Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens gets makeover

    The garden built by the DuPont family a 100 years ago is famous for its lush plants and dramatic fountains.

    Longwood Gardens is getting a makeover. The garden built by the DuPont family a 100 years ago is famous for its lush plants and dramatic fountains.

    The front end and the back end of Longwood Gardens will see some of the first changes. A Rotterdam-based consulting company has advised Longwood to change the front parking lot so visitors will have a garden experience immediately, and open up the unseen back acres to visitors.

    Currently only about one-third of Longwood’s 1,000-plus acres is available to the public. Sharon Loving, the head of horticulture, says most of the property is used to support those carefully maintained 380 acres.

    “We have an extensive compost and soil operation,” says Loving. “That’s not to say any of that would change, but I think there’s an opportunity to share that with our guests. We have ecosystems on our property that our guests can’t get to at the moment – wetlands.  That is more the aspect that we want to enhance.”

    The physical changes are part of a 40-year strategic plan that is being drafted. The plan will also include education and arts programming. Last year Longwood entered into an agreement with the Curtis Institute of Music to present student recitals in the garden.

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