Monday, November 12, 2007

Child’s Play: Longwood's New Indoor Children's Garden

Does “children” and “garden” and “glass” sound like a kid-friendly activity? Most definitely — at Longwood's New Indoor Children's Garden. More than a decade in the making, the new 4,000 square-foot Indoor Children’s Garden is three times larger than Longwood’s previous indoor children’s garden. A surrounding walkway allows “grown” children to enjoy the garden, as well as keep an eye on the action.

What’s the theme? “Longwood Children’s Garden is unique because there is no central theme,” said Patricia Evans, communications manager at Longwoods. “We have created a magical world for children to explore and most importantly, use their imaginations to create the story or experience with each visit. There are educational elements, and the opportunity for kids to learn about plants, but the most important goal was for children to realize the joy of being in a garden, to want to visit gardens and perhaps inspire future horticulturists!”

Along with 17 fountains, Longwood’s Indoor Children's Garden features:
The Central Cove, with a tree-covered seating area, a central pool with flower-shaped water jets and jewel-like mosaics, and three animal adorned sculptures shooting streams of water from overhead into the pool. Children will move from the Central Cove into the Rain Pavilion, which features water curtains on two sides. Look up and you will see the glass ceiling allowing a view of water running overhead.
The Secret Room is home to the Drooling Dragon water feature, and a balcony that overlooks the Central Cove.
The Ramp, accented by an ever-changing Water Curtain and animated by the leaping water “glow worm,” leads children to a Tower overlooking the Bamboo Maze. Water runs down the glow worm into a swallowing salamander at the bottom of the ramp.
The Grotto Cave, underneath the Tower, contains a shallow fog-covered pool activated by water dripping from sculpted snakes coiled overhead.
The Bamboo Maze offers a jungle of tree-size bamboos for children to explore. The Maze contains five visitor-activated water features accented with ornate bird sculptures.

Longwood Gardens, located on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA, is open daily. For more information, visit

The Drooling Dragon (pictured) is the centerpiece of Longwood’s new Indoor Children’s Garden. Weighing an amazing 3,500 pounds, water streams down the Dragon’s mouth and colored lights add to the effect.

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