A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Christmas Lights at Longwood Gardens

Believe it or not, all of the pictures I posted the last two days represent only half of the conservatory. I'm not going to post the photos of the rest of the conservatory right now. There is still weeks and weeks of winter left and I know that periodically I will feel the need for green. Those will be great times to revisit those pictures.

I would like to finish up with some pictures of the Christmas lights at Longwood. There are over 420,000 lights both indoors and outdoors. Sunday was the last day for the lights and there were still crowds streaming in when we left at 6 PM. I have to warn you. The pictures aren't very good. My camera isn't one of those fancy ones where you can vary the exposure and my batteries were on their last legs.

One of my favorite Christmas displays was of wreaths made by students. They were incredibly creative.

This one was my personal favorite:

After we finished our tour of the conservatory, we headed outdoors and did a very brief tour of the grounds. It was still light enough to see the gardens. Of course, I had to take pictures of the ornamental grasses.

Nope, they don't look any better than the ones I helped plant at Rutgers Gardens last spring. Right next to the ornamental grasses is a Children's Garden. I loved this "throne".

I had a tough time getting this shot because the children playing in the garden all wanted to pose in the chair for me! Further on are the veggie beds. There is nothing in them now, but I liked the birdhouse gourds.

See the lights in the tree behind it? What I want to know is, who climbed all the trees to put lights in them?
Here's a better shot of the "tree" to the left:

They had whole rows of these "trees".

This is a shot of the Italian Garden all done up in blue lights. You can't see any detail, but it gives you an idea of the incredible numbers of lights.

Here's a neat shot down an avenue. See the bright lights in the middle of the picture?

They're "lilac bushes"!

I'm dying to know. Did they use ladders or a cherry picker to get up there?
Oh, darn. I only got one side. This was an avenue with green and red "trees" lining both sides.

And remember the little flower lights outside the restaurant? Here's some more all lit up.

As we headed towards the Visitor Center (the bright light on the left) on our way out, we wondered . . .

. . . do they take the lights down each year or do they leave them up year-round and only illuminate them during the holidays?

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to going back during the growing season. Next time I'm going to bring more batteries and something to take notes on.


At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

Oh, you, lucky gardener to get to Longwood Gardens. I have that one on my list. Excellent photos & now I feel as if I did get to visit. It must have been wonderful seeing all the plants & colors & lights. Thanks for sharing!

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Sylvana said...

I love the way that they did the trees so that it looks like the actual tree is red, not just a tree draped with lights.

At 1:05 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Thank you, Judith. I hope you do get to Longwood Gardens. It is definitely worth the trip.

I agree, Sylvana. Someone(s) put in a lot of time and effort wrapping lights around so many trees.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello. I too have heard about Longwood gardens and would love to go there someday. Your photos are lovely. I love the red and white plantings with all the green...so pretty, and yes, so many lights....so much work! I hope they have an easy way to get up that high. My hubby and I went to the Philedelphia flower show for the first time last year and oh, what a treat. To see that much color in winter...pure delight!

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

I really do know how to spell Philadelphia :) We are below Utica, between Syracuse and Albany. Stop by again!

At 12:45 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Great photos and thanks for sharing. I wonder if they go up and replace burnt lights or leave them alone until it is it time to bring the strings down.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Leah said...

How great to find your garden blog! I noticed your post at cincinatti cape code and was pleasantly surprised to find that you live in my neck of the woods (or I live in yours, I guess). I grew up in Middlesex County and moved to Somerset then Morris County when I got married a few years ago. But I drove past Rutgers Gardens every day on my way to school for 12 years, and we used to take my Grandma to Longwood Gardens on her birthday! Back then, the place held no significance to me, but boy how I would love it now! Funny how things change as you get older.

So anyway, thanks for posting all those photos - they're making me want to go back with my garden journal and camera to take loooots of pictures. Lovin' the lighted lilac bushes ;)

(my blog about our house and yard)


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