The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.
A long-time favourite garden of mine is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
I visit as often as I can, usually once every other year or so, almost always in May or June (most recently this past June), and one time in December. I didn’t really start taking photos until 2007, though I think my first visit was in the mid 1990s.
There is something for everyone here: water features and fountains; formal Italian Gardens; treehouses, beehouses, birdhouses, the historic Pierce-duPont house to tour, a chimes tower and waterfall; music concerts, fountain shows, and fireworks; large ponds with frogs, turtles, and fish in them; a recently expanded meadow with trails; idea gardens and trial gardens; vegetable and berry gardens; perennial and annual flower gardens; a conservatory with a silver garden, a children’s garden, an espaliered fruit garden, orchids, cacti, a rose garden (as well as an outdoors rose garden), an orangery, a palm house; a large water lily garden; a topiary garden; peony and wisteria gardens; allées all over the place; expansive lawns, huge trees, shady hillside gardens, woodsy trails. And two good restaurants, one a cafeteria with inside and outside seating and the other a more formal sit-down restaurant.
The garden is tended scrupulously, and yet many parts of it feel wild. The staff, even when hard at yardwork, are generally willing to answer questions and help identifying plants. If you go, look for the garden cats that keep the mice and vole population in check.
If you can’t get there in person (or even if you can), you may enjoy or be inspired by these images of this gem of a public garden. [Click to enlarge any photo.]