This Spring I had the honor of discovering an new local attraction that I never new existed. A friend heard about a Dam and Azalea Garden near Columbia, Maryland and we decided to check it out. I have to say that it is a beautiful area and the Dam itself offers a nice habitat for geese and some other wild life to enjoy. Fishermen can go there, although I do want to put out the reminder that this is an area shared by other people and other species, so please clean up after yourself and don’t leave fishing lines out where it can harm other wild life!
First we saw the beautiful picnic area down by the dam and then we went and walked around the Azalea Garden, which has Azaleas in many different colors and several different sizes. It was fun to walk around, get some fresh air, and see and photograph these beautiful flowers and the local wildlife. Definitely keeping this place in mind for next year to visit again!
Of note, there are also beautiful Dogwood trees in the Azalea Garden. There is fun to be had here by people of all ages and even the family pet can go and have fun. There is picnic tables, and even a pavilion for special events.
This spring on April 10th I had the honor and experience of my first trip to Longwood Gardens. Longwood Gardens can be found at 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348, not too far from the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.
I have to say that the grounds and the conservatory at Longwood all have much to offer to those who are interested in photography, learning horticulture, or those who just want to be surrounded by beauty. There are fountains both inside the conservatories and out on the 1050 acres that makes up the gardens. There are 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens to be seen. There is an Italian Water Garden that alas was not running yet during our early spring visit, an open air theater, and a fountain garden along with many other smaller fountains that can be found while exploring the grounds.
Longwood‘s Conservatory boasts to have more then 5500 plants on display and was originally constructed in 1919 according to the Longwood Garden website at http://www.longwoodgardens.org. I can testify that there is much to be seen within those doors and any photographer can spend hours finding the perfect picture. The lighting can change throughout the day, as the many windows let in natural light but there are also many shadows that can get in the way of the perfect photograph. The indoor Children’s Garden even has a lot of photograph with bright stained glass windows and cute lizard fountains on just has to be patient to capture it. Remember that it is for the children first!
The outside gardens are also beautiful. There is a wide variety of things to see and lots of flowers to keep a photographer busy. There are walking trails, gardens, and wildlife that can be seen if one is patient enough to find it. There are several areas outside that are also made specifically with children in mind including a tree house exhibit, and Longwood’s Bee-amazed Children’s Garden. This is a fun place to go for people of all ages!
Photography is encouraged by Longwood Gardens but for personal use only. Tripods, monopods, and easels can be used only until 12 pm, and only after signing a form that all images will not be used for commercial use and are for pictures of the gardens only (no taking people in to get wedding pictures, portraits, etc). Monopods can be used throughout the day, although can be limited on days with fountain shows or fireworks. All photographers need to pay admission at regular prices ($16 for adults, with a group rate of $12 as posting of this blog).
I did not go to Longwood to explore their programs, but looking at their website I see a concert series, educational opportunities for people of all ages, and special events at different times of the year.
I highly recommend Longwood Gardens for anyone who loves the fragrance and beauty of flowers, fountains, and loves the outdoors. It is a great place for a family outing, too. It is a photographers paradise and offers hours of opportunities for taking pictures or learning about horticulture. Go have a look yourself! Different times of years offer different opportunities, so plan visits throughout the year!