Kate and I went to Longwood Gardens today. Longwood is a colossal set of formal conservatory gardens built by the DuPont family (“Sorry”, read a sign coming in through the main entrance, “the east conservatory is closed for renovation. Enjoy our 16 other indoor conservatories and 20 outdoor gardens.”(!))
All the floors are hollow with steam pipes running through them. There’s a flooded ballroom with a centimeter of water over the marble tiles, and a set of trees reflecting in the shallow pool. It’s warm and there are tens of thousands of flowers, and you can go to the fernery and imagine how the Victorians liked to sit around and get an illicit thrill from all the savage, primitive, uncorseted fauna.
Longwood is packed around the Christmas season, but it wasn’t too bad when we went today. There was a cameraperson from Channel 6 news in the main conservatory; I guess she was there on assignment to get some growing things to use as a counterpoint to the wintry weather outside. When a little girl in a pink overcoat came in with her family, a little media feeding frenzy ensued. The girl looked at the tulips, the mother photographed the girl looking at the tulips, the cameraperson filmed the mother photographing the girl looking at the tulips. And now, of course, I’m blogging about it.
There are more pictures at pbase, including one I’m very proud of: Kate doing the Red Queen in front of a big DuPont topiary bush.