Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Conservatory at Longwood

The Conservatory at Longwood was one of the most impressive and extensive glasshouses I have ever seen. As I wandered around the gardens I had to remind myself that I was actually "inside." It was lush and full of fascinating plant material. There were various rooms dedicated to roses, hibiscus, mediteranean plants, tropical plants, orchids, cactus, and fruit trees. Again, the large display areas were planted out according to what was blooming. The rhododendrons seen in the above photograph were actually sunk in the ground in large plastic pots.

Cordyline 'JURred' in bloom

This is the living wall that was recently installed at the gardens. All of the doors lead to individual bathrooms. The wall was incredibly lush and beautiful and I spent a long time talking to a man who was in charge of the maintenance. He told me that it takes 16 days to work from one end of the wall to the other, weeding, cutting back, and dead heading (taking off all flowers so it retains the intensity of solid green!) and then he starts again.

Those baskets are planted with carefully pruned Hydrangea macrophylla 'Merritt's Supreme.' I thought this was pretty creative because the natural form of this plant is to be a shrub and here they convinced it to be a hanging basket.

Isoplexsis canariensis flowering in the Mediterranean room.

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