December 18, 2017

The French Parterre Garden at "A Longwood Christmas"

We were absolutely wowed by this year's parterre garden 
exhibit at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA!

From several steps back, it appeared to be a lovely design painted on the floor.
On closer inspection, we saw that it was actually fruit 
and nuts artistically arranged and floating in water! 
So unique; I'd never seen anything like it.

In keeping with Longwood Gardens' French theme this year,
this stunning parterre was the perfect centerpiece
for the extremely popular event, "A Longwood Christmas."

The inspiration for this display came from Alice Du Pont's 1925 
visit to France with her fellow Garden Club of America members.
These are photos of her postcards showing the 
parterre gardens at a château they visited.

"Parterre gardens" are formal arrangements of plant and flower beds 
in symmetrical patterns, often separated by hedges or stone borders.
They date back to France during the French Renaissance of the 15th century.

The custom wooden frame measures 75' x 40'.

By the numbers~
This magnificent display consists of 670,000 cranberries, 
8,000 Granny Smith apples, and 3,000 gilded walnuts that float in 3" of water.

The fruit is changed out through the season to keep it fresh, and then 
donated to local farms to use for compost or to feed their animals.

Wishing you a Joyeux Noël!

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