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Longwood Gardens: Emerge from winter inspired

A tree's shadow provides perfect background to the Longwood Gardens sign at the Visitor's Center.
A tree's shadow provides perfect background to the Longwood Gardens sign at the Visitor's Center.
Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com) Longwood Gardens

They say that vision is the predominate of the senses, however, the moments just before, and while you step through the Conservatory doors, you will first hear all variety of singing birds, then the incredibly intoxicating aroma of flowers, the warmth on your skin, when finally you realize all the colors and textures before you is for real. Four acres of inspiration awaits your exploration in Longwood’s Conservatory.

Escape indoors

Winter weary Philadelphians and ready gardeners know that spring, on the calendar, is yet a month away. However, a drive to Longwood Gardens will allow you to experience an early taste, smell, and euphoria through the artful displays that captivate walls, archways and walkways at every height. Indoors, at Longwood, is an immense, historic Conservatory, first opened in 1921, nearly two decades from when Pierre du Pont purchased the original 202 acres and began planting. Grandiose is insufficient to describe the Conservatory. Yet, it is hard to focus on this incredible structure and art deco fixtures, for the sumptuous plantings at every level. But try. Part of the experience and inspiration is due to the Conservatory, itself.

An infusion for all

Indoors, the Conservatory expands to showcase all manner of gardening delight throughout its 20 elegant rooms. Each room, grand its own way, offers plenty of variety and space to please all visitors, infusing their senses, inspiring their minds. From flowering color themes, to cascade gardens, desert plantings, to fern passages, growing houses, bonsai, orchids, roses, and children’s gardens, a treat for all. Be sure to pick up one of the fold-down garden maps when you enter. It will help guide the order of all you wish to see during your visit.
Plan you emergence from winter, online, to purchase tickets that are timed for your visit. There are continuous special programs for entertainment and education that may also be of interest. Dining at The Terrace is a short bridge-walk from the Conservatory and, even in winter, many paved walking paths are accessible for outside strolls. Garden hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. through March 30th.