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The Idea Garden is divided into sections showcasing 11 different plant groups. Within each section, gardeners can observe and compare reliable plant varieties for southeastern Pennsylvania. Visit the Educational Resources section of our website to download home gardening and "how-to" information on a wide range of topics.
Noteworthy plants: annual and perennial flowers, roses, vines, groundcovers, vegetables, herbs, fruits, ornamental grasses, and containers
The Student Exhibition Garden, one of Longwood's newest display gardens, will feature the creativity and horticultural expertise of our students in the Professional Gardener Program, our collegiate-level, two-year school in professional horticulture. This spring, the students are installing the gardens they designed in their Landscape Design courses. Throughout the growing season, we invite you to visit with the students who will be maintaining and interpreting their Student Exhibition Garden.
A lot of buzzing is going on in our Bee-aMazed Children's Garden located outdoors in Longwood’s Idea Garden! Inspired by honeybees, the Bee-aMazed Garden offers young visitors yet another way to have fun at Longwood. The Garden features three major areas: the Honeycomb Maze, Flower Fountain, and Buzz Trail. Read more about the Garden in our Families and Fun section.
The Hillside Garden leads visitors on an engaging and intimate sequence of paths, paved stone landings and granite stairs that wind among flowering shrubs, perennials, and bulbs. Linger on any of the landings to enjoy dramatic views of the Chimes Tower and Waterfall.
Peaking in spring and late summer/early fall, this diverse garden is designed to provide ideas and inspiration for the home gardener. The new plantings are nestled within significant existing shrubs and trees, including weeping beech, wheel tree, and red-veined enkianthus.
This fall, you can see the purple berries of beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.), the purplish-pink flowers of turtle-head (Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’) and the pink flowers of anemone (Anemone spp.) in bloom.
Noteworthy plants: netted iris (Iris reticulata), Chinese anemone (Anenome tomentosa ‘Robustissima’), Tartarian aster (Aster tataricus), and various rhododendron (Rhododendron ssp.), beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.) and holly osmanthus (Osmanthus heterophyllus) plants that provide woody and evergreen structure to the garden.
Stone unearthed during the Main Fountain Garden construction was used to partially build the Chimes Tower and Waterfall in 1929. Water for the 50-foot man-made waterfall comes from a reservoir under the Eye of Water.
Noteworthy plants: Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus), crabapples (Malus), full moon maple (Acer japonicum), giant dogwood (Cornus controversa)
Covering the top of this knoll is a wide variety of conifers. Four giant sequoias grow on a small hillock near the Eye of Water. Down-slope are two specimens of a related conifer--dawn redwood, which was once thought to be extinct. Unlike the giant sequoias and most conifers, dawn redwoods drop their needles in the fall.
Nearby are various oak species, Japanese flowering cherries and native flowering dogwoods. In March, thousands of pale purple crocuses and yellow winter aconites create a spectacular floral carpet beneath the leafless oak trees.
Noteworthy plants: giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), oak (Quercus), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Japanese flowering cherries (Prunus serrulata), Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica), flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida), Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), Tomasini's crocus (Crocus tommasinianus), winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)
On your visit to the West Outdoor Gardens, you will also see the Eye of Water.
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A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
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Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
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Stand before towering fountains, wander shady groves, see fireworks light up the night sky, and enjoy concerts in the most beautiful outdoor settings.
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