Monday, May 17, 2010
Beautiful Gardens... Near and Far
In the past month, I have visited two of the best public gardens in the world….one in our backyard, Longwood… the other across the Atlantic, Keukenhof. Lucky me.
I was in the Netherlands visiting family in early May and it was tulip time at Keukenhof. Perfect timing. Keukenhof is a 76 acre garden that features spring flowering bulbs. Supported by the bulb industry, their website says it is the most photographed place in the world. I can believe it. Every step through the garden compels you to snap another picture. With all due respect to Longwood, it is the best public garden I have ever seen. There are more than 7 million hand planted bulbs on display. Four million tulips, not to mention the daffodils and grape hyacinth… 20, 000 lilies.
Wow. If you ever find yourself in Europe in April, don’t miss it.
Back at work… Penn State President Graham Spanier conducts a very nice program for new and newly tenured faculty at Penn State called the Roads Scholars Tour. About 50 faculty witness Penn State’s presence and impact across Pennsylvania. They visit Commonwealth Campuses (there are 19 of them across the state), Hershey Medical School and other places where Penn State has had an impact. This brings us to Longwood Gardens. There are lots of Penn State graduates on the staff here and I learned about many cooperative research ventures involving Penn State and Longwood. My pal Dr. Casey Sclar, Plant Health Care Division Leader at Longwood led the Roads Scholars and President Spanier on a great tour of this world class garden. Casey said Longwood was about to present the largest lily collection in the world. I guess there will be more than the 20,000 at Keukenhof. Yikes!
Unlike Keukenhof, Longwood is open 365 days a year. What a challenge for the horticulturists there. If you have not visited lately, put it on your “to do” list.