Fire & Ice at Longwood Gardens

If you haven’t had a chance to get to Longwood Gardens this year for the ‘Fire & Ice’ Christmas decorations, you still have time. Scheduled to be open until January 9, 2022, the decorations were over the top. Each year I think they can’t outshine the previous years, but ‘Fire & Ice’ was fantastic! Opposites attract and the fiery red tones next to the frosty cool tones of glittery white, gold, and grey was a great combination.

The Exhibition Hall was transformed into an alpine stream, cascading waterfalls, and suspended icicles

The Exhibition Hall at night was a winter extravaganza of suspended icicles that reflected in the stream with frosty trees. Around the perimeters were red poinsettias, anthuriums, and bromeliads. The contrast was stunning.

Fiery tree with lanterns

My favorite stop is always the Music Room – a beloved element of the experience of Longwood. You are greeted by a 14 foot long dinner table with a suspended arrangement of greens, branches, and floating candles in glass globes. Two large Fraser firs flank the Music Room door, in red, gold, copper, and birch bark accents.

Place setting at the table

Suspended table arrangement
Music Room mantel

The fireplace mantel was decorated to resemble a plume of smoke coming out of the fireplace and drifting up into the room. Gold accents and red magnolia lit up the room. Made out of preserved and faux materials, the garland was zip-tied to a frame of chicken wire.

The Peirce du Pont House showcased a variety of dried materials, like hydrangeas, artichokes, gilded lotus pods, alliums, grasses, and pine cones. The possibilities of dried flowers for Christmas decorating is endless. Go to my Dried Flower Christmas to see some great examples. Celebrating the beauty of plants long after their growing season, the trees sparkle with gold accents and limelight hydrangeas gathered on site at Longwood.

Dried elements on the bannister at the Peirce du Pont House
Emerald green balls on the Peirce du Pont House trees
Dyed purple artichokes
Dried limelight hydrangeas decorated the Peirce du Pont House
Outdoor tunnel of lights
The whole outdoors is lit up

Update on the Renovations

Undergoing major renovations to the conservatory across 17 acres, the west conservatory will be totally transformed into a new experience. A 32,000 square feet glasshouse is being built with new gardens and pools inspired by the landscapes of the Mediterranean. A new outdoor Bonsai Courtyard will display one of the most outstanding collections of Bonsai in the country. The tropical Cascade Garden is being relocated to it’s own dedicated glasshouse and a new restaurant, classrooms, and new library, and event spaces will be built. Very ambitious! 

The century-old orchid house is being preserved and will be expanded  to exhibit 50% more orchids

A state of the art geothermal well system will provide heating and cooling for all the new buildings. For a detailed article on the renovations, go to Longwood Gardens To Expand and Transform Its Renowned Conservatory Grounds. And for an update about this milestone project, read Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience. 

Rendering of new conservatory additions at Longwood, courtesy of Longwood Gardens

For timed tickets, visit Longwood Gardens. If you can’t make it this year, pencil it into your calendar starting in November 2022 as an event not to be missed!

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