Dive into Longwood History
After a long, cold winter, many of us yearn to shake off last season’s chill by creating a springtime garden. To offer a bit of inspiration for your own garden, and as a nod to the beauty of Longwood’s spring flowers, we offer you a small bouquet of botanical images from our rare books collection.
When enriching their own gardening skills, Longwood founder Pierre S. du Pont and his wife Alice referred to their own impressive library of gardening books. Among their collection was How to Make a Flower Garden (1903), an early example of the “how to” variety. Mr. du Pont likely acquired this book before purchasing the land that would become Longwood, and then applied its lessons when creating the gardens of Longwood. Although not generally collectors of grand edition books, the du Ponts indeed owned several, including the multiple volume North American Wild Flowers (1925) by Mary Vaux Walcott, a collection of high-quality reproductions of her spectacular watercolor illustrations for the Smithsonian Institution. At Longwood, you will find many of the native plants that Walcott painted in Peirce’s Woods.
If you are up for an adventure, seek out these three species: Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (Hepatica), Aquilegia canadensis (Wild Columbine), and Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot), blooming now in Peirce’s Woods, near the Sylvan Fountain.