Posted tagged ‘Longwood’

October at Longwood – Part 2 – the Meadow Garden

November 1, 2014

When my friend Sarah and I planned our trip to Longwood earlier this month, one of the destinations I had in mind within the gates was its new Meadow Garden. Opened in June of this year, the 86-acre expanse was designed by Jonathan Alderson Landscape Architects and boasts three miles of walking trails and boardwalks that take visitors from the edge of Hourglass Lake up to the Webb Farmhouse and Galleries. We covered a lot of territory (and continued to struggle with the strong sun, photographically) and marveled at how beautiful and wild the garden is. Some friends who had visited in September had been able to see goldenrod in flower, at the end of the summer season, and we were a bit early for strong fall color in the trees. But these images should give you a good idea of how magnificent the space is.

For more information on the Meadow, visit Longwood’s website and this excellent article published by the American Society of Landscape Architects earlier this year when the Meadow Garden opened.

October at Longwood – Part 1

October 17, 2014

Last week a fellow photographer and I took a day trip up to Longwood Gardens. From where we live it’s less than two and half hours’ drive, so we got up early and were at the doors when they opened.

Longwood Gardens

Seasonal plantings – including ‘towers’ of mini-pumpkins – welcome visitors to Longwood Gardens in October.

We were there to explore the new Meadow Garden (the subject of my next post) and see what the Flower Garden Walk and conservatories had to offer before the Chrysanthemum Festival kicks off on October 25th.

The day was beautiful – a virtually cloudless sky and pleasant temperatures. Which meant NOT a good day for trying to photograph the gardens where sunlight was involved. Even with a polarizer, we struggled. Longwood doesn’t allow anyone in before 9 am, and so lovely, soft early morning light wasn’t an option.

We did the best we could, and had a good time. Here are the best shots I could get. Next post – the Meadow Garden.

 

A Longwood Christmas

December 20, 2013
Longwood Gardens
Winterberries and cranes in a central fountain in one of the Longwood Conservatories

Garden Shoots is taking a winter break until January. In the meantime, I’m offering a re-posting of some seasonal images from Longwood Gardens several years ago. Hope you enjoy them!

Most avid gardeners on the East Coast know Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia. Even in the winter, it’s well worth a trip. Two years ago, in early December, my camera club planned a field trip to photograph in the Conservatories, and I went along.

At this time of year, tripods are allowed in the Conservatory areas only in the mornings, so we arrived at 9 am sharp when the doors opened.

Longwood Gardens
Holiday plantings in the Conservatories are on a large scale for maximum impact.

Lighting in these areas is tricky. If the sun is out you can get gorgeous shadows made by the columns and the plantings, but the window areas blow out. If it’s overcast, the lighting is flat but you have fewer problems with shadows and highlights.

Winterberry shrub with poinsettias and decorated trees in the Conservatory at Longwood

We had both kinds of light, but my best images turned out to be those I took when the sky was overcast.

Longwood Gardens
Even the Christmas trees at Longwood are full of surprises – like yarrow as an ornament.

Outside of the main Conservatory halls, there were smaller vistas and views to take in and capture – like the Christmas tree ornaments above. So in the spirit of the holidays, here are some of my best images from that trip. If you haven’t been to Longwood, plan a trip soon.

Longwood, Take Two

November 22, 2013

As readers of my last post know, I had a small mishap when I visited Longwood Gardens in early October – my Nikon D600 and its 16-35mm f/4 lens refused to part company easily after about an hour into my trip. So for the remaining three hours I used my iPhone 5 with various apps (primarily Camera+ and Pro HDR) to take photos. You can see those here.

Then I headed home – only to have a much bigger mishap in the form of my car’s fuel pump giving out. Long story short, I ended up renting a car about thirty minutes south of Longwood while the car sat in a garage awaiting for a new Subaru fuel pump to arrive and be installed.

So the next Tuesday, I returned to Kennett Square before picking up the car and took along my D300 because the D600 and lens had been shipped off to Nikon for de-coupling.  I really missed the full-frame aspect, but the D300 is a trooper and I came back with some good shots. Here’s a sampling of them, and yes, I will take a DSLR over my iPhone any day when I’m after seriously good images. . .

