in full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Small blue star-shaped flowers on two foot plant with narrow leaves

    Arkansas Amsonia

    Amsonia hubrichtii

    Amsonia hubrichtii was named  “Perennial Plant of the Year” by the Perennial Plant Association in 2011. This species is truly distinctive and extraordinary, with clusters of powder-blue flowers in April and May. It grows to a height and width of 2 to 3 feet. In the fall, its golden-orange color rivals the best trees and shrubs. This clump-forming herbaceous perennial prefers full sun to partial shade and is native to the central and northeastern United States. Additionally, it is deer and disease resistant.

  • American Wisteria

    Wisteria frutescens ′Betty Matthews′ Summer Cascade™
  • Long, vertical spikes of deep purple flowers on teo foot tall plant with green leaves.

    Woodland Sage

    Salvia × sylvestris ′Caradonna′
  • Catmint

    Nepeta racemosa ′Walker’s Low′
  • Oriental Poppy

    Papaver orientale ′Prinzessin Victoria Louise′