Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens
Bonsai Chrysanthemums. Photo credit by Isabella Dahms.
Just a 20-minute drive from the University of West Chester campus, Longwood Gardens is a must-see. With exhibitions all year round, there is always something new to discover in the expansive gardens. On October 16, Longwood Gardens began its Chrysanthemum Festival, in addition to a fall pumpkin display at the front of the gardens. With thousands of plants of Asian origin on display, this exhibit is artfully thought out and beautifully executed. I’m so glad I had the chance to visit before the festival ends on November 14th.
The growers behind the display started training the chrysanthemums almost a year ago, so they would be ready to go in October. There are many specifics to keeping the display image perfect, many of which are weather related, but these professionals have produced a beautiful color display with these chrysanthemums.
What was once a land dominated by the Lenni Lenape tribe and farmers, the area was bought by Pierre S. du Pont, who ignited his love of gardening by opening Longwood Gardens, where chrysanthemums were first seen as that they are now. His house still sits on the property and guests are welcome to come inside. Currently, charming little chrysanthemum bonsai are on display for guests to view.
As you stroll through Longwood Gardens, you will see flower paths, large fountains, and even a few treehouses. The fountains were really amazing and it felt like walking around Greece or Italy. However, by far the most impressive attraction is the veranda. Upon entering, one encounters thousands of flowers, greenery and architecture. It’s so beautiful that we see couples taking engagement or wedding photos in several places. I even noticed that an event that I assumed was a wedding was held in the conservatory which made it a beautiful venue.
My favorite part was the veranda, as there were only endless flowers to see and a unique new display with every glance. Also, I thought the Chrysanthemum Bonsais were unique; I’ve never seen anything like it before, and it added a fun cultural aspect to the midst of the history of Maison du Pont. In addition, I shared this moment with my grandmother. We stopped by Starbucks before heading to the gardens for a lovely day and ended with a dinner together so I will cherish this memory.
The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and you can purchase tickets either at the door or pre-order online. If you’re 18 or under, tickets are just $ 13, and students also get a discount with tickets just $ 22 to enjoy this wonderful display. The Garden Railway and the fountains of the open-air theater are also currently on display. Plus, starting November 19, it’s Longwood Christmas, with a fire and ice theme for the 2021 season. I could go on talking about it, but it’s really something nature lovers should see in person.
Isabella Dahms is a first year secondary school student in English. [email protected]