Learn and Discover


What Do Plants Like to Drink?

Have you ever wondered what might happen if you watered a plant with salt water? Or soda? Or milk? Will the plant still thrive? Put on your lab coat and find out with this fun experiment for families that explores how plants respond to different liquids. 


Food for the Birds

Just like people, different birds have different food preferences. In this fun activity, kids conduct an experiment to find out what kinds of seeds different species of birds prefer.


Searching for Symme‘tree’ in Nature

Did you know there are many examples of symmetry in nature? In this fun activity for kids from APGA’s Plant Heroes program, learn what symmetry is, find examples in nature (think leaves and butterflies), and discover some fun facts about three iconic North American trees you may find in your own backyard.


Design a Bird’s Nest

Not all birds are nest builders. Some birds nest in holes in trees or on the ground. Nests are not only be found in trees, but also in shrubs, on the ground, in barns, or other places. Nests can be made out of various materials and come in all shapes and sizes. In this fun activity for kids, gather some materials to help birds build their nests, then try your hand at building one.


Making Lunch Count

Hungry for a screen-free, take-your-time kind of lunch break? Our Executive Chef Will Brown shares a few delicious reasons (and recipes) why we should all unplug and celebrate National Make Lunch Count Day on April 13, 2021.


A Passion for Nature

Meet author and wildlife ecologist J. Drew Lanham and learn more about his passion for birding in our 2021Community Read. In his book, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, Lanham shares his journey as a wildlife ecologist.


A Spring Refresher

In our continuing quest to welcome spring, enjoy this recipe for Sparkling Spring Berry Lemonade from our Executive Chef Will Brown and the team at 1906.


Fun with Fungi, Moss, and More

As the days grow longer and the snow recedes, moss, fungi, and subdued shades of green begin to emerge. Join floral designer Jennifer Reed as she shows you how to use under-utilized mosses and woodland accents to create small arrangements for your home. 


A Picturesque Passage

One of the loveliest moments each year in the Conservatory happens in February when the Acacia Passage bursts into brilliant yellow bloom. Its namesake plant, Acacia leprosa, (also known as Cinnamon Wattle), is native to Australia and extremely rare in the US. It features small, yellow flowers with a unique fragrance arranged on weeping stems to create an airy, feathery texture reminiscent of a yellow tunnel that beautifully entices all to enter.


The Bird-of-Paradise

One of the plants highlighted in our winter 2021 exhibit, Voices in the Landscape: Deeply Rooted with Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, is the striking bird-of-paradise. Typically orange, this cultivar has bold, yellow sepals and blue petals reminiscent of a tropical bird. It was renamed Strelitzia reginae ‘Mandela’s Gold’ in 1996 in honor of South African Statesman Nelson Mandela. Piece together this amazing plant.


Holiday Plant Walk

Conservatory Manager Karl Gercens continues to share plant highlights from our 2020 holiday Conservatory display. Do you have a holiday cactus at home? Karl shares his pick for the very best holiday cactus cultivar and much more!


Holiday Plant Tour

Since guests could not experience our Conservatory in person for part of our holiday display in 2020, we asked Conservatory Manager Karl Gercens to share a few of his favorite plants gracing our holiday display. Some of his picks make great house plants, too! Do you have any of them in your home?


It's a Wrap

Nothing is more enticing than a beautifully wrapped gift. As you prepare to wrap a few gifts of your own this holiday season, why not make your packages extra special by using hand-crafted wrapping paper? We’ll show you how to create one-of-a-kind wrap using natural materials such as vegetables from your kitchen, fallen leaves, twigs, or shells.


Holiday Puzzle

One of the many highlights of A Longwood Christmas is our Music Room display. In 2020, we decked it out to be reminiscent of a Christmas morning, complete with packages and stockings full of wonderful surprises. Recreate the beauty in this fun puzzle.


Edible Ornaments for our Feathered Friends

The Wildlife Tree, adorned with ornaments to feed our furry and feathered friends, is a cherished part of our holiday display. Gather the family together and create your own Wildlife Tree by making birdseed ornaments in this fun activity for all ages. How many different types of birds will your ornaments attract?


Floral Design Tip: Get Wired

Join our floral design educator Jane Godshalk as she demonstrates how to make a “chicken wire pillow.” 

