2021 7/21: Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is a paradise of flowers, trees, fountains and quiet located near Philadelphia. Stu began bicycling there for frequent visits during his high school years, and Joan joined him in loving this paradise during a recent two-day visit.

Manicured trails wandered through old growth woods, cultured gardens and constructed beautiful buildings that were the Summer home of the duPont family 100 years ago. It is now in-trust for everyone to enjoy while being managed by a foundation for our benefit.

Lots of walking that can vary from boardwalks to rugged trails await anyone who visits. Most people focus on the Conservatory area to enjoy displays that range from exotic Orchids to more common garden plants such as Pentas that are grown and nurtured to display their full beauty.

The fountain display is performed hourly in the main garden.

The formal gardens are the best known and most exciting of the many areas of the gardens. The fountains in the gardens were recently reimagined with computer controls, LED lights and more water jets. The result is a continuous display of water inventiveness including a fireworks-like sound effect and fountains that burn brightly  with dancing fire at night. We saw 5 displays during the day. It is impossible to capture their brilliance with lighting and dancing almost beyond imagination and a spectacular sound sound system that placed each of the thousands who viewed the displays in the middle of the performing venue.

The images of the fountains just don’t do them justice.¬† The music, while not to my liking that night, enhance the images as they evolve in Joan’s video below:

There are tunnels under the fountains that contain the pumps, pipes, thousands of gallons of water, propane for the bursts of fire in the fountain displays, and computers to make it all happen. Joan arranged a tour of this masterpiece for us.

The engineer in all of us has to love the tunnels. Spotlessly clean, air conditioned, and every pipe is horizontal or vertical, actually plumb.

Two days is not enough to experience all of the trails, green houses, live music and that feeling that comes from being in a large space that is entirely non-smoking and is being enjoyed by people who seek beauty and calm.

Continue with us on our travels to Long Beach Island and share a day with Kenny, Joan’s cousin.