Ever wonder how Longwood Garden maintains its spectacular displays in the Conservatory and around the grounds?
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to peek behind the scenes at Longwood Garden’s production greenhouses. The staff of Longwood offer a behind-the-scenes tour of the production greenhouses to small groups of visitors – no more than 20 per tour. You get a first hand look at how large gardens organize, sow and grow numerous varieties of plants destined for display.
Roughly 65% of the plants are cultivated at Longwood, the rest are purchased from select nurseries. The typical display at Longwood is planned a year in advance to ensure enough time is allocated to grow the necessary plants from seed. They do some very sophisticated testing, cell culturing, in the greenhouse as well. This means they are studying plants at the cellular level. That peaked my interest, but sadly, the tour did not include the cell culture lab. I wonder who I may need to schmooze in order to get a look at the lab.
You are allowed to take video during the tour. Below are a few clips I put together from the tour:
Our guide was knowledgeable of the subject matter and very patient with the numerous questions we peppered her with during the tour. All came away with a greater appreciation for the level technical ingenuity that it takes to make Longwood Garden stand out among the numerous public gardens.
If you have the opportunity while visiting Longwood Gardens, I strongly suggest purchasing a ticket for this tour.
To give you some perspective on the size of the production greenhouse, I want to show you what a typical urban gardeners production greenhouse looks like:
It seems my ‘production greenhouse’ is used for more storage than seedlings at the moment.