Sunday, February 16, 2014

Brief and Poorly Photographed Longwood Visit

But it was lovely.  My friends bowed out because of the snow (piles of it in Philadelphia, made driving/parking pretty entertaining).  I circled the gift shop, admiring all the things I won't be able to buy until I finish educating my children, ogled the witch hazels on the hill by the cafe, had a spot of quick lunch admiring some orange-flowered witch hazel whose signpost was under a couple of feet of snow, and then went on to the conservatory.  I took the plant propagation tour, so I got to see one of the enormous greenhouses.  The arrangements are very complicated and clever-- snow melters, automated shadecloth, watering systems with plain water or fertilizer mixed by computer, coolers (to keep plants from blooming till just the right moment), seed-starting, cuttings, etc.  In the conservatory there were grapefruit blossom, lilies, and sweet alyssum smelling divine.  A gardener deadheading camellias gave advice (they are one of the few evergreens that will thrive under trees; winter sun is the killer, desiccates leaves and the roots can't pull up water from the frozen ground).

This is a tall variety of stock (Google search suggested this cultivar might be especially for greenhouses.)  Isn't it luverly?  

Butterfly bush trained as a standard.

This tree is planted quite close to the wall.  It has been discretely pruned to fit.

I also sang at a karaoke bar in Chinatown and visited with a number of friends, so overall it was delightful. However, I have to catch up on hugging my husband.  I'm blogging snuggled up next to him on the couch.  

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