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Visiting Local Gardens: Longwood Gardens
In Wilmington, Delaware, there are a plethora of wonderful gardens to visit all within very close driving distances to one another. I never tire of visiting them because there is always something new to see as the seasons change and the years go by.
One of the largest and most renowned gardens in the area is Longwood Gardens. It consists of acres upon acres of lush garden displays, formal and informal gardens, fountains, meadows, and woodlands. Oh, and there is also a huge conservatory which houses seasonal displays, an orchid room, a children's garden (really a wonderland…for both the young and old alike), and various temperature controlled climates for Mediterranean plants, tropical plants, and desert-like plants. In short, they’ve got it all if you are into Horticulture.
I am anxiously awaiting the official arrival of spring and although it is right around the corner, the days have been more like winter recently. A visit to Longwood Gardens provided the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the anticipated warmth and light of spring. The conservatory is always filled with wonderful floral displays no matter what season.
The children’s garden is a highlight of trips to Longwood. It was a riot of pastel, Easter colors. The planters were filled with huge clusters of blue hydrangea flowers, yellow daffodils, and pink flowering begonias.
The children's garden satisfies almost all of the senses. The scent of Jasmine wafts through the air from its many locations throughout the garden. There is an herb wall planted with fragrant herbs of all kinds that little ones can run their hands through. There are more water features than you can count which fill the garden with calm, relaxing, soothing sounds. There is no limit to the beautiful visual stimulation, whether it be from the dynamic floral color, the many sculptures of mythical creatures, or the winding, sometimes maze-like pathways.
As nice as it was to get a preview of spring from the inside displays, it was also exciting to explore outside (back to reality). Winter’s firm grip is slowly loosening and the first harbingers of spring have begun to emerge. Snowdrops were blooming in many locations throughout the garden. These are one of the first bulbs to emerge. They are so tough that many times they will even poke their way through the snow. They also naturalize readily. I’ve noticed some of these growing in clumps along roadsides over the past one to two weeks. I wonder if they were planted deliberately, or transported by some critter?
Witchhazels were alight in the garden outside. It is amazing the spectrum of colors they come in. There were many different varieties blooming in colors of yellows to oranges and reds.
It will be another week or two before the daffodils will be blooming outside in our area and a few more weeks still until tulips, hyacinth, and other common bulbs of spring are in bloom.
I’m anticipating the unfurling of spring as the weeks go by and hoping it happens more slowly this year than last year. I might even discover a new garden to visit along the way!