Longwood Gardens is essentially a spectacular amusement park for garden people. Even with a significant portion of the conservatory under construction until 2024, we easily spent six hours on the campus.
We enjoyed a late lunch in The Terrace café, then started our tour with an overview of the history of the property in the nearby Carriage house.
Treehouses with elevated views of the forests are scattered around the garden. The novelty is fun for kids and the woodwork and architecture is interesting to adults.
We were glad we had purchased tickets before arriving; many time slots were already sold out the day we planned to visit. Re-entry was also not allowed, so we made sure to have everything we needed before we showed our admission confirmation at the back doors of the visitor center.
We spent 1/3 of our visit in the Conservatory. One of our favorite rooms was The Acacia Passage, a stunning display of floor to ceiling cinnamon wattle (Acacia leprosa).
Indoor Children’s Garden
In 2009 I attended a lecture by the landscape architect that designed the Indoor Children’s Garden at Longwood. True to their vision, it feels like visiting a child’s version of an Italian castle. Colorful and interesting plants enhance the landscape, but unlike other children’s gardens it is more experiential than educational. There are small secret passages and interactive water features around each corner.
Light: Installations by Bruce Munro
Through October 30, 2022
We were able to see both daytime fountain shows; the more historic seated show in the Open Air Theater and the Main Fountain. Both were also narrated to explain the mechanics and history of the fountains. Guests were leaving chairs for the 8:15pm lighted show as early as 5pm, and considering the crowds we opted to skip it. Even without attending the show, we saw the fountains colorfully lit at night.