Night display at Longwood Gardens.

I’m very lucky in so many ways. One of them is that I get to go to Longwood Gardens almost every year and sometimes twice a year. I’ve just come back from such a visit and wanted to share some photos of the Christmas display with my readers.

Longwood Gardens is, quite simply, my favorite garden in the world. As a garden tour leader, I’ve been able to see hundreds of gardens all o n all six inhabited continents and many islands, and Longwood, with its amazing variety of gardens, incredible displays of plants and impeccable care, simply beats them all. The gardens are located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, only 15 minutes or so from Wilmington, Delaware. That’s a long, long day’s drive from where I live, but at least I don’t need to take a plane. Besides, I travel with a busload of fellow gardeners, so it’s a group activity, with plenty of time to talk and share gardening tales.

Longwood Christmas 2019

Here are some of the highlights from the 2019 Christmas show, entitled A Longwood Christmas.

More than 500,000 lights grace 150 trees throughout the outdoor gardens.
The first thing you see as you head into the gardens is the Hanging Orbs Light Display.
The Canopy Cathedral Treehouse looks like something out of a fairy tale. 
There are illuminations everywhere you look.

Here and there are fire pits where you can warm yourself up … and even hot chocolate with a bit of added Bailey’s Cream if you wish.

Of course, there’s plenty to see indoors also.

A beautiful display awaits you as you enter the East Conservatory.
Everyone’s favorite: the Exhibition Hall display is adorned with a larger-than-life, handcrafted ribbon 400 feet (122 m) long.
A wreath of living orchids in the Orchid House.
Poinsettias of all sizes in the Main Conservatory.
My group looking down from the Canopy Cathedral Treehouse.
A short video of the outdoor displays prepared by Longwood Gardens.

Visiting Longwood

There’s much more than this to see … and to hear. Holiday organ concerts in the greenhouse, fountain displays to Christmas music in the Open Air Theatre, a 140-ft (43-meter) tunnel of light, a model train, roving Christmas carolers and plenty more. I suggest arriving in the afternoon for a first quick tour of the outdoor gardens and to visit the vast greenhouses and all its wonderful plants in daylight, then having dinner at The Café. After, take all the time you want to visit the illuminated outdoor gardens after dark.

A Longwood Christmas opened on November 22, 2019, and runs until January 5, 2020. A similar show takes place annually if you can’t make 2019. Tickets and reservations are available now at

Photos from Longwood Gardens (Davis Harold Hank and Carol DiGuiseppi), Larry Hodgson and Mario Croteau

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “A Longwood Christmas

  1. Christine Lemieux

    Simply stunning!

  2. Thank you for sharing – it’s gorgeous.

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: