In the Sept/Oct 2019 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, New York Times best-selling author and Hunter College creative writing professor Téa Obreht said, “I’ve come to realize how specific places have an effect on your mind, your imagination, your relationship to self, the person that you feel you are. You feel these seismic changes in your psychology when you move.”
This quote has stayed with me for awhile. Every place I’ve traveled to left a major impact. Maine taught me that nature is precious, December days in Quebec solidified my belief that this Canadian province is an absolute winter wonderland, and Denmark stressed the importance of staying happy and cozy (Hygge, anyone?). Even your state can teach you lessons: Living in a place like New York is awesome because it inspires you to strive higher and you get the empowering feeling that you’re part of something bigger.
Obreht’s quote is proof that your environment can shape how you feel. I think that those who love to travel can relate to her quote.
Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley sure knows how to lift your mood and relax you. Following my visit last month, I can now say that I’ve visited the gardens in all of the four seasons.
I visited this amazing place last month to see the Chrysanthemum Festival. The stunning flowers were on display in the four-acre conservatory (The conservatory was also home to the world’s second-largest mum-more on that later!)
Keep scrolling to see the photos, to read more about this experience, and to learn some more facts about what it took to produce such an event! What’s incredible about Longwood Gardens is that you can also enjoy their outdoor spaces once you’ve finished touring the conservatory. By the way, I felt safe: Masks are mandated, the conservatory is one-way, there are hand sanitizer stations everywhere, and the sheer size of the gardens means that it’s not difficult to social distance.
The first thing you see when entering the conservatory is the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum. It’s 12 feet wide and consists of 1,500 flowers!
More photos that show what’s inside the conservatory. During lockdown earlier this year, employees took care of 50 types of chrysanthemums.
Longwood Gardens has over 200 types of chrysanthemums. 50 were selected for this festival.
Here’s what you’ll see as you further walk down the conservatory. The third photo above shows chrysanthemum bonsais!
The above photos show the desert room of the conservatory! It’s a cool place with cacti.
One of the greatest things about spending an autumn day at Longwood Gardens is that your adventures don’t stop once you exit the conservatory. There’s so much to do on the 1,000+ acres that every visit to the gardens is different. Since I visited in mid-November, excitement for the holidays was building and Longwood Gardens revealed their annual holiday train display. The display is sure to delight everyone, regardless of age.
I’ve been visiting Longwood Gardens since 2017, and my visit last month was the first time I’ve walked through the Meadow Garden (Again, Longwood Gardens is gigantic!) This is one of the most peaceful sites I’ve ever visited. The Meadow Garden consists of over three miles of hiking trails in Chester County and encompasses 86 acres. I felt like I was walking through the countryside of England. It’s just you and your thoughts out here.
If you’re anything like me, then I suggest stopping by the shop before you leave. There are cute succulents for your home, jam, and lotion. In the spirit of Christmas, the shop had beautiful ornaments!
Obreht says that different places affect how you feel, and Longwood Gardens is a mesmerizing haven that will leave you feeling comforted.
I’ve published other posts about the Brandywine Valley that provide more information about this region just outside of Philadelphia. Click here for my post about a weekend itinerary for the Brandywine Valley. To read about how Longwood Gardens thrives in other seasons, click here for my post about the A Longwood Christmas event that happens every winter and click here for my post about the Orchid Extravaganza event that happens every spring. If you’re interested in learning about the fountains and how the gardens come alive in the summer, you can read my summer-themed post here.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!