Meadow & Forest District

Aerial view of large gold meadow garden with forest areas surrounding it

About This District

The Meadow and Forest District is a large-scale landscape shaped over time and reflecting thousands of years of human cultivation. From the eastern deciduous woodlands where the indigenous Lenni-Lenape lived, hunted, and planted crops, to the European-style livestock pastures of the 18th and 19th centuries, to the principles of garden design and science-based land management that guide us today, this land takes guests not only on a journey through diverse habitats, but also time.

Gardens in this District

  • Forest Walk
    Two children holding toy airplanes run along a wooden walkway out of a wooden treehouse

    Forest Walk

    Wander paths in a realm of scenic, intimate woodland beauty, shaded by soaring tulip-trees and the canopy of other deciduous hardwoods. Don’t miss two of our famed treehouses for a squirrel’s eye view into sylvan serenity.

  • Meadow Garden
    An historic farmhouse sits in a grassy meadow in autumn

    Meadow Garden

    Enjoy expansive vistas, sweeps of stunning native plants, and a tapestry of texture as you wander miles of trails past carefully managed wetlands, ponds, open fields, and the forest’s edge, set to the hum of busy insects and rustling plants.

Explore Our Natural Lands

Approximately 65 percent of our 1,100-acre property consists of natural lands—meadows, forest, wetlands, and agricultural fields—that provide an oasis for migratory birds and native wildlife while creating a buffer between the Gardens and neighboring properties. The Meadow and Forest District represents 120 acres of these managed lands that are open to our guests for exploration, learning, meditation, and beauty. Our legacy of conservation, preservation, and restoration continues here in the richly biodiverse habitats that can only thrive where they are given the proper care and space. We continue to shape this land with the same spirit of beauty, innovation, and stewardship that has led a century of progress at Longwood. 

In the Meadow and Forest District, we harmonize the best practices in ecological restoration with garden design—allowing us to showcase horticultural excellence and amplify beauty for our guests while prioritizing plant and animal communities. By following this approach, we preserve and improve the quality of the entirety of Longwood’s ecosystems, and biodiversity, from water to soil to air—while celebrating the human connections along the way.

What’s in Bloom

  • White Snakeroot

    Ageratina altissima

    Growing to a height of three to four feet, white snakeroot is a fibrously rooted, native perennial that can be found in forests, thickets, and woodland margins. This plant can take full sun to part shade and prefers moist, rich conditions. The wonderful white flowers that occur late in the season, when flowers such as these are hard to come by, make it a wonderful addition to the garden.

  • Smooth Aster

    Symphyotrichum laeve ′Bluebird′

    Asters, from the Latin for stars, are late blooming perennials that attract pollinators and bring color to the autumn garden. ‘Bluebird’ is a native aster selection from Mt. Cuba Center and offers violet blue flowers in abundance on 3-foot stems.