The Meadow at Longwood Gardens is a photographer’s dream!

 

The most charming surprise of my first trip to Longwood Gardens was this immense meadow and it’s endless photographic potential.  The pasture has several distinct seasons that offer completely different looks.

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

In the early Summer it is full of tall green grass.  As the season develops, the floral colors begin to emmerge.  By Fall it’s an earthy, muted wonderland.

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

Longwood describes the meadow as “once the site of a planted field and pasture, this area was created to add a new dimension to the horticultural display of Longwood Gardens. The meadow represents the first stage in the natural succession process: the progressive replacement of one plant community by another, from field to forest.”

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

“To maintain the meadow,”  Longwood continues, the staff, “mows or burns it once a year in late winter to prevent tree and shrub growth. The native wildflowers found there have either been planted by Longwood horticulturists or independently established from seed dispersed by wind or animals. Persistent invasive weeds such as Japanese honeysuckle and Canada thistle are controlled mechanically and by applying selective herbicide sprays. In late summer and early fall, the meadow is particularly attractive and alive with moths, butterflies and birds. Visitors can explore the meadow by following the mowed paths.”

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

If you’re into a great hike, these mowed paths are just wonderful!  It’s easy to spend a couple of hours wandering about with camera or binoculars in hand. I love shooting the details and the overalls here.  There is just so much to see when you’re in the thick of it.  Don’t be surprised if you see a group of huddled butterfly enthusiasts on a trip here.  I ran into several!  The Meadow is also a great place to bird watch.  There are eastern meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows and purple martins to name of few!

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

Longwood lists the “Noteworthy plants: butterfly-weed (Asclepias tuberosa), sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), goldenrods (Solidago canadensis), New England aster (Aster novae-angliae), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa), wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), blazing-star (Liatris spicata), spotted Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum ‘Purple Bush’), great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)”

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

This farmhouse is just picture perfect.  I don’t know who owns it, but I would just love to be invited in for a cup of tea with the great view.

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

In the late Fall the climate cools as the grasses brown.  The Meadow becomes even more picturesque.  I have yet to catch it in the Winter, but am headed up there this next month to see just what it has to offer.  I am quite sure it won’t disappoint, even in the dead of Winter.  This massive plot of land has character that transcends.

Erika reads the the Meadow's signage to see just what plants are in bloom throughout the season. © Britt Conley

Erika reads the Meadow's signage to see just what plants are in bloom throughout the season. © Britt Conley

My assistant Photo Garden Bee and bird watching enthusiast, Erika, loves the biodiversity of the edge habitat around the meadow.  She can’t wait to head up here in March to see the beginnings of Spring migration.

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

The Meadow at Longwood Gardens © Britt Conley

There are many types of gardens around the country.  I generally love display gardens, but Longwood is one of those special places that has it all.  On one of my recent trips here I spent nearly two hours shooting in the lovely meadow.  I just couldn’t help it.  I had to see it all.

If you know of any great gardens or special floral delights you would like the Bee to see, just comment on my “Suggest a Garden” page.  I am always thrilled to hear about a new destination to explore.

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. Fall Meadow at Longwood Gardens
  2. The Siberian Irises at Longwood Gardens!
  3. The Chairs of Longwood Gardens
  4. The Topiary Garden at Longwood Gardens
  5. Wisterias in full bloom at Longwood Gardens!

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1 Comments

 
  1. C. E. Webster
    2010-01-14
    19:28:39

    What a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing the information and the photos.
    a href=”http://www.yourbirdfeeder.com/”>Your Bird Feeder

     
 

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