The Darkroom

Longwood Gardens Orchid Extravaganza

The Baltimore Sun

An explosion of colors, fragrances and designs fill the senses upon entering the Orchid Extravaganza at the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. The sun shines through floor-to-ceiling arched windows, highlighting the intricately shaped orchids. Cascading blossoms across the color spectrum adorn the walls, ceilings and indoor grounds of the Conservatory in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

On a recent weekday, artists from Urban Sketchers of Delaware reproduced their favorite orchids using travel-size watercolor packs and small sketchpads. Parents chased after children who chased after colorful blooms. Others sat reading in the warm sun, or just resting in chairs along the promenades, taking in the floral beauty.

Pierre S. Du Pont and his wife, Alice, the founders of Longwood Gardens in the early 1900’s, were also founding members of the American Orchid Society (AOS). Longwood Gardens has over 2,000 types of these fanciful flowers, including “tropical and hardy species, cultivars and hybrid selections of the orchid family, Orchidaceae,” according to one of the displays.

The Extravaganza runs until March 25. On February 22nd and April 4, visitors can purchase some of the orchids removed from the display for as little as $15.00 each.

About a one-and-a-half hour drive from Baltimore, Longwood Gardens provides the perfect winter getaway and a magical place to spend the day.

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