I have met avid gardeners while visiting other famous gardens and seminars and they always gush about Longwood Gardens. I have finally made it to see it in person. Wow. It is amazing. The conservatory is incredible. The photos will do a better job of telling the story. Take a peek.
We dedicated about 4 hours to see the gardens and Pierre DuPont’s house.
All along the way we saw the healthiest specimens of flowers, trees, shrubs, with an emphasis on native plants. The regular summer rain and humidity produce gardens I could never replicate in California.
All along the way the staff members and volunteers did their best to enhance our experience with information and help. How do you maintain a 300 acre garden, conservatory and historic buildings? With 400 employees, 700 volunteers and student interns.
We stopped at the Terrace Cafe for a light lunch and a cool drink. My food was disappointing. I barely at the everything cookie. Yes, I didn’t eat the cookie. The pita chips with hummus tasted stale. Plus it is expensive. You cannot bring anything besides water so sometimes you just have to eat at the cafe. There are more upscale restaurant options too.
This part of Delaware is beautiful and I can see why so many people choose an Inn or Garden for their wedding.
The parking is free and admission is $20 per adult. Our Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport included Longwood. The gift shop is excellent so save some time to shop.
Our entrance fee was part of the Passport, but I also would have entered for free because I am a member of the Crocker Art Museum with a North American Reciprocal sticker. Plus I received the member’s discount at the gift shop.
The building is adapted from a historic mill on the Brandywine River. The stairwell and elevator are in the round tower and it was surrounded by large floor to ceiling windows. There are three floors of galleries.
We went to the 3rd floor first because I was anxious to view the special exhibit, “Get the Picture: Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration.” It was wonderful. I am fairy book godmother to several children because reading is fundamental to a child’s creativity and success. And because it is delightful to read children’s books. I discovered several new books including my new favorite: The Boss Baby by Maria Frazee.
There are three generations of Wyeths featured in the museum. NC Wyeth is the patriarch. He was an accomplished painter and illustrator. You may have seen his illustrations of Treasure Island. His sister was also talented. Then his son and daughters were talented and his son-in-laws also painters. His son Andrew Wyeth has a gallery too. His paintings are also in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other high profile galleries. His son Jaime Wyeth is also featured with his many portraits, children’s book illustrations and other paintings.
Our admission is good for 2 days so we are hoping to go back tomorrow for the tour of NC Wyeth’s home and studio. It will cost an extra $8 but it seems like a bargain to us.
I bought some children’s books at the gift shop, plus postcards. There was good selection of a beautiful variety of books, cards and posters. There is also a cafe but we didn’t get a chance to try it.
I don’t think you have to be an art aficionado to enjoy this museum. The setting is beautiful and galleries full of mostly landscapes and other appealing pictures. Check it out when you are near Wilmington, Delaware.
Next day: we went back to the museum and bought the ticket for the tour of NC Wyeth’s home and studio. We boarded the shuttle bus with one other person and rode to the family home within a few miles of the museum. The docent met us at the drive and gave a very informative tour of the home. Then we reboarded the bus to drive up the hill to NC’s studio. Wow. If I were a painter I’d have serious studio envy. The north facing windows were conducive to painting. There was a room for props, a main studio for illustrations, still lifes and portraits, then you step into the studio designed for painting huge murals. Impressive.