Explore 1,100 acres of flowers, plants, meadows, and fountains in 50 different gardens. The Longwood Gardens offers a unique experience for visitors, allowing them to walk through everything from tropical plants to roses and lilypads, as well as wildflowers and palm trees, among others. The rich history of the garden began in 1700 when George Peirce purchased 402 acres of land claimed by England that is now Longwood Gardens. In 1798, his great-grandsons began an arboretum (today known as Peirce's Woods), planting a variety of trees throughout the area. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, the Peirce heirs let the land deteriorate, and it soon became forgotten. It was not until 1906 that this land was rediscovered and purchased by Pierre du Pont. Inspired by his travels, Pierre du Pont began designing Longwood Gardens to mirror Italian and French gardens, beginning with a 600-foot long flower garden walk that was completed in 1907. It remains one of the most popular attractions today.
Five years later, the Open Aire Theatre was completed, based on the design of an outdoor theatre in Siena, Italy. Today, many events and performances take place here. In 1921, indoor facilities opened, equipped with technology to heat, water, and power the complex without detracting from the overall elegant design. A music room was also completed in 1923 to entertain garden guests. From 1925–1927, the Water Garden was constructed and was inspired by the Villa Gamberaia near Florence, Italy. The final result is the Main Fountain Garden you see in front of the Conservatory. Between 1956–1996 more additions, including the Palm House, the Meadow, the Azalea House (East Conservatory), the Silver Garde, the tropical Cascade Garden, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Children's Garden were completed. The Meadow Garden, featuring wildflowers, opened in 2014. All are worth a visit. In addition to the formal gardens, there are 700 acres of natural areas to explore. Beyond being beautiful, Longwood is a recognized leader in sustainability, water conservation, and its use of renewable energy sources reduce its dependence on fossil foods.
Longwood Gardens offers music and theater performances, tours, classes, workshops, and events for families and kids. Timed tickets for admission to Longwood Gardens are available for purchase online. Time slots include 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. During special events and performances, the garden may close early.
Cover image by Pixabay images.