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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Day at Longwood Gardens

The Rose Garden is in full and glorious bloom right now!

 After we dropped off my paintings at The Station Gallery on Monday we drove a short distance away to Longwood Gardens. My friend April has been telling me for some time now how beautiful it is there but we just haven't made the time to go. Unlike most museums, it is open on Mondays and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. 

We had been to Longwood several years ago and my memory of it was that it was mostly rows of flowers in planters, color coordinated, and well, more of a formal garden with fancy water shows. I have always enjoyed the natural-appearing gardens at Winterthur, that look as if the flowers simply grew there in meadows and on hillsides without any help from man. Of course I know that's not true, that there is an army of gardens who attend to any garden of this size, but nevertheless, I thought I preferred Winterthur.
Five minute shows all summer at noon, 2 and 4pm
I was pleasantly surprised and delighted by what I found at Longwood on this visit! Yes, there is a formal component in the Italian Gardens and the fancy water shows but it is also a place to reconnect with nature - from the 4-acre Conservatory to the over 1,000 acres of outdoor gardens, including the most amazing waterlily ponds I've ever seen, it's a magical place to visit. Click here for information on what is blooming at this time of year. The special event that is going on now for the summer are Light Installations by artist Bruce Munro, a British lighting artist. 

If you visit the Gardens this summer (now through September 1), Wednesday to Saturday until 11pm you find yourself in an enchanted garden! Never before seen in the United States this debut exhibition illuminates the gardens with large-scale, site-specific installations. We took some photographs of the installations but as it was a Monday we were not able to see them lit. We intend to return to see the meadows glowing with towers, fields filled with lights that look like flowers and a shower of raindrops in the Conservatory. Everywhere we looked we saw evidence of the imaginative art of this gifted artist. 

Floating discs made of DVDs on foam reflect the light
A "shower" of light in the Atrium

More images of Longwood Gardens:

• Buy tickets before you arrive 
• Timed admission tickets required 
• Tickets limited

Buy tickets online, in the Visitor Center, or by phone at 610-388-1000 (additional fees apply for phone orders). Members, click here to make your reservations for Saturday nights.

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