Many of the botanical gardens in the United States are resplendent at Christmas time. When we were visiting the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in September, Santa’s elves (with decidedly green thumbs) were already at hard work on a holiday display that my Maine family describes as breathtaking.
This year, we had a family day-out to take in the holiday splendor at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania’s historic and quite beautiful Brandywine Valley. We have Pierre S. DuPont to thank for Longwood’s 1,000-plus acres of great beauty, but I’ll leave you to read about their history on the website. The Gardens feature magnificent displays year-round, as well as concerts and other special events; but “A Longwood Christmas” is by the far the brightest—pun intended—jewel in the crown. The Christmas spectacular reportedly draws some 400,000 visitors a year and features some 500,000 lights. Be forewarned: if you go before January 5, or next Christmas, you need to purchase tickets in advance and plan extra time for arrival because traffic entering the grounds is consistently bumper to bumper.
The display in the cover photo, with its giant-sized ornaments and trailing gold ribbon, quite simply knocked my socks off. There was more to photograph than I could manage in the heavy crowd, both inside and throughout the display that winds through the gardens and woods outside, illuminating the trees and night sky. Still, I thought I should share even these few shots with you, as we wrap up Christmas 2019.