While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Philadelphia (Kennett Square) area in Pennsylvania, why not visit Longwood Gardens?
- Longwood Gardens has a 4-acre conservatory and 1,077 acres of outdoor gardens.
- Longwood Gardens has many features, including The Conservatory, The Fountains, Peirce-du Pont House, instruments and many gardens. There are 40 gardens, including the Bee-aMazed Children’s Garden, Chimes Tower and Waterfall, Oak and Conifer Knoll, Rose Garden, Topiary Garden and Analemmatic Sundial, Theatre Garden, Flower Garden Walk, Peirce’s Woods, Peirce’s Park, The Meadow and The Forest Walk.
- Longwood Gardens has a fascinating history. In 1700, William Penn sold the land to a Quaker family named Peirce, and they began planting an arboretum on their farm in 1798. In 1906, after Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) made a fortune from his family’s company (E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, which is still in business today), he purchased the land and began Longwood Gardens. His first project was the 600-foot-long Flower Garden Walk in 1907, and he completed major construction in the mid-1930s. Du Pont he held many garden parties at the gardens until it opened to the public in 1946.
- More than 400 events are scheduled at the gardens each year, including organ concerts on Longwood Gardens’ famous 10,010 pipe Aeolian organ (which even has its own museum at Longwood Gardens!) and the 62-bell electronic carillon in the Chimes Tower. Check the Longwood Gardens website for information about concerts, art exhibits and other events held at the gardens.
- More than 200,000 visitors each year come to see the 500,000 outdoor Christmas lights during the holiday season.
- More than 5,000 students attend classes at Longwood Gardens, which include two-year professional gardener training programs to a master’s degree program.
- Longwood Gardens has a searchable plant database called Plant Explorer, which allows you to locate plants, gardens and garden features at Longwood Gardens, as well as create a personalized tour.
- The Peirce-du Pont House is open to the public. Inside the house is the Longwood Heritage Exhibit, a collection of historic photos, artifacts, home movies and more. The yellow cucumber magnolia near the Peirce-du Pont house is the largest known specimen in the country.
- Longwood Gardens has a recycling program, irrigates with waste water and composts 8,000 cubic yards of discarded organic material from on-site and local contractors each year.
Longwood Gardens Quick Info
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 19348
Admission $18 to $25 (higher prices are charged on “Peak Days” – check website for details). Senior tickets are $15 to $22, students are $8 to $11 and children under 4 are free.
Open daily. Open at 9a.m. Closing hours vary.