Longwood's history dates from 1700 when the property was sold to the Peirce family by fellow Quaker William Penn. In 1978, brothers Samuel and Joshua Peirce began collecting and planting trees that became known as Peirce's Park. Pierre du Pont brought the property in 1906 to save the trees when they were about to cut for timber.
Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954), chairman of the DuPont and General Motors Companies, was Longwood's owner and architect. As he developed the property, he continued the pierce tradition of welcoming the public to share its beauty. After his death he left the Gardens "for the sole use of the public for purpose of exhibition, instruction, education, and enjoyment." Today Longwood Gardens, Inc., is a private not-for-profit organization receiving no government funds. Primary funding comes from Mr. du Pont's endowment, admission income, and the Longwood Gardens Shop. Four hundred employees, students, and volunteers, including more than 50 gardeners, keep Longwood's 1, 050 acres beautiful.
Longwood Gardens are open for visitors every day of the year. Open hours vary depending on the season. There are frequent visitor passes available. They are good for one to three years of unlimited visits. Besides, there are education courses, professional gardener training program, internship program, and international student program offered. You may walk there on your own or order a guided tour.
Average times and distances for walking to various garden locations are calculated from the Visitor Center passage.
CARUOTERIES ALLEE - 3 min., 1/8 mile. Terminated with one of three Longwood Love Temples, the double rows of blue caryopteris and white hibiscus standard bloom in late summer.
CHIMES TOWER - 9 min., 1/4 mile. The 61-foot tower was created partly from stone unearthed during the construction of the Main Fountain Garden.
CONIFER KNOLL- 8 min., 1/4 mile. Mature specimens of the majestic evergreens dominate the sloping landscape.
EYE OF WATER - 6 min., 1/5 mile. This unusual water feature sirs above the 90, 000-gallon reservoir that supplies the Waterfall and the Main Fountain Garden.
FLOWER GARNED DRIVE - 2 min., 100 yards. A 600-foot-long avenue is bordered by a magnificent allee of 27 huge bald-cypresses.
FLOWER GARDEN WALK - 4 min., 1/8 mile. Originally created by Pierre du Pont, the brick walk is bordered by an exuberant display of flowers in the spring, summer and fall.
FOREST WALK - 8 min., 1/4 mile. This natural woodland walk features native tress and shrubs.
FROG HOLLOW - 7 min., 1/4 mile. Daffodils, magnolias, and grape-hyacinths fill this moist, low-lying area with color in April.
HILLSIDE GARDEN - 6 min., 1/3 mile. Beautiful blooms can be found along sloping paths from March through October.
HOURGLASS LAKE - 10 min., 1/3 mile. This wooden bridge spanning the lake is a good point from which to search for birds, fish, and other lake inhabitants.
IDEA GARDEN - 10 min., 1/3 mile. This five-acre demonstration garden features ideas and information for the home gardener.
LARGE AND SMALL LAKES - 9 min., 1/4 mile. The spring-fed lakes team with fish, frogs, and waterfowl.
LILACS - 4 min., 1/6 mile. 70 different lilac varieties bloom in white, pink, and purple in late April and May.
MEADOW - 15 min., 1/2 mile. This managed meadow, with meandering mowed paths, glows with colorful wildflowers in late summer and fall.
OAK KNOLL - 6 min., 1/5 mile. This tranquil park-like area is carpeted with millions of delicate early spring bulbs from March through April.
PEONY GARDEN - 4 min., 1/10 mile. Tree peonies, irises, and goldenchain trees bloom in May.
PEIRCE'S WOODS - 6 min., 1/5 mil. An "art form" garden of native woodland plants, featuring fragrant native azaleas, peaks in April and May.
THEATRE GARDEN - 2 min., 75 yards. Muted colors and extravagant textures are featured in this small walled garden.
And this is not a full list of beautiful garden locations that may be found in Longwood Gardens.
Walk and enjoy.