Longwood via iPhone

November 8, 2013

In early October, my camera club organized a field trip to Longwood Gardens. I had agreed to co-lead the trip, after having helped with a presentation on garden photography the previous month. Since I hadn’t been to Longwood in a while, I was looking forward to photographing its early-fall glories with my new D600. That lasted for about an hour after we arrived. Then calamity struck. The wide-angle lens I was using turned recalcitrant and wouldn’t detach from the camera.

So for the rest of the day, I used my iPhone. I can’t claim these are terrific images, but once again it had become the best camera I had with me (since I’d foolishly forgotten to bring my D300 as a backup body).

Next time there will be D300 photos from a return trip I made a week later (for reasons too sad and banal to bother with here). But for now, enjoy the iPhone 5 images.

Longwood’s October Glories

October 9, 2010

Last weekend I was at the Chanticleer Master Garden Photography Workshop in Wayne, PA.  On my way there, I spent a little time at Longwood Gardens. In early October, it’s a bit soon for mums to be in peak form in the Conservatories, but I explored the Children’s Garden and found a couple of other shots worth sharing.

Longwood’s renowned Chrysanthemum Festival doesn’t start until November 1st (check out this amazing YouTube video about how a “Thousand Bloom” plant is produced. Yoko Awakara, the artist at Longwood in charge of this undertaking, was in my photography class at Chanticleer this year. She could be heard muttering, “I should be at Longwood . . .”) Nonetheless, there were chrysanthemums in the Conservatories,

Longwood Gardens

Orange mums and grasses

Longwood Gardens, Conservatories

Solidago in a Conservatory container, with a haze of chrysanthemums and grasses behind.

 

as well as outdoors.

 

Longwood Gardens, Flower Garden Walk

Pink mums will soon bloom, setting off other annuals in the Flower Garden Walk.

I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the spaces looked, even in the in-between season of not-quite-true-fall that early October represents. Longwood is always full of well-composed scenes for the visitor and photographer, like those above, and these sights in the central Conservatory area.

Longwood Garden, Conservatory

A group of chairs await visitors in the Conservatory.

Longwood Gardens, Conservatory

More solidago, this time in a container with a tiered design.

To be honest, while I love photographing scenes like these, it was in the Children’s Garden in the Conservatory that I had the most fun. I’ll leave you with two images of innovative ways water features have been worked into what is a very compact space, to delight visitors young and old.

Longwood Garden, Children's Garden

Near the entrance to the Children's Garden, jets of water dart across a mural at intervals.

Longwood Gardens, Children's Garden

A pair of sculptured birds "blow bubbles" in this fountain every thirty or forty seconds.

Note: This weekend, Longwood is opening its new East Conservatory Plaza and the world’s “largest green wall.” For more information, check out Jane Berger’s post on Garden Design Online. Yet another reason to plan a visit there!

Seasons’ Greetings from Longwood

December 22, 2009
Longwood Gardens

Winterberries and cranes in a central fountain in one of the Longwood Conservatories

Garden Shoots is taking a winter break until January. In the meantime, I’m offering a re-posting of some seasonal images from Longwood Gardens several years ago. Hope you enjoy them!

Most avid gardeners on the East Coast know Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia. Even in the winter, it’s well worth a trip. Two years ago, in early December, my camera club planned a field trip to photograph in the Conservatories, and I went along.

At this time of year, tripods are allowed in the Conservatory areas only in the mornings, so we arrived at 9 am sharp when the doors opened.

Longwood Gardens

Holiday plantings in the Conservatories are on a large scale for maximum impact.

Lighting in these areas is tricky. If the sun is out you can get gorgeous shadows made by the columns and the plantings, but the window areas blow out. If it’s overcast, the lighting is flat but you have fewer problems with shadows and highlights.

Winterberry shrub with poinsettias and decorated trees in the Conservatory at Longwood

We had both kinds of light, but my best images turned out to be those I took when the sky was overcast.

Longwood Gardens

Even the Christmas trees at Longwood are full of surprises – like yarrow as an ornament.

Outside of the main Conservatory halls, there were smaller vistas and views to take in and capture – like the Christmas tree ornaments above. So in the spirit of the holidays, here are some of my best images from that trip. If you haven’t been to Longwood, plan a road trip soon.


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