The indoor and outdoor display at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA ends its six-week run on Jan. 5. The focus is on “Shapes of Christmas” and includes a jaw-dropping 350 foot ribbon made of bending Italian poplar, covered with gilded wallpaper, and edged with crushed walnuts shells and glitter.
A family tradition for many years, visiting Longwood Gardens, is a feast for the senses. Colorful lights, pine scented greens, paper white’s floral fragrance, and pipe organ music escaping from the organ room, surround you as you enter the Conservatories under glass.
Two giant glass enclosed spaces hit visitors first, as they enter the Conservatories, where on the Fern Floor, the wooden ribbon spreads across the shiny floor, and then winds up a 22-foot tree on the stage above it.
The Conservatories are decked out with traditional Christmas flowers, like Poinsettias and Paper Whites, but non-traditional ones, like tropicals, succulents, and air plants are used throughout.
A great sing-a-long with the historic 10,000+ pipe organ was on the agenda and was all part of our Conservatory experience. For a great article on restoring this magnificent piece, go to Restoration of World’s Largest Residence Pipe Organ.
For a demonstration of the workings of the organ, go to Longwood Garden’s Organ Demonstration by principal organist Peter Richard Conte.
The Music Room is always a delightful surprise. Last year was the paper cut outs and the rendering of the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ completed by artist Danielle and Lee Vincent. Using creative book and paper embellishments with old books from library and flea market sales covered every inch of the Music Room.
This year was a rendering of an old-fashioned candy shop inspired by Shane’s Confectionery of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest candy shop. A rainbow colored candy counter filled with horticultural themed chocolates, lollipops, and cookies decorated every nook and cranny. Two 18 foot Fraser Firs flanked the shop and were covered in pastel colored Christmas ornaments.
I was particularly taken by the Shane’s created clear toy candies, or ‘barley sugar candies’ shaped like reindeer, rabbits, ships, and many others— once a popular Pennsylvania German Christmas tradition — for the display. Wow!!!
Outdoors, as the sun sets, the trees emerge glittering with tightly wound lights everywhere! I can only imagine the hours that it takes to do just one tree!
Two Special Trees
A wildlife tree was striking from far away with its branches and stems would with bright red yarn. Again, I was thinking of the hours it would take to do this!
The Gardener’s tree was just as special and enormous, towering over 25 foot high. The interior lights were white and the outer lights were green, making the tree almost glow from within. An abundance of spiraling natural gourds were arrayed all over the tree, sprouting out the top.
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA
When: Through Jan 5
Tickets: Timed admission means tickets are for a date and time. Longwood recommends they be bought in advance-$30 adults, $27 ages 62-up, college students with ID; $16 youth; free for 4 and under