Garden travels: Longwood Gardens, part 1

This is the next installment of my tales of visiting wonderful gardens in Pennsylvania last month. After heading east from Pittsburgh, where I attended the Garden Writers Association's symposium, we visited Hershey Gardens which I wrote about on Aug. 22.

From there, we continued east toward Philadelphia where one of the most fabulous public gardens is. I've known about Longwood Gardens for several years now and hoped I'd have the opportunity to visit there someday. It's long been considered a mecca for anyone who loves gardening.

It's hard to sum up what I loved about Longwood in just a few words but it was probably the overall experience that was so special. The gardens are spread out over more than 1,000 acres and include a 4-acre conservatory -- which I still think I didn't see all off! -- a topiary garden, fountain garden, Italian garden, edible garden and oh-so-memorable aquatic garden. I just can't resist beautiful water lilies, lotuses and huge lily pads.

There were even some enormous tree houses that kids of any age would be envious of. I would love to see their huge fall mum display and their holiday displays sometime. More reasons to go back in the future?

Here are some photos I took during my visit. I'll post more in part 2 (below). Remember to click on any of the photos to view a larger image.

Display garden - love the foliage colors!

Edible garden
Check out this huge tomato support!
Topiary garden