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Longwood Gardens Transforms its Conservatory into an Orchid Extravaganza

January 10, 2015
Step inside this warm oasis

Kennett Square, Pa- Longwood Gardens is anything but dreary this winter. The heated 4-acre conservatory transports guests into a warm oasis featuring thousands of colorful orchid blooms displayed in extraordinary ways from January 24 – March 29 from 9am -6pm daily. Orchid Extravaganza is fun for the entire family with concerts, talks, tours and OrKid Days on select weekends. Guests will be amazed at the variety of orchids on display in a plethora of colors, sizes, and shapes.

In all, more than 5,000 blooming orchids will delight the senses including Cattleya, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, and Oncidium, among others. In the East Conservatory, white Phalaenopsis artfully arranged adorn the oval basin, welcoming guests to the Conservatory. In the Main Conservatory, Phalaenopsis and golden Philodendron fashioned into three gigantic hanging orbs usher you into an orchid oasis.

Obelisks more than seven feet tall with cauldron toppers filled with Oncidium and draped in a ribbon of Phalaenopsis Beauty Sheena ‘Ran Ran’ welcome guests to the Exhibition Hall. Hanging baskets of chocolate Cymbidium, line the yellow-blooming Acacia Passage while a waterfall of yellow Oncidium marks the entrance to the South American-inspired Cascade Garden.

Inspired by the natural and sustainable landscape of our new 86-acre Meadow Garden, our Orchid Meadow returns for its second year and has doubled in size expanding to 625-square-feet. In the parterres and beds surrounding the Patio of Oranges, the Orchid Meadow incorporates plants such as Chlorophytum, Philodendron, Syngonium, Schefflera, Selaginella, live mosses, sedges and ferns. 

Additional indoor highlights include the Mediterranean Garden, a riot of vibrant color January through April with Australian purple coral-pea (Hardenbergia) vines blooming like miniature wisteria; while the Estate Fruit House displays nectarines, melons, and other fruits and vegetables flourishing in the midst of winter.

In early March, Longwood’s famed blue-poppy (Meconopsis) returns to the Conservatory. Longwood Gardens has successfully produced a stunning crop of blue poppies that decorate the Conservatory’s Exhibition Hall with their unique blue blossoms.

OrKID Days
OrKId Days are designed for our young garden guests. Children spend the day experiencing Longwood from their perspective with discovery stations, a rainforest activity, interactive storytelling with puppets, and a family seek-andfind in our orchid-filled Conservatory. OrKID Days are January 19, February 16 and March 14 from 11 am – 2pm and are free with Gardens Admission.

Performances
Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits come to Longwood Saturday, January 31 at 8pm. As one of Africa's musical giants, Mtukudzi (Tuku) is loved worldwide for his energetic Zimbabwean pop style jit, and the traditional kateke drumming of his clan. One of Tuku’s biggest fans is Bonnie Raitt, who has not only called him "a treasure," and recorded a cover of "Hear Me Lord" but also credits Tuku as the inspiration for the song "One Belief Away" on her album Fundamental.

The Anat Cohen Quartet return to Longwood Gardens with their expressive virtuosity on Saturday, February 28 at 8pm. Clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts all over the world for her delightful stage presence and critically acclaimed performances. DownBeat Magazine praises Anat Cohen saying, "Cohen not only proved to be a woodwind revelation of dark tones and delicious lyricism, but also a dynamic bandleader who danced and shouted out encouragement to her group."

Hector Olivera
February 12, 8:00 pm
Maestro Hector Olivera is a passionate, gifted, and unique musician, whose personal interpretations of both classical and popular music have amazed and delighted audiences around the world.

O'Connor Quartet
February 19, 8:00 pm
Made up of some of the most talented and exciting string players on the scene, this quartet offers an unforgettable evening of explorations in new musical territory.

Fred Hersch Trio
March 21, 8:00 pm
6-time Grammy nominee Fred Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist.

These performances require special tickets. Tickets are sold through Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999 or www.ticketphiladelphia.org. Tickets limited and include Gardens Admission. Sell out likely.

About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010- pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and community engagement.Longwood Gardens is on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA, 30 miles west of Philadelphia. Admission is $20 for adults; $17 for seniors (age 62+); $10 for students (ages 5–18) or with valid student ID) and free ages 4 and under. Group rates available. Details at www.longwoodgardens.org.