History & Culture / Home & Family / Travel

The Enchanting Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens, located within the picturesque landscape of Chester County, Pennsylvania, sits just about an hour outside of Philadelphia. It is one of those magical places that, once you visit, it will forever stay in your memories. The gardens encompass 1,100 amazing acres and feature a variety of plant life, from beautiful blooms to sprawling pines. Each part of the garden has its own style and mood. The expansive botanical garden attracts visitors from near and far during the holiday season to see the fanciful Christmas trees, attractive holiday displays, and brilliant lights of the indoor and outdoor gardens.

The famed horticultural gem was founded by Pierre Dupont in 1906 and has become known internationally for its superior botany, garden designs, fountains, presentations, education, and more. The land upon which Longwood Gardens sits has an interesting history, beginning with the native Lenni Lenape tribe, who fished, hunted, and tended to the area’s fields. In 1700, Quaker farmer George Peirce purchased roughly 400 acres of the English-claimed land from William Penn’s commissioners. The farm remained in the hands of the Peirce family, and George’s great-grandsons began planting an arboretum with wild and acquired plants. Community picnics and socials were held at Pierce’s Park during the mid to late 19th century. When the arboretum fell into disrepair, American businessman Pierre S. du Pont purchased the farm to preserve the trees. However, he ultimately transformed the property into a premier horticultural garden that was opened to the public in 1921.

Longwood Gardens is an enjoyable place to visit each new season. People who seek to explore most of the gardens can do so in about three to four hours on average. And it is open year-round. Longwood boasts spectacular annual events, such as the mid-January Orchid Extravaganza, summer’s Festival of Fountains, or October’s Garden Railway. Folks can take a professional tour or simply stroll the grounds to enjoy the sights and scents of spring and summer blooms, capture autumn’s colorful leaves, or experience the magic of the holidays Longwood style. If attending A Longwood Christmas over the holiday season, it’s best to dress warm and wear comfortable shoes. Be prepared for some walking to see the “fire and ice” themed holiday displays and trees inside and outside of the Conservatory.

The amazing gardens at Longwood feature more than 9,000 species and varieties of plants and includes amazing displays of colorful seasonal plants, such as vibrant poinsettias. The gardens also feature 500,000 sparkly lights that dance with color on the outdoor trees. Though Christmastime is of striking beauty, you can’t go wrong visiting any day of the year. Timed admission tickets will be required and can be obtained online through Longwood Garden’s official website. (See link) And, if you come hungry, there are numerous food venues available.


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