My husband was working all day on my birthday this year. To make up for my lonely day he took me to a local arboretum called Longwood Gardens the day after my birthday. The gardens were developed by Pierre du Pont in 1907. Pierre du Pont is part of the du Pont family that started the Du Pont corporation that specializes in scientific innovations and whatnot. You've probably seen the logo on something related to cars or trucks before. Anyways, he bought the property of Longwood Gardens because the family that owned it had to sell it, and all the trees were going to be torn down. He was loaded, so he was able to make the property beautiful. He believed that no greenhouse should be private, so he opened his gardens to the public.
It cost $36 for the two of us to get in. It was worth every penny. The high cost keeps out the ruffians and bratty children, which makes it even better. We spent the entire afternoon and early evening there. We simply moseyed along the paths looking at whatever we felt like looking at. There weren't many crowds since we went on a weekday. This was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable days of my summer.
My husband bought me a new camera for my birthday, so I got a little carried away with snapping photos.
Here are some beauties I stumbled upon in the exhibition halls/greenhouses:
We also had fun watching the rather tame "wildlife" in the gardens. We had never seen bullfrogs up close like this before. They were everywhere. Ben always has to check out the fishlife in whatever body of water we come across. He found lots of well-fed bluegill and some very friendly catfish!
There were quite a few fountains scattered throughout the gardens. Pierre du Pont had a fascination with water stemming from his childhood. Some of the fountains made me feel like I was touring one of the estates mentioned in some of Jane Austen's novels. Well, except for the one my husband decided to drink out of.
By far, my favorite part of the gardens was the water lily garden. I've had a fascination with lily pads ever since my canoeing trip to the Boundary Waters back in college. There were lilies and lily pads everywhere on the lakes we canoed. I had so much fun taking pictures of these lilies. They actually dye the water black to make for better pictures and to discourage algae from growing.
At the end of the day, our feet were pretty sore from all the walking we did. My toes were actually swollen for a couple days. We probably shouldn't have worn flip flops! The last gardens we traveled through were the rose garden and the topiary garden. We were the only ones in there, so we took off our shoes and walked through the lush grass. Man, that felt good!
What a wonderful day! Can't wait to go back to see some of the light displays at night sometime!
All the pictures in this post were taken by either my husband or me. I used picmonkey.com to put the photos in collage form. No other editing software was used.