A Very Longwood Christmas

I've been going to Longwood since as long as I can remember. Every Christmas, my parents dragged me and my sister there to see the lights, ooh and aah at the awesomely under-appreciated (by the 10 yr. old me) decorated xmas trees, and run around the children's maze. To this day the smell of paperwhites transports me back to those many many years ago when I was 3'6" and the 5' walls of that children's maze were just tall enough that I could pretend it was a REAL MAZE. There was even a little ivy covered canape area with a bench where you could have secret meetings. Sadly that famous maze was replaced by a grecian ruins temple thingy that I'm not really feeling. But thats not important.
 Look at those trees!
Seriously, have you been there? It's magical. Its a one of the premier botanical gardens in the US with some 11,00 acres of land in Brandywine Creek Valley, Pennsylvania... 4.5 of which are heated indoor greenhouses. Conservatories! And there is one room for cacti, and one for orchids, and one for banana trees, and a tropical room, and a mediterranean room, and a room for roses, and and and and and and.... the list goes on.
The story goes like this: In 1906 Pierre S. Dupont bought the land to save the arboretum from being sold for lumber. Being into gardens and gardening and fountains and such, Mr. Dupont added extensively to the property. A fountain here, a conservatory there, etc.until it became what it we see today. He made his estate open to the public and in 1946 founded the Longwood Foundation for the maintenance and improvement of the gardens. Upon Pierre's untimely death, the president of the Longwood Foundation, Harry DuPont, announced "There will be no change in our long-standing policy of opening the gardens and greenhouse to the public every day in the week." 
And it is open. 
Every day. 
Rain or shine. 
I obviously went earlier this week and like always... 

And these are my friends... who I've been going to Longwood with since I was 3'6".

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