December 23, 2009

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Mr. Geek and I went on a special, unexpected outing last night, to the famed Longwood Gardens outside of Philadelphia with my brother and newest sister-in-law. Gigi (my mom) watched Sojo and let us have a rare and much-savored night out. It was wonderful!
Longwood Gardens is an old-fashioned, exquisite garden that is open year-round, that was founded by Pierre S. du Pont (of the Du Pont chemical company). At Christmastime, they decorate the grounds with lights and basically go all-out for the season. I'ts a bit gluttonous, to tell you the truth, but completely delightful.
It was a perfect night to stroll the grounds, as it was not too cold and there was still lots of snow on the ground leftover from the weekend storm that dumped over 2 feet of snow on Philly.
They have gorgeous fountains coordinated to The Nutcracker, along with ice skating performances. I took an obscene amount of photos, so please allow me to indulge them here. I was so impressed with the unique Christmas trees they created, nearly all out of natural materials.
One of the treehouses in the sky. So lovely!
Longwood Gardens is also home to the most amazing conservatory/greenhouse I've ever seen.
We walked through room after room of flowers and decorations, and the smell of paperwhites and lilies was intoxicating.
Check out the blue and white butterfly tree, which was set in a field of paperwhites.
There was a room filled with roses, and perfect ones at that. I love the simple Moravian stars that hung from the ceiling. And I don't even have to tell you about the fragrance in the air...
I liked this cool Cactus tree too. So many of the plants were shaped into Christmas trees.
My favorite room was probably the one with the children's trees. Local school children decorated trees as a class and they were too cute.
Here's Max from Where the Wild Things Are.
Naturally, I loved the art-themed tree below.
The wreaths and supplemental wall decorations were equally gorgeous. This one was made of dried leaves of some kind, though the fruit was understandably plastic (of course I poked at it)
These though were real berries
And this one was made of Bay Laurel leaves.We ended the evening seeing Thomas the Train winding around some evergreens,
and coming across Vice President Joe Biden, who is from Delaware. He was in the greenhouse with Secret Service and most likely some family members. I'm surprised he didn't arrange for a private tour. I preferred to respect his privacy and not take a photo, though I smiled at him when he was leaving and he responded with a warm "hello".

So if you happen to be in the Philly area over Christmas, you MUST visit Longwood Gardens. The Christmas displays are up until January 10th, and it's not too pricey to get in ($16). It's truly magical!

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12 comments:

  1. Looks like a marvelous, magical place. Love themed trees and my son would be glued to the Thomas train display.

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  2. Magical! Oh I can only imagine what children would think of all of it... Thanks for sharing all the pictures!

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  3. So pretty! Like the other comments said..."magical!"

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  4. I am usually a total scrooge but that looks amazing. I bet it would be a must-see even in the non-holiday season.

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  5. Those gardens look fantastic. I'm so glad you had the sudden opportunity to go.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  6. It looks beautiful. Merry Christmas!

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  7. What a magical place!

    Have a Merry Christmas!

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  8. Wow! Thank you for the tour of Longwood Gardens. What a wonderful evening it must have been.

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  9. What a beautiful place to go on a night out!

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  10. These are great pictures! Thanks so much for sharing them!

    I grew up not far from there. The last time I went to see the lights was 12 years ago with my husband and his parents. My Father-in-law is now in Heaven and this brought back such fond memories of our visit with him.

    Merry Christmas to you!

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  11. Those pictures are incredible!! Seriously, I can't even IMAGINE being there myself-Magical is definitely a word to describe that magnificent display.

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