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Longwood Gardens

By Josh Andersen

As the self-appointed Eastern expert on all things romantic, I give Longwood Gardens my stamp of amorous approval.

It is the best place within a half hour’s drive of campus to impress your significant other. They have flowers; they have fountains; they have a little gazebo thing called the “Love Dome.”

“It kind of sets the mood,” Claudia Furlan of New York City said. “The beauty, the tranquility, the serenity of the running water.”

Furlan said the Italian Gardens were the most romantic place in the complex.

But love seems to blossom park-wide, almost as abundantly as the azaleas.

“My guestimate is that we get a handful [of marriage proposals] a month,” Edgar Chavez, an employee of Longwood Gardens who has been around for over four decades, said.

Although weddings are not allowed on the grounds, many people consult with staff workers to find the perfect setting for a proposal, Chavez said. And there are a lot of perfect places.

For Andy Lauppe and Carrie Petersen, a local couple visiting the Gardens on a hot August day, the “Love Dome” was the ultimate place to pop the question.

“Anyplace that you get engaged becomes romantic,” a smiling Petersen said.

Overview

By Amanda Gagnon

In 1906, Pierre Samuel duPont discovered that Pierce’s Park, a farm in Kennett Square, Pa., had fallen into disrepair and was about to be destroyed.

To save it, he purchased the grounds, renamed them Longwood Gardens, and got to work.

Today, visitors prowl a labyrinth of pathways, enjoying an architecture of trees, flowers and fountains. Several times a day, water gardens erupt in five-minute fountain displays.

Must-see features include the topiary, the Italian water garden, the circa-1703 Pierce-duPont House and the Chimes Tower Hillside and Waterfall.

The Chimes Tower itself is a stone structure with arched windows and a 62-bell carillon that rings out on the quarter hours.

There is also an impressive conservatory. Beds of cannas and birds of paradise are lined with ivy-covered pillars.

Exploring these displays involves plenty of walking, so wear comfortable shoes. Water fountains are available at several places, and benches are plentiful.

Informative videos enrich the experience with footage from the early 1900s, and free audio guide equipment is available.

How we did

By Chelsea Zimmerman

Longwood is about 30 miles from campus, so gasoline used for a round trip is about four gallons depending on the car, plus wear and tear. The four of us gave the driver each $6.00.

To our relief, parking was free.

For ages 16-20 admission is $6.00. For ages 21+ admission is $14.00. This was lucky for two of us, and unlucky for the other two.

Excluding food or drink purchases, two of us spent $12 and the other two spent $20.

Conclusion: Longwood Gardens is a daily activity that could cost less than $20, but bringing a few spare dollars would not be a bad idea.

Upcoming Events

By Kate Savo

If the breathtaking fountains and spectacular floral landscapes are not enough reason for a visit to the Longwood Gardens, maybe these upcoming activities will be.

September 9, 16, 23 and 30: Saturday Swing Concerts at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

September 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30: Pumpkin Carving Demonstrations 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

September 23 and 24: Ice Cream Tasting from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

September 30 and October 1: Sampling of locally produced wine from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

September 30 and October 1:

Apple Cider Tasting and Demonstrations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m

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