Longwood announces 2016 highlights

Longwood Gardens plans to usher in 2016 with five seasonal displays and nearly 600 daily horticultural, educational, performing arts, and holiday programs.

Longwood's Orchid Extravaganza is scheduled to open on Jan.

Longwood's Orchid Extravaganza is scheduled to open on Jan. 23.

Among the highlights for 2016 is the return of Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. The exhibit, which will run from Aug. 3 until Oct. 29, sets Longwood aglow with moving imagery, lights, and original compositions projected onto a living canvas of plants. Other favorite events returning include Orchid Extravaganza, spectacular spring bulb displays, Wine & Jazz Festival, Summer Concert Series, and the ever-popular A Longwood Christmas, according to a Longwood press release.

The Orchid Extravaganza, with blooms cascading down walls, spilling from containers and adorning planting beds throughout Longwood’s four acres of indoor gardens, will take place from Jan. 23 to March 27. Spring Blooms will take over on April 2, with an outdoor spring bulb display, culminating in a rainbow of more than 250,000 blooming tulips in Longwood’s famed Flower Garden Walk and Idea Garden. It runs through June 3.

Longwood will celebrate summer by showcasing annual and perennial flowers, roses, and waterlilies, from June 4 to Sept. 5, along with al fresco concerts and fountain shows. The annual Wine & Jazz Festival returns June 4, and the Longwood Beer Garden will reopen in June, offering guests live music on select evenings.

Nightscape will return to dazzle nocturnal visitors on Aug. 3.

Nightscape will return to dazzle nocturnal visitors on Aug. 3.

In addition to Nightscape, Longwood will welcome a roster of well-known artists performing full-length concerts in picturesque settings around the gardens. As temperatures cool, Autumn’s Colors will run from Sept. 10 through Nov. 20, a kaleidoscope of harvest motifs highlighted by the Chrysanthemum Festival, which will run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 20. This popular display features the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum, a single chrysanthemum that boasts more than 1,300 blooms.

A Longwood Christmas will follow from Nov. 24 to Jan. 8 with thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees, and fragrant flowers transforming the indoor gardens into a warm retreat that celebrates the holiday season. Outdoors, 500,000 decorative lights will glitter in the trees, enhanced by colorful fountain displays, evening choral concerts, strolling carolers, and organ sing-alongs.

The outdoor gardens and conservatory open at 9 a.m. every day of the year. Closing time varies by season, as the gardens remain open later frequently for special events and the holiday display.

Longwood Gardens' Meadow offers a series of scenic trails.

Longwood's Meadow Garden offers trails criss-crossing 86 acres that spotlight year-round vistas.

Longwood’s Terrace Restaurant is open daily and offers two food service options. The Café features cafeteria-style dining year-round. 1906, the fine dining room named in honor of the year of Longwood’s founding, offers full-service dining. Make reservations for 1906 online at www.opentable.com. The Longwood Gardens Shop in the Visitor Center is open daily during garden hours.

Other year-round offerings include Longwood’s Indoor Children’s Garden, where innovative water features and an amazing palette of plants await to inspire imaginations young and old; the Meadow Garden, an 86-acre landscape featuring more than three miles of walking trails; and Nature’s Castles, three imaginative treehouses.

Longwood’s Education Programs encourage gardening at all levels. Classes and lectures on garden-related subjects are offered year-round, as well as student programs for individuals interested in horticulture as a profession. For information visit www.longwoodgardens.org.

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