I just got home from the FIRST (but definitely not the last) book signing for the book, THESE TREES. It was in Tryon, North Carolina. I had the great pleasure and good fortune of being accompanied by Carol Pearce Bjorlie, one of the poets in the book. Carol is also a professional cellist so she played several songs on the cello for us.
Carol also read her four poems about trees that are in the book and I read poems for half a dozen poets who were not there in person today. In addition to poetry and music I also talked about my relationship with the book, why I decided to create it, problems I encountered and some of my most memorable tree photographs. Next book signing is the Book Launch Party, Saturday, August 26 at 2pm, 60 Caledonia Road in Asheville.
Longwood Gardens is technically in Kennett Square, PA. But to give you an idea of where it is, lets just say it is in a suburb of Philadelphia. It was formerly the private estate of Pierre DuPont, who made his fortune in gunpowder and chemical manufacture. In 1906 he bought the original 202 acres of the land that is now Longwood Gardens and soon began planting decorative trees and flowers. He also built impressive fountains.
Eventually Longwood Gardens grew to encompass 926 acres. Pierre DuPont had no children and was concerned about keeping Longwood Gardens preserved as a garden, so in 1946 he sought and received government approval for the gardens to become a Foundation operated for the sole use of the public.
This massive estate was created piecemeal, with work on one particular type of garden at a time. For those looking for interesting trees you should check out the original arboretum (Pierce's Park) as well as the seven acre pleasure park (Peirce's Wood). Having said that, however, there are plenty of large old trees to draw your admiration from wherever you are ambling. Below is a photograph of a Copper Beech
In the Japanese Garden section you will be enchanted by the many varieties of Japanese Maples that are on display.
I don't generally visit greenhouses unless the weather is very cold, rainy and/or windy. But you should make an exception for the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. First, it is so huge you will almost feel like you are outdoors. Second, they have stunning displays of lots of flowers -- not only the tropical ones we have come to associate with conservatories. Third -- this is where they have their water lily ponds. If you are a photographer you should know that they will not allow tripods inside the Conservatory after noon, so if you want to photograph the water lilies go in the morning!
If you go -- address is 1001 Longwood Road, Kennette Square, PA 19348. Cost of admission is $23 for an adult. They have a fabulous gift shop. They have two types of dining facilites. Restrooms are at the main entrance and also in the Conservatory. There are wheelchairs available for rent. There are drinking fountains and water is also available for purchase. Plan to spend the entire day -- you won't want to leave.
I visited the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for the first time in 2017. It isn't far from Charlotte, North Carolina; on the edge of Gastonia. This garden isn't as large as some I've visited. It says it has 100 cultivated acres, but considerably less than that are reached on trails. I'd like to return in the fall when it is cooler and explore some of its acreage that isn't on a trail.
That being said, it is a delightful place to visit. They boast 12 different fountains -- including one called the Alle Garden. It has several arching fountains from two sides forming a 'tunnel' effect. It does, of course, boast a huge Azalea Garden as well as a Children's Garden, Cottage Garden, and other specialized gardens. It also has a very large greenhouse devoted to orchids.
I loved their Horse Chestnut trees, blooming in April. I was astounded by how deeply pink these blossoms are.
Another lovely feature of this botanical garden that I have not seen anywhere else -- if you ask a staff person about the identity of a plant or tree and they are unsure -- they give you a business card with the name and contact information of someone who can help you identify the plant. How great is that? REALLY great, in my opinion!
The official address is 6500 S. New Hope Rd. Belmont, NC. It is open daily 9 - 5. Cost is $12.95 for adults.
Ruthie photographs trees because she loves them.