Longwood Gardens, Wilmington's neighbor to the north-west, near Kennett Square, PA, plans five spectacular seasonal displays and nearly 600 daily horticultural, educational, performing arts, and holiday programs for 2019. One of the great gardens of the world and home to the most significant fountain collection in North America, Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden will again dazzle guests with daily fountain performances and Illuminated Fountain Performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, beginning May 9. Other favorite events return including the spring bulb display that showcases more than 250,000 bulbs in spectacular bloom; a year-round performing arts series featuring concerts, musicals, and other performances; and the popular holiday display, A Longwood Christmas.
The outdoor gardens and Conservatory open at 9 am every day of the year. Closing time varies by season, as the Gardens frequently remain open later for special events, Illuminated Fountain Performances, and the holiday display.
2019 Highlights at Longwood Gardens
Orchid Extravaganza: January 19–March 24. Longwood transforms its Conservatory into an orchid oasis as colorful blooms cascade down walls, spill from containers, and hang from above throughout Longwood’s 4.5 acres of indoor gardens. Outdoors, vibrant witch hazel punctuate the landscape and entice guests to stroll the beautiful subtlety of winter. In early March, Longwood’s famed blue-poppies (Meconopsis 'Lingholm'), known for their unique blue hue, returns to the Conservatory for a limited time. Longwood has successfully produced a crop of blue-poppies each winter since 2003.
Spring Blooms: March 30–May 5. Relish being outdoors as Longwood’s 1,083 acres herald the arrival of spring. Enjoy our spectacular outdoor spring bulb display, culminating in a rainbow of more than 250,000 spring bulbs blooming in our famed Flower Garden Walk and Idea Garden. Flowering trees, shrubs, and other burgeoning blooms entice guests to explore the splendor of our landscape.
Festival of Fountains: May 9–September 29. Summer at Longwood makes a splash as the Gardens’ fountain collection jets to life. The Main Fountain Garden offers jaw-dropping performances daily and extended hours for Illuminated Fountain Performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. A number of new shows will be added for guests to enjoy highlighting a number of musical genres. Guests can also enjoy the Open Air Theatre fountains, which perform daily, as well as the picturesque Italian Water Garden, which offers a cool respite from the warm summer sun.
The wildly popular Fireworks & Fountains Shows return with six new shows: May 26, July 3, July 20, August 10, September 1, and September 28. Other performing arts highlights include the return of the Wine & Jazz Festival on June 1 featuring live jazz music and wines from around the region and world.
Festival of Fountains also features the Gardens in their summer splendor. Flowering annuals and perennials abound, as well as our breathtaking Waterlily Display that showcases aquatic plants from all over the world. Guests can also embark on a walk in the expansive Meadow Garden, enjoy a shaded stroll among Longwood’s historic trees, and enjoy sitting under the stars with family and friends in our popular Beer Garden.
Wine and Jazz tickets go on sale March 13 at 9 am. General admission tickets for Festival of Fountains and Fireworks and Fountains Shows go on sale April 8 at 9 am.
Autumn’s Colors: October 3–November 17. The Gardens embrace the harvest season with pumpkins and thousands of chrysanthemums indoors and out. Our miniature Garden Railway delights guests young and old with its fanciful cars and engines and our fountain shows continue daily through October 27, with Illuminated Fountain Performances every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening through October 26. Also in October we welcome master artisans from Japan who will create large-scale Ikebana displays, the ancient Japanese art of floral arranging. Chrysanthemum Festival (October 24–November 17) spotlights Longwood’s horticulture expertise as chrysanthemums are crafted and grown into extraordinary shapes, some taking as long as 18 months to complete. The highlight of the display is the Thousand Bloom Mum, a single chrysanthemum that boasts more than 1,500 uniform blooms on a single plant.
A Longwood Christmas: November 22, 2019–January 5, 2020. Thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees, and fragrant flowers transform the Conservatory into a warm holiday wonderland. Outdoors, more than 500,000 decorative lights glitter in more than 100 trees and colorful fountain displays set to holiday music enchant visitors. Evening choral concerts, strolling carolers, and organ sing-alongs fill the Gardens with the festive sounds of the holiday.
Year-round in the Gardens
There is something to discover every day of the year at Longwood. The Indoor Children’s Garden is home to a creative crew of garden residents, innovative water features, and an amazing palette of plants to inspire imaginations of all ages. The Meadow Garden offers 86 acres and more than 3 miles of walking trails. Three imaginative treehouses delight the young and young at heart. Longwood’s Education Programs encourage gardening at all levels. Classes and lectures on garden-related subjects are offered year-round, as well as student programs for those interested in horticulture as a profession. For information visit longwoodgardens.org.
About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre S. du Pont (1870–1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing more than 1,000 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, and fountains, and home to a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre Conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship, and community engagement.
Longwood Gardens is open daily (including holidays) and is located on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA, 12 miles north-west of Wilmington, Delaware. Admission is $23 for adults; $20 for seniors (age 62+); $20 for college students (with valid ID) $12 for youth (ages 5–18 or with valid student ID) and free ages 4 and under. Timed tickets should be purchased in advance. Group rates available. Details at longwoodgardens.org.