Longwood Gardens - The Conservatory

main conservatory entrance 

     I recently visited Longwood Gardens in  Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  It is the former home of Pierre du Pont, great-grandson of E. I. du Pont, who founded the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Company.  There are 1,077 acres of outdoor gardens, and a 4.5-acre conservatory.

     In this post I would like to share some photos of the plants growing in the conservatory.  Longwood's conservatory is one of the world's great greenhouse structures.  It has 20 indoor gardens and 5,500 types of plants.  In addition to the original, main conservatory area, there is an east conservatory complex and a west conservatory complex.
     The main conservatory was originally used for growing citrus fruits.  Today it features an ever-changing display of flowers and foliage that change with the seasons.  There were many plantings of coleus, creeping fig, and hibiscus when I was there.

acacia walk

      The acacia walk leads into the west conservatory.  The west conservatory houses a desert and dry landscape area, an orchid house, a rose house, a banana room, a tropical garden, a palm house, a fern passage and a bonsai area.

desert landscape

orchid room

banana room

tropical garden
     The east conservatory has permanent plantings of Mediterranean and sub-tropical flora, a garden walk that contains plants for all seasons, a ballroom with a pipe organ, a camellia room, and a green wall area of ferns.

garden walk

fountain and pool on garden walk

green wall of ferns

     Also in the conservatory is a research and production area.  The production area produces plants year round under all conditions.  The research team finds, obtains and conducts plant trials of 500 to 1,000 new plants each year, and shares plants and research nationally and internationally through distributions, publications, presentations, and workshops.  My impression when I left the conservatory besides its stunning surprises and beauty, was that it seemed a lot larger than 4.5 acres.    

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