It has been either overcast, drizzling or raining since we left home nine days ago and I am starting to feel water logged. That aside, we are looking forward to our next stop in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania and spending a couple of days with our friends Bill and Jane.
We arrived at their lovely home and spent a little time getting acquainted with their home finally settling in the Florida room to share our experiences since we started our road trip. Bill and Jane mentioned that they wanted to take us to two places that they love and wanted to share.
The first was Booths Corner,a local farmers market, and the second was Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. We love our friends, farmers markets and gardens so we were very excited about the next two days.
The look of Booths Corner from the parking lot is very deceptive. Inside it was covers a large expanse of land with three levels and over 100 merchants. There are booths that carry fresh vegetables and fruits, meats, jewelry, gifts, furniture, pet supplies, toys, games, beauty products and so much more. While the men loved walking and stopping by the baked goods booths, I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful meats on display around the market. I thought to myself, “If only the meat we buy back home looked so fresh”. I have to tell you that walking through the market was a test of our ability to look and not buy. It was not easy!We stopped at a small Amish restaurant and enjoyed delicious deli-style sandwiches, chips and drinks. After lunch we continued our walk oohing and ahhing at all the wonderful things on display and then leaving with empty hands.
After the large meals we enjoyed over the last few days and eating lunch after two o’clock in the afternoon, we begged off a large dinner. Instead we feasted on cheese, crackers, shrimp, nuts and pigs in a blanket. A dinner fit for kings and queens!!!
The weather the next morning was grey and gloomy with periodic drizzle dropping from the heavens. But that did not deter us from going to Longwood Gardens. On our way we drove through one of my favorite structures, a covered bridge. Years ago when Randy and I were courting we had occasions to visit Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Whenever we would come to a covered bridge he would stop in the middle, lean over and give me a kiss. My heart is filled with many of these sweet memories.
The gardens were alive with many, many visitors of all ages. We started by strolling around the gardens and were awed by the beauty that was all around us. According to history, “The native Lenni Lenape tribe fished the streams, hunted its forests, and planted its fields. In 1700 a Quaker farmer purchased 402 acres of this English-claimed land from William Penn’s commissioners”. Since then many generations purchased, built on and cultivated the land so that by the l930’s Longwood had grown to 926 acres.
At one point Bill needed to return to the visitor’s center so we walked back in that direction. While the men went inside Jane and I took in the view of the cow lot. This is a patch of land that was a pasture at one time in history. It has remained open and is edged by a variety of trees.
Jane pointed to a tree to our left and suggested that we take a closer look. It was a weeping birch tree. I was very excited because I love birch trees but never knew there was a weeping birch tree. It was so very large and wide. There was a small opening between the branches and we walked in. “How beautiful”, I thought as I looked up and could see the sky peeping through the branches.
We returned to our walk and passed by many beautiful gardens and fountains.
We continued our walk and came across a beautiful large lake. We walked around and came across a large clearing and a beautiful wooden treehouse. I love it. We walked inside and stood on the balcony and had a wonderful view of the Large Lake.
We continued our stroll and crossed a bridge with a beautiful view of the Italian Water Garden. Each time we stopped I wished the sun would break through the dark grey clouds and shine down on these beautiful gardens. But cloudy sky or sunny sky the beauty shone through. We eventually decided to stop for a bite of lunch before continuing on to the Conservatory.
One of my favorite exhibits was the Bonsai trees. The accompanying sign read: “Bonsai is an ancient art of growing plants in containers to represent mature plants found in nature…The bonsai display at Longwood was started in 1959 with the purchase of 13 speciments. Longwood now has over 40 deciduous and evergreen plants”.
After walking through the entire Conservatory we made our way back outside. Several gardens on the grounds were under renovation including the Main Fountain Garden. However, when we exited the Conservatory we noticed a number of people lining the fence so we walked over. To our delight the fountains were working. We stood for a while and then decided it was time to leave and started to make our way to the visitors center. On the way we passed the Topiary Garden.
I have tried to share but a portion of the beautiful things we saw at Longwood Gardens. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Longwood Gardens you will be rewarded with such beautiful memories.
Once back home, Bill and Jane prepared a great dinner and we spent the rest of the evening talking about our day and our next destination.
We had a wonderful time with Bill and Jane. After enjoying a light breakfast we packed the car once again and headed in the direction of the eastern shore to visit with our friends Len, Steve and Debby.