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Longwood Gardens Orchid Extravaganza

Submitted by on February 1, 2017 – 8:49 amNo Comment
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orchids, Longwood Gardens, PennsylvaniaRoad Trips Gardeners longing for the sight of flowers should plan a visit to the “Orchid Extravaganza” at Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Inside the heated four-acre conservatory are thousands of colorful orchid blooms displayed in extraordinary ways now through March 31, 2017. In all, there are more than 4,500 blooming orchids including Cattleya, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, and Oncidium, among others.

In the East Conservatory, a towering arch of pink Phalaenopsis welcomes guests to the Conservatory, while huge orbs of pink Phalaenopsis orchids hang above the Exhibition Hall.

Longwood’s orchid curtain returns standing 17-feet high featuring 625 purple Phaleanopsis and Cattleya orchids in bloom. Urns of mixed colors of Cymbidiums line the yellow-blooming Acacia Passage while the Silver Garden features 200 hanging mixed color Vanda orchids suspended over the walkway.

This year, the orchid rarity Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian ‘V3’ returns in white, pink, and purple blooms. New this year, 100 ‘V3’ orchids will be suspended in six 24-inch baskets above the Center Walk. Grown by experts in Taiwan, the orchids are notable for the sheer number of flowers blooming at one time on each flower stalk, the perfect unity of the flower pairs on each stalk, and the longevity of the orchid blooms. The magnificent blooms are achieved by carefully cultivating the plant for about four years under specific environmental conditions that involve a strict nutritional regime and precise watering practices. As the flower spikes develop, the plants are placed facing south and the spikes are trained along a curved metal stake to yield the formal, draping presentation guests see.

Additional indoor highlights include the Mediterranean Garden, a riot of vibrant color January through April with Australian purple coral-pea (Hardenbergia) vines blooming like miniature wisteria; while the Estate Fruit House displays nectarines, melons, and other fruits and vegetables flourishing in the midst of winter.

In early March, Longwood’s famed Blue Poppy (Meconopsis) returns to the Conservatory. These flowers — which are native to the high elevations of the Himalayan Mountains — are grown using a special technique to force the blue-poppies to flower in March. The substantial petals are a sky blue color.

OrKid Days are designed for young garden guests, with special activities designed just for them. Discovery stations, interactive storytelling, and a family seek-and-find are a few of the activities for children (upcoming OrKID Days are February 20, and March 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At 8 p.m. February 28, 2017, Simone Dinnerstein performs her experimental classical folk and rock collaborations. The New York-based pianist will perform Franz Schubert’s Impromptus and Philip Glass’ Etudes. At 8 p.m. March 31, 2017, the most recent winner of the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition, Joshua Stafford, returns to perform. Special tickets are required for the performances and can be purchased online.

Longwood Gardens‘ horticultural displays encompass 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Admission is $23 for adults; $20 for seniors (age 62+); $13 for students (ages 5–18 or with valid student ID) and free ages 4 and under.

(Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens)

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