A Longwood Christmas Lights Up the Night for the Holidays

2012-12-04 17.08.15

Yes, I am obsessed with Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens. Having visited the spectacular indoor Christmas display just last week, I went back for more yesterday, arriving just in time to see millions of lights come on both inside and outside at this magnificent property.

Inside the 4 ½ acre Conservatory, the lush indoor gardens took on a whole new hue as millions of tiny white lights gradually illuminated the thousands of evergreens, palms and seasonal plantings housed in the massive space.

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In the Exhibition Hall, the floral trees composed of hundreds of bright red potted poinsettias and anthuriums took on a velvety hue as the flowers became the backdrop for a galaxy of twinkling lights.

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In keeping with this year’s fountain theme, there were many whirling and cascading water forms, including this gem hanging from the Exhibition Hall ceiling.

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Other rooms included these spectacular trees and borders.

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And in the Xeriscape Garden I spotted this gigantic illuminated wreath made entirely from succulents.

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After meandering through the conservatory’s many rooms, we returned outside, where the landscape had transformed into a jewel-toned winter wonderland. Sparkling green, blue, red and white holiday trees glittered on the horizon.

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We marveled at the giant maples, oaks and poplars, wrapped with millions of white lights, their craggy branch structures silhouetted against the dark night sky.

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Cascading from the branches of a magnificent tree by the visitors center (far left in photo) were strands of yellow and blue lights, that looked like fireworks exploding against the sky.


Turning left, we headed down the hill through a long, formal passageway of clipped hedges and dramatic, white-lit bushes towards the Small and Large Lakes.

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Passing the Small Lake on the right (where a towering maple was dressed entirely in red), we turned left and followed the Carpinus Walk to the Large Lake.


On the Large Lake, dozens of pyramidal-shaped Christmas trees appeared to float, all lit up in green. Their reflections in the water resembled dripping jewels.

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On the far bank, a string of white, upside-down Y-shaped trees illuminated the embankment.

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Finally, we arrived at the Italian Water Garden where a 20-foot tree form was illuminated by bubble-like white lights, a stunning contrast to the simple blue lights tracing the symmetry of this spectacular fountain garden.

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For more information on the exhibit, which runs until January 10, go to Longwood Gardens’ homepage. To see photos and read about this year’s indoor (daytime) exhibit go to Longwood Gardens: A Holiday Feast for the Soul, my blog entry from last week’s visit.