Orchid orbs hang over the Conservatory’s center walk like static fireworks.
Just eight days before our kiddo arrived I visited Longwood Gardens for the first time and fell in love. My mum (BLESS HER) bought us a family membership on the spot and we’ve been at least once every single month since, which means Imogen knows the place as well as anything else in her tiny life — and most likely believes herself a DuPont. JWM and I had a good laugh as we arrived this last weekend, imagining her internal monologue while we rolled her up the lawn toward the Conservatory. “Ah yes, the family estate; I must remember to drop by the potting house to ensure the lilies are set for planting by the twenty-eighth.” Being greeted at the greenhouses by staff (“Morning, Miss Imogen”); replying to all by name (“Benjamin! Beautiful work in the Rose House. Oh, Colin? Could you take a turn about the topiary garden with me later this afternoon? I’m not quite convinced of the trapezoidal yew at the southwest end.”); tallying visitors with the warm smile of a proud benefactress (“Delightful! I do so enjoy mingling with the public.”).
It was a good day all-round to pretend oneself landed gentry; the weather was nothing short of spectacular, reminiscent of a bright British morning on the South Downs, and we spent just as much time outside as in.
1/2: the Central Exhibition Hall restored to reflecting glass after a Christmas stint as classical parterre; JWM & Imo pose alongside one of two orchid pillars flanking the hall’s Orangery side.
3–5: the Palm House, full-height-full-sun; favorite corypha utan; favorite bb girl.
6–9: prettiest peachiest palette along Orangery path; Imogen in awe; bonsai glade and black bamboo.
10–12: orchid arch in the East Conservatory; daffodils (!!) in the Estate Fruit House.
13: looking east into the Rose House from the Cascade Garden — with camellias in full bloom and the sun at a spring’s slant it felt like Coronado.
14: over 200 Vanda orchids suspended from the Silver Garden ceiling. Did you know that orchids grow in trees?! Most of Longwood’s orchids are epiphytic, meaning they take their necessary nutrients from the air and rain and floating debris rather than soil. This display allows you to see Vanda as you might in the wild, roots exposed.
15: requisite portrait in our desert away from desert; plant ombre courtesy (top to bottom) New Zealand Karakanut, Grey Melaleuca, Silver Queen snake-plant, and Maui Wormwood.