Explore Diversity of Plants

Plants are amazing. They live on every continent, are incredibly diverse, and make adaptations to their environment. Join botanical expert and Longwood educator Jeff Jabco as he shares some interesting plants from environments as diverse as the desert to the tropics and their unusual adaptations. 


Connect with Conifers

While deciduous trees drop their leaves, coniferous trees or evergreens have needles that remain on the branches year-round! Discover some fun facts about conifers, practice recognizing conifers in your own neighborhood, and then get creative with some natural materials in this fun activity for kids.


All Aboard!

Our Garden Railway is a favorite fall feature in our Gardens. Including four tracks and 31 locomotives, steam engines, diesel engines, and specialty engines, it is an engaging blend of horticulture, engineering, and lighthearted fun that holds a special place in the hearts of many. 


Fun with Topiaries

Learn all about topiary--the art of clipping shrubs or trees into shapes. First, discover shrubs growing in your backyard and try your hand at creating a topiary of your own. 


Let’s Get Cooking

Join our Executive Chef Will Brown as he shares one of his favorite recipes from 1906 that you can easily recreate at home and add your own twist to with ingredients from your garden.


Pressed Flower Cards

Discover the important relationship between flowers and pollinators, then bring the beauty of nature indoors by pressing and drying plant material to make personalized greeting cards.

Lights, Camera, Learning

From exuberant students dressed in white lab coats in Mexico to hearing-impaired students signing through an ASL interpreter in Kentucky, learn about our innovative Virtual Field Trip program—free to K–12 schools—and experience a day in the life of our virtual educator (a recipient of the 2020 Pinnacle Award from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration).


Kids Coloring Postcards

Share your love of Longwood with these printable coloring postcards created by our very own former Longwood Fellow Becky Paxton!


All About Plants Free Course

Our free online course, The World of Plants: Exploring Horticulture takes you on a journey through the plant kingdom. Follow the evolutionary pathway to plant diversity, learn the basics of plant nomenclature and plant identification, and go behind the scenes as our horticulture experts share their passion and insight.


Giants Among Us

Meet Pierre’s Poplar—one of the tallest trees at Longwood Gardens. In this short video, get a bird’s eye view as Longwoods Arborists attempt to measure this champion tree.


All About Acer palmatum

Learn about a favorite tree of many home landscapers: Acer palmatum (Japanese maple). Elisabeth Meyer, of North Carolina State University, shares characteristics of, and tips on how to identify, the many varieties of this amazing tree.


A Fine Vine

Clematis are among the most decorative and spectacular of all the flowering vines. They come in a variety of colors, forms, and foliage. Join Jeff Jabco, as he showcases the top five Clematis in our 2020 International Trial.


Terrific Trees

Discover how to identify trees in your neighborhood and have fun doing it!


Go Wild for Columbine

Learn about Aquilegia canadensis, also known as wild columbine, in this informative photo story. 


All About Vines

Discover how vines climb, create paper vines, and even try your hand at growing your own pumpkin patch.


Perennial Pals

Kids can discover how to recognize common perennials and learn about the different parts of a flower.


Know Your Perennial Plants?

Test your plant knowledge! Can you identify these common perennials?


Flowering Annuals

In this activity, kids will discover how to recognize some common annuals and learn about the life cycle of flowering plants. Then they can get planting and experiment with growing bean seeds.

Plant Focus: Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa is a great summer annual that you might mistake for a petunia, but it has a style and beauty all its own, explains Elisabeth Meyer of NC State University.


Mushroom Soup Madness

We are well-known for our award-winning Kennett Square Mushroom Soup. Try your hand at making it at home with this recipe from our chefs at 1906.


Test Your Plant ID

How well do you know your sun-loving plants? Test yourself in this interactive quiz.


Create Your Own Miniature Garden

Inspire your imagination and find joy in creating an enchanting miniature garden.


A Botanical Paradise

Join former Longwood Fellow Barbara Wheeler on a fascinating virtual journey through her home country of New Zealand. From the diverse topography to the interesting animal species to the fascinating plant life, discover the majesty and beauty of New Zealand.


Virtual Plant Walk

Have rocky soil or moist conditions? Looking for a plant deer won’t eat? Join horticulturist Karl Gercens as he introduces you to some plants that may just fit the bill. 


Animal Art

Did you know we have more than 100 animal statues scattered throughout our Gardens? Learn about a few of our favorites, then create an animal-inspired sculpture.


