Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A visit to Longwood gardens

A few weeks ago we had reason to drive to the other side of Philadelphia, about 2 hours away, to pick up a great machine we bought, a Gravely mini-tractor! The pick up place was only 10 min from Longwood Gardens, one of the most famous gardens in the US, so of course we had to stop and visit.  I have been there several times, but each time is a little different.  It was an overcast day, and pretty hot, but still a real garden experience.  Here are some impressions, and click on the photos for larger versions on Flickr.

topiary craziness
This just doesn't do it for me.  Totally artificial, and all about having controlling power over nature and shape it into unnatural forms. Topiary craziness, indeed.

pomegranate bonsai
Bonsais, like this pomegranate, are also about power over nature, but somehow this is more based on nature's own circumstances.  The plants will simply die if you don't take care of them at all, and the plants are meant to look natural, even if in smaller, dwarfish shapes.

palm house
The palm house with cycads and Monstera's is always such a lush and overwhelming place.

greenhouses and waterlilies
I love the water lily ponds.  Even if they add black dye to the water to get better reflections.

curtain and plants
From inside the greenhouse, between one of the greenhouse rooms and a music room.  I liked the contrast between the soft fabric and the climbing plant.

tree fern greenhouse
Nice reflections in the sunken tree fern greenhouse, with pink plumerias.
In the tree house you can listened to the sound of the forest. We didn't hear anything.  It is not only light pollution at night around here, but also sound pollution in the daytime.

the green of the Northeastern US forest
Green, green, green forest. Nice.

"clean dirt"\
From the Du Pont Mansion's exhibit: Just like this figure caption, my mother also told us to differentiate between 'clean dirt' and 'dirty dirt'.  The clean stuff was, for example, if you dropped your sandwich in the forest and it was down for a few seconds, then you could pick it up, blow the pine needles off, and then continue eating it.  Dirty dirt was somehow more related to humans and other animals.

too neat (and totally weed-less)
Too perfect landscaping is boring and stressful.  It is like a painting with geometric shapes, not how living things really want to be. Again, all about control.  this kind of landscaping is like painting with plants, forcing them into your own design, without any respect to them and what they can and will do. And not a weed, as far as yo can see.

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