Thursday, June 4, 2015

Longwood Conservatory

Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia is a former Dupont estate.  It consists of a thousand
acres of outdoor gardens and woods and 16 conservatories and greenhouses open to the public. 
 There are many more working greenhouses behind these.
I took a lot of pictures of many flowers when I was at Longwood last week.  I think many
people on my mailing list would tire of flowers, but I also know that a number of people ask
me for more pictures.  So I am going to send out many more pictures to a restricted list,
and you are on the list.  If you are not interested, just delete.

The main Conservatory is a huge rectangular room.  Above you can see lavender
Canterbury Bells and Guzmania at the front, the 2 Coleus Trees and Broom flowers in back.

Foreground is yellow Stock, decorative grass, and begonias.  In the back are white
Marguerite Daisies, blue Forget-Me-Nots, and orange Guzmania.

The two "trees" are coleus plants.  It took three years to train them into this shape.  All leaves
and branches were pinched off except in the middle and at the top, where they were
encouraged to grow profusely.  They are currently training other colors of coleus.
The other flowers are yellow Broom, yellow Marigolds, and the magnificent red
Towers of Jewels / Echium.

On the opposite side of the Conservatory was an aisle lined with pink Zonal Geraniums,
ferns, white Oriental Lilies, and pink Hybrid Azaleas in the pots.

Colorful Guzmania plants.

Yellow Broom, lavender Spurflower / Plectranthus, and dark blue Canterbury Bells

These are Ranunculus  /  Persian Buttercups  /  Asian Buttercups.
They are thick, tight masses of colorful petals and 8-12 inches high.

Ranunculus  /  Persian Buttercups would be one of my top choices for a Spring
Garden if I still had one.  They are very hardy.

Ranunculus  /  Persian Buttercup

Ranunculus  /  Persian Buttercup

Azaleas have always grown on bushes 2-4 feet high.  But this is a new hybrid Azalea,
which is only about 8 inches high and is perfect for pots and ground cover.

Here is the hybrid Azalea used as ground cover.

Bed of Ranunculus  /  Persian Buttercups

Broom Flower comes in many varieties and sizes.  If you have traveled in England or
Scotland, you know it grows wild all along the highways.

Euryops was a new flower to me.  It was used extensively throughout the conservatory.
It comes from South Africa and has dark green foliage and bright yellow flowers.
It looks much like a daisy.

A pot of Euryops.  There is another variety with grey leaves, but I found it less
attractive and less prolific in blooms.

Here we are right inside the front door looking through the Conservatory and toward
Exhibition Hall A with its hanging baskets of blue Hydrangeas.  Easter Lilies line both
side of the path here.

Yellow Stock Flowers.  This is an old garden standby, but a new variety with very thick
flowers and strong stems.  It comes in many colors.

White Oriental Lilies.  These are huge, 9-10 inches across. In the morning the buds
were tightly closed, and then the heat and light led them to open fully in the afternoon.

White Marguerite Daisies covered bushes all around.

White Marguerite Daisies.

Spurflower  /  Plectranthus.  The Variety is "Mona Lavender."
Dark Blue Canterbury Bells behind.

Easter Lilies were the centerpiece on the day I arrived.

Easter Lilies

I have known Anthuriums for many years, but they were "florist flowers" and died
soon after you got them.  Now they have been hybridized in a number of colors, sizes,
and shapes, and were used extensively in the Conservatory.

These are the "Pandola" variety of Anthuriums.  They comes in pale pink,
sometimes with a touch of white and/or green.

Pandola Anthuriums.  Gorgeous.

Pure White Anthuriums

Bright red, shiny Anthuriums

Red Towers of Jewels  /  Echium
These plants grow naturally only on one place on earth - the Island of Tenerife in the
Canary Islands.  But they are so dramatic and beautiful that gradually now large
conservatories all over the world have begun growing them.

Red Towers of Jewels

Close-up of blossoms on Red Tower of Jewels

Lavender, Pink, and Dark Blue Canterbury Bells / Campanula, with yellow Broom

"Champion Pro Dark Blue Canterbury Bells"

"Champion Pro Dark Blue Canterbury Bells."  They are amazingly prolific.

"Champion Pro Dark Blue Canterbury Bells"

"Champion Pro Pink Canterbury Bells"

Cascades of "Champion Pro Pink Canterbury Bells."

Beautiful bell shapes on Pink Canterbury Bells

Just inside the front doors there are always two bushes of Gardenias
covered with blossoms.

1 comment:

  1. Brought back childhood memories of the Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee and Whitnall Park and Gardens in Hales Corners WI. Your Sister's Neighborhood in Chicago brought back memories of my Mother's Flower Garden and the many neighborhood gardens. Everyone would exchange cuttings. Will never forget the smell of Lilacs.