Everything About Aquatics

Delve into the amazing world of aquatics in our free online course. Designed for beginners and experts, learn how to select, care for, and create your own aquatic display in this engaging multimedia course.


Longwood Lecture Series: Modern Horticulture in Historic Landscapes 

How do you revitalize a landscape? Our VP of Horticulture Sharon Loving and West8 Landscape Architect Jelle Therry share some of the challenges. One thing is certain: Trees play an important role.


Kitchen Farming

Start growing your own vegetables right in your kitchen using common produce found in your home. 


Make Your Own Grass Head

In this activity for kids, plant some grass seed on a fun form, watch it grow, then trim its hair!


An Entertaining Tradition

Pierre S. and Alice du Pont loved to entertain in the Gardens. Join in the tradition and try your hand at a recipe from the du Pont family cookbook. 


Killer Plants

Embark on a weird plant safari in this virtual lecture with botanist and botanical illustrator Chris Thorogood. Author of Weird Plants, Chris shares the startling real-life behavior of carnivorous plants and the one plant that still eludes him.


Conservation and Culture in the Amazon

Join National Geographic Explorers as they take you on a photographic journey through the Amazon in this informative and inspiring video presentation. Learn about living with the indigenous people of the Amazon and their unique cultures, how indigenous groups regard their trees, both for physical and spiritual uses, and see how this reverence can protect both people and their ecosystems.


Our Carnivorous Collection

With their visual appeal and botanical interest, it is little wonder that carnivorous plants have long had a place on display in our Gardens.

Hydroponics & Plant Careers

Create a self-watering planter and discover the many rewarding careers you can pursue in the plant world.


Get Outside

Get the family back to nature with these fun activities designed to connect you to the wonder and beauty of the natural world.


The Weird, The Wild, and The Wonderful

From the driest deserts of the Middle East to the misty mountains of tropical Borneo, travel the globe with plant hunter and illustrator Chris Thorogood to discover nature’s most unusual and amazing plants in this presentation designed especially for grades 3-12.


Create a Bonsai

Our own bonsai expert Kevin Bielicki demonstrates how to create a bonsai from nursery stock.


Spring’s Hidden Gems

There are some often-overlooked woody plants whose blooms and foliage put on a dazzling spring show. Find out which hidden gems to add to your landscape.


Indoor Family #PlantHunt

Plants are not just outdoors—they are everywhere! Go on this fun hunt to find objects made from plants all around your house. 


Celebrate Trees

Learn some cool facts about trees, planting and caring for them, and meet some of our smallest trees in this virtual field trip for kids grades 3–8.


Mystery Plant Activity

One of Longwood’s carnivorous plants has gone missing! Who did it? How did they do it? We need your help in this curious case of the missing plant!  


A Plant’s Life

Explore the life cycle of a plant from seed to flower. Go behind-the-scenes and discover how our horticulturists prepare our spectacular displays in this fun online class for grades 3-8.


Sharing our Legacy of Entertaining

Pierre S. and Alice du Pont loved to entertain in the Gardens. Since we entertain you in our Gardens, why not head into your own kitchen and recreate a recipe from the du Pont family cookbook.


Kokedama at Home 

Kokedama (Japanese for “moss ball”) is a decorative style of potting plants in a ball of moss and displaying them in a dish or suspended in the air. Make your own kokedama with this easy step-by-step guide.


Hands-on Activities

Learn how to press flowers and discover fun in your own backyard.

Flower Memory Match

Test your memory and learn some new flower names in this matching game for the whole family.  


Read a Good Plant Book

Join our 2020 Community Read and dive into the wacky, weird, and wild world of plants with one of these books: Semiosis by Sue Burke, Weird Plants by Chris Thorogood, and The Enormous Potato by Aubrey Davis. Ebooks are available for borrowing via most public libraries.


Floral Design With Orchids

Join acclaimed floral designer Cres Motzi as she shares tips and tricks for creating floral arrangements with orchids and other materials.


Get The Kids Off The Couch And Into Nature

Try this fun experiment to make your own plant maze.


Go On a Virtual Field Trip

Discover the fascinating world of carnivorous plants in this online field trip, designed for grades 3–8. 


Learn Everything About Orchids

Through video lectures, recorded presentations, discussion forums, and more, we invite you to experience our free online course Everything About Orchids. Learn about our collection and how to enjoy orchids in your own home.

More Our Gardens Your Home