Longwood Gardens consists of about 1,100 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows located on US Route 1, about 3 miles northeast of Kennett Square (PA) in the Brandywine Creek Valley.
It is regarded as one of the premier botanical gardens in the U.S.
Industrialist Pierre S. du Pont (1870–1954) purchased the property now called Longwood Gardens to save its arboretum from being sold for lumber. The arboretum was then considered one of the finest collections of trees in the U.S.
He made it his private estate, and from 1906 until the 1930s, du Pont added extensively to the property. A world traveler from an early age, du Pont was often inspired to add features to the garden after attending world's fairs, the most notable additions being a massive conservatory and an extensive system of outdoor fountains (pictured above).
Following the completion of the fountains, du Pont began planning for the sustained life of Longwood Gardens after his death. According to his 1946 will filed in Delaware, he founded Longwood Foundation Inc. and left most of his estate "for the maintenance and improvement of the gardens."
Upon du Pont’s unexpected death in April 1954, Henry B. du Pont, president of the Longwood Foundation, announced, "There will be no change in our long-standing policy of opening the gardens and greenhouse to the public every day in the week."
58 years later, that policy is still in effect.
Image by Ron Cogswell on June 30, 2012, using a Nikon D80 and minor Photoshop effects.