Last Thursday I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening celebration for Longwood Gardens’ new 86-acre Meadow Garden in Kennett Square, PA. It’s Longwood so; even in the rain it was fantastic! Route 52 had long divided the meadow, but it is now whole again, providing habitat for native flora and fauna. Excited volunteers told me they have documented over 95 different bird species in the meadow. They’ve planted 1,100 native trees and shrubs and over 100,000 native wildflower and native grass plugs. The majority of the plugs were grown locally at our very own North Creek Nurseries.
It’s so exciting to see such prestigious institutions like this one bringing holistic design practices to the main stream. I think Claudia West, MLA, Ecological Sales Manager North Creek Nurseries, summed it up best when she said “Longwood Gardens shows us what it means to be stewards and validates the role of native plants play in built landscapes of a post-wild world. The Meadow Garden hybridizes design principles of the natural world with horticultural strategy – an intentionally designed and managed plant community where population dynamics are encouraged within an aesthetic framework.”
The paths, bridges and pavilions in the meadow were thoughtfully built from trees that had come down and been milled on the 1,077-acre property. Over 3-miles of walking trails wind their way through the bucolic landscape. From the forest’s edge to the wide-open fields and to lush wetlands they demonstrate the complex relationships between plants and animals. “I admire Longwood for their foresight with this project and predict that this revitalized meadow will become a favorite destination for those seeking the peace and hope that comes from connecting with the natural world.” -Douglas W. Tallamy, University of Delaware and author of Bringing Nature Home.
Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there – I’m going for a walk!