site site.xsl LongwoodGardens
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page pg_standard.xsl Central_Gardens
This open lawn edged with magnificent trees was once a pasture. Most impressive is a massive American elm immediately visible as you enter the Gardens from the Visitor Center. It is the sole survivor of an avenue of elms that succumbed to Dutch elm disease and have since been replaced with white oaks. The Japanese flowering dogwoods that bloom in June are some of the most spectacular to be seen anywhere. The massive allée of copper beeches along the northern path is deep purple in spring and coppery in fall.
Noteworthy plants: American elm (Ulmus americana), weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'), Japanese flowering dogwood (Cornus kousa), witch-hazel (Hamamelis), copper beech (Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea), white oak (Quercus alba), princess-tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
These rose beds form the last major garden developed at Longwood during Mr. du Pont's lifetime. Many varieties of fragrant roses bloom here from June to October. The formal layout, planting arrangement and architectural elements are typical of the 1930s and 1940s and are more traditional than the contemporary rose display in the Idea Garden.
Noteworthy plants: Cultivated varieties of hybrid tea and climbing roses.
Evergreen yews clipped into cones, cubes, spirals and other shapes including a chair and table, and birds form a surreal landscape that captures your imagination. Gardeners shear these topiaries every July and August, and it takes years to develop the desired forms. The garden today includes more than 50 specimens in 20 different shapes.
Within this area is an analemmatic sundial constructed by Mr. du Pont in 1939. It took eight years of daily readings to perfect the sundial, which is accurate to within two minutes. A sign on the site explains how to read the sundial.
Noteworthy plants: Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata), English yew (Taxus baccata)
This long, narrow allée between the Topiary and Rose Gardens and the Main Fountain Garden features white hibiscus standards blooming in late summer set amid a soothing border of bluebeard (Caryopteris). The Love Temple at the south end, one of three at Longwood, provides an eye-catching terminus to the vista.
Noteworthy plants: bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis), Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Diana')
This astonishing planting of white, pink and purple lilacs on both sides of the path leading to the Main Fountain Garden features about 70 different cultivars, some of which are labeled. The plants bloom in early-to mid-May with delightful fragrance.
Noteworthy plants: common lilacs (Syringa vulgaris)
This circular arbor is covered with pink roses in June. During the bloom period, the enclosure serves as one of the outdoor staging areas for concerts. In the center of the arbor is an old Italian wellhead.
Noteworthy plants: large-flowered climbing roses, rambler (Rosa 'American Pillar')
The walled Theatre Garden is a garden for all seasons, a decorative patchwork of muted colors and extravagant textures. With spring, comes the perfumed blossoms of trifoliate-orange. Yuccas and prickly-pears bloom in summer. The pink sedums in late summer change with the seasons, turning to ruby, then russet, all the while complementing the red brick paving. In winter, vestiges of the growing season remain with strap-like yucca leaves, coarse sedum seedheads, fine tufts of ornamental grasses and glossy green thorns of trifoliate-orange.
Noteworthy plants: trifoliate-orange (Poncirus trifoliata), adam’s-needle (Yucca filamentosa var. concava), soapweed (Yucca glauca), blue fescue (Festuca glauca), prickly-pear (Opuntia phaeacantha), lamb’s-ears (Stachys), mixed hens and chicks (Sempervivum), Sedum
The plantings bordering the 600-foot-long brick walk are a mixture of annual and perennial flowers, spring bulbs, woody shrubs and ornamental grasses. Color plays an important role, progressing from cool lavenders and blues to fresh pinks, reds, oranges and warm yellows, and ending in whites. A semi-circular stone "whispering bench" ends the walk. Sit on one end of the bench and have a friend sit at the other end. Cup your hand, whisper towards the center of the bench, and notice how your voice travels around the curve!
Noteworthy plants: butterfly-bush (Buddleja alternifolia and Buddleja davidii), golden oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis), panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Unique'), rosemary willow (Salix elaeagnos), purple smoke-tree (Cotinus coggygria 'Velvet Cloak'), plus thousands of ever-changing bulbs, annuals, biennials and perennials from April through October.
This "secret" garden room (once a sundial garden with boxwood parterre) is on the western side of the 1908 Square Fountain pool. The Peony Garden derives its name from the shrubby hybrid tree peonies that bloom once a year in May. Colorful Siberian irises and feathery astilbes extend the bloom period into June. A sundial and teak benches add architectural interest.
Noteworthy plants: hybrid tree peonies (Paeonia lutea), golden chain-tree (Laburnum x watereri), hybrid astilbes (Astilbe x arendsii), Siberian irises (Iris sibirica)
This garden room enclosed on all sides by arborvitae was formerly planted with roses and later with peonies. Here, this vigorous twining vine is grown on a heavy arbor and also is trained by Longwood gardeners into tiered tree forms supported by metal poles.
Noteworthy plants: Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda 'Alba', 'Geisha', 'Longissima', 'Rosea', 'Royal Purple' and 'Violacea Plena')
This 600-foot-long avenue parallels the Flower Garden Walk. A magnificent allée of 27 huge bald-cypresses fronted by an arborvitae hedge provides a stately backdrop for a double flower border whose planting plan is redesigned each year.
The bald-cypresses on the north side of the drive were planted by the Peirces in the 19th century, augmented by replacements made by Mr. du Pont.
Noteworthy plants: bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum), American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
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Meet the arborists and gardeners that care for our trees and flowers throughout Spring Blooms, and see demonstrations throughout our Conservatory and outdoor gardens.
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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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