Imagine embarking on a leisurely escape that combines the beauty of nature, the rich history of the Brandywine Valley, and a deep dive into horticultural artistry. If this sounds like your ideal travel adventure, Longwood Gardens has a treat for you. Join in as we explore the release of "Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley," a breathtaking new book celebrating the du Pont family's legacy of land stewardship and horticultural creativity. This literary gem is your ticket to an enchanting journey through gardens that are cultural landmarks in the Brandywine Valley.
Published by Monacelli, "Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley" is a visual masterpiece, boasting 240 pages and 220 exquisite photographs by Larry Lederman. The journey begins with Lederman's personal preface, sharing his unique perspective on these gardens. Charles A. Birnbaum, President and CEO of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, adds depth with an introductory essay on the du Pont family's remarkable landscape legacy. Marta McDowell, a garden writer with a passion for social history, provides insightful text that weaves the stories of these gardens, their history, and their commitment to sustainable management and growth.
"The Brandywine Valley is home to some of the most spectacular gardens in the world," says Paul B. Redman, President and CEO of Longwood Gardens. And he's right. These gardens are a testament to the thoughtful vision of the du Pont family who created and preserved multiple estates for all to enjoy.
The Gardens of the Brandywine Valley
To celebrate the release of "Du Pont Gardens of the Brandywine Valley," a special book signing, and lecture will take place at Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library on Sunday, October 1 at 1 p.m. Marta McDowell will share captivating stories and histories of the gardens, while Larry Lederman will reveal his approach and experiences in photographing these exquisite places throughout the seasons. You'll even have the chance to view a selection of photos from the book. Tickets for the lecture and the opportunity to acquire a signed copy of the book are available on Winterthur’s website.
Since their arrival to America in the 1800s, the du Pont family has left an indelible mark as industrialists, philanthropists, preservationists, collectors, and ecological stewards. Longwood Gardens, one of the crown jewels of the Brandywine Valley, traces its roots back to Pierre S. du Pont's preservation of a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, in 1906. Through this act, Longwood Gardens was born, and it now encompasses 1,100 acres of breathtaking gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, and grand conservatories.
Larry Lederman's vivid photographs capture the essence and spirit of each garden, transitioning gracefully through the seasons, from the tranquility of dawn to the magic of dusk. With individual chapters dedicated to each garden, readers are invited to travel through the naturalized woodlands at Winterthur, embrace the Beaux-Arts elegance of Nemours, explore the picturesque native plant gardens of Mt. Cuba Center, and admire the striking ruins of the Crowninshield Garden at Hagley.
Larry Lederman, a former corporate lawyer turned photographer, has a knack for capturing the beauty of gardens and landscapes throughout the seasons. Marta McDowell, a garden historian and writer, weaves a tapestry of garden design, horticulture, and social history into her writings. Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR, founder, president, and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, is the editor of "Experiencing Olmsted," a survey of parks and public spaces.
This book is more than a literary masterpiece; it's an invitation to explore the gardens that have shaped the region's horticultural heritage. As you embark on this journey, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for nature, preservation, and the enduring beauty of the Brandywine Valley. Don't miss the opportunity to witness the magic of these gardens and the stories they have to share as you turn the pages.
And, we promise, they are even better in person!