Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Longwood Gardens: Part One

 Yesterday we left the westies in the care of Rebecca who
spent the night while we drove to Longwood Gardens in Kennett
Square, Pennsylvania.  It's under 3 hours from St. Michaels.
 Our first stop was lunch at Longwood's formal restaurant
1906.  Wilson ordered a bowl of mushroom soup because [if you didn't 
know] Kennett Square is the 'mushroom capital of the world'.
Here's the 'poop' on how Kennett Square got this title:

Here's an astonishing fact: 
Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern
 Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of 
climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or 
peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. 
They could come from anywhere.

No, what turned Kennett Square into the Mushroom Capital of the World
 was nothing more than historical accident, combined with the presence
 of some very industrious Quakers, Italians and Mexicans.

The story starts with the Quakers.

Sometime around 1885, according to local lore, two Quaker flower growers 
from Kennett Square were bothered by wasted space under the carnation
 beds in their greenhouses, and they thought of growing mushrooms there. 
So they steamed off to Europe, where people were already farming 
mushrooms, and brought back some spores.

They were Kennett Square's original mushroom farmers. 
A few Quakers — or their descendants — are still in the business today.

 The first flower we saw.
 This ranks up there with the strangest plant we saw.
It looks like something from outer space.
 Love the color but didn't get the name of this plant.
 It was an overcast day which Wilson said was excellent for
taking outside pictures.  After lunch we headed right to the
waterlily displays and starting taking pictures.  I took about
150 pictures and Wilson took more!
 The Lotus ... my favorite plant.

 Doesn't this look creepy?  Reminds me of the movie "The Fly".

 The Dragonfly 
Without the sun you can't see his copper colored wings.

 The Lotus Seed Pod

 Remember my little dragonfly friend from the picture above?
Here is the 'case' he emerged from.  I overhead one of the
volunteers saying this is very unusual to actually see a case
still attached to a flower.  They will remove this and
place it in a jar to show children.
 I also overhead another volunteer saying that in early spring
they start this type of waterlily from a seed.  It takes 4 individuals
to move this plant from the growing room into the outdoor displays.
The 'pads' or 'leaves' you are seeing here are at half size.
That's it for today's selection.  
Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

1 comment:

  1. that soup looks so good and the burger and fries have me So many interesting and pretty flowers