Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Magical Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Christmas is a magical time--no more so than at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. The holiday would not be complete for me without our annual winter visit. This year was no exception. We spent time there earlier in December, raising my mood and putting me in the Christmas spirit. 

Following an established routine, on arrival we left the visitors' center and headed for the conservatory, anticipating some stunning displays. We were not disappointed as you can see from the scene that greeted us as we entered the building ...

The Conservatory, Longwood Gardens

A close-up shot of the tree in the previous picture

Plants with winter-interest, such as red-twig dogwood, winterberry holly, and poinsettia, dominated the main display. I have red-twig dogwood 'Arctic Fire' in my garden, but I'm ashamed to say that I have no winterberry. I plan to rectify this in 2022. I'm not too fond of poinsettia, except for the double one shown below. 

Winterberry holly Ilex verticallata 'Maryland beauty', Poinsettia Euphorbia pulcherrima, Redtwig dogwood Cornus stolonfera
While I don't care for single, red poinsettia, I do like this yellow one. It looks quite striking with the Kalanchoe.

'Golden Glo' poinsettia and Kalanchoe

My favorite display in the conservatory--no words needed

I always enjoy perusing the trees decorated by children. This year the children's tree exhibit was in the ballroom. 

Trees in the Children's Tree Display

An ornament made by a child. I love the sentiment of the angels bringing peace.

There are many plants to enjoy other than those typical of Christmas. Here are a few of my favorites, especially the orchids, from the 'hundreds' of photographs I took:

Bird of Paradise Strelitzia reginae
Hybrid grapefruit Citrus 'Oroblanco'
A hanging basket of orchids

Moth orchid Phalaenopsis hybrid

I've had no success growing one orchid, let alone a hanging basket full of them, so I need places like Longwood to give me my 'orchid fix.' There is a new orchid display area under construction. In the meantime, there were plenty to see and admire.

A few beauties from the orchid display


The Green Wall always intrigues me. I never fail to go find it, and not just because of its location by the restrooms.  How I would love to grow a living wall like this:

A very small part of the Green Wall that is on both sides of a long corridor.

Entering the Exhibition Hall we admired the table decorated for the Christmas meal. As with all the exhibits at Longwood, it is very different each year. 


My Christmas table wasn't so fancy.

Leaving the conservatory, we strolled around the grounds, enjoying the garden railway, warming our hands at a firepit, and watching a fountain show at the open air theatre. The trees were covered in lights, but as we were there earlier in the day, we didn't get to see all their festive glory. My friend, Christine, visited at nighttime and sent me the following pictures. Thank you, Christine.

A Longwood Christmas after dark

I hope Christmas 2021 was a magical time for those of you who celebrated it--as it was for me. For the new year, I wish all of you peace and happiness, dear gardening friends.

 Stay safe!

Pamela x

Guzmania 'Hope'

I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you were here! 

I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. How lucky you are to live near Longwood! I didn’t make it to Franklin Park Conservatory this holiday season, perhaps I’ll go in January when the crowds go away. They usually have such lovely orchids.

    1. I feel blessed to live close enough to Philadelphia that I can easily visit several magnificent public gardens. It's good that we have one, Longwood, open during the winter months.

  2. Wow that looks a wonderful place to visit at Christmas, so much to admire! Hope you had a good Christmas.
    Sarah x

    1. We had a wonderful Christmas, thank you. As you can see from the picture of the dinner table, there were eight of us--all vaxxed and boostered, of course. Great family get-together.

    2. It was wonderful to have family Christmas lunch together this year (altho we were cautious and husband and I sat at a separate table by an open window - UNmasked indoors is too risky for him)

  3. What a wonderful place to visit, so much to see. Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and peaceful 2022.

  4. Absolutely magnificent. My favorites are those beautiful orchids.

    1. Mine too. I so envy people who can grow them successfully!

  5. A beautiful visit! Glad you made it down again and were able to enjoy the display and I wish you a happy New Year. Funny that I looked out this morning and decided this garden also needs more dogwood and winterberry :)

    1. So much planning to do for the next season. My wish list continues to grow.

  6. Pam, those photos are magical! They were the next best thing to being there. Oh, and your table setting was every bit as beautiful as the Longwood decor. Thank you for sharing; you have made 2021 end on a lovely, festive note. Love, Janet

    1. Thank you, Janet, for your kind words! My table looked better when I added the wine glasses.

  7. This is so beautiful Pam and yes…indeed magical. Thank you for the smile and wishing you a wonderful 2022, filled with good health, happiness and gardens that thrive!

    1. '... gardens that thrive!' --a wonderful wish. Lee. Thank you.

  8. I would love to see it at any time of year, but it looks like it's particularly fabulous during the holidays. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos!

  9. Pam, these photos are beautiful. I enjoyed them all and I see we had similar interest in the horticulture. Longwood is a magical place and as you noted its a seasonal treat!
    The night time pictures look awesome with yours, I'm glad they worked for you.
    Missing you..
    Stay well...Christine