- If you are looking to take a short trip to see a few beautiful regional garden destinations, the following are certainly worth the trip!
With over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands and meadows, Longwood Gardens had its start in the 1800’s as a public garden, but its history dates back to 1700 when Quaker farmer George Pierce purchased 402 acres of land. In 1730 his twin great-grandsons who inherited the property, began planting an arboretum that covered 15 acres with wild specimens and plants obtained from the region’s premier botanists. By 1850, the arboretum had one of the finest tree collections in the nation. In 1936 Pierre di Pont purchased the farm to preserve the trees, but soon transformed the land into one of the country’s leading horticultural display gardens. From the Flower Garden Walk to the Oak and Conifer Knoll, to the Peony Garden and Waterlily Display, Longwood has dozens of outdoor and conservatory gardens. Year-round seasonal attractions include the Orchid Extravaganza, Spring Blooms, Summer Spectacular, Autumn’s Colors and the renowned Longwood Christmas where a half million lights illuminate the gardens, an 18-foot Fraser Fir boasts a garland of real musical instruments and a 30-foot floral tree created from hundreds of stunning, red poinsettias—a spectacular holiday destination not to be missed!
The name “Hershey” immediately brings to the mind all things chocolate, but in 1937 Milton Hershey opened Hershey Gardens with the intent of “creating a nice garden with roses.” Today, that rose garden has blossomed into 23 acres of stunning horticulture splendor, including a collection of rare trees, plus a variety of flowers and shrubs. The Children’s Garden is a magical place where giant Hershey kiss misters welcome visitors with a fine spray of water, setting tourists on an enchanting pathway through 32 themed-gardens of hands-on activity and fun. Take Chocolate Lane to the Fragrance Garden, and from there, veer off to the Butterfly House, or peruse the Pioneer Herb Patch. Spend some time at the Human Sundial, stop at the Education Center or get a bird’s eye view of the gardens from the Tree House Overlook—and of course, there’s the chocolate.