Longwood Gardens wins online contest

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with quote from Paul B. Redman

For Longwood Gardens aficionados, the news that Longwood bested the competition in an online contest for Best Botanical Garden in the U.S. probably won’t come as a surprise.

However, the expansive, former homestead of Pierre S. du Pont did get periodically bumped from the top spot during several weeks of online voting, which was sponsored by USA Today.

“We are thrilled to receive this national recognition," said Paul B. Redman, Longwood's executive director. "We’d like to thank all our fans for voting for us, and for helping to make Longwood one of the great gardens of the world.”

Out of 20 contenders, Longwood ultimately took the edge from the U.S.  New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Mo, the Lewes Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va.; and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mi., rounded out the top five.

A panel of experts, including Cindy Brockway of The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts-based environmental advocacy group; Abby Hird of Botanic Gardens Conservation International; and Katy Moss Warner of the American Horticultural Society, picked the initial 20 nominees; the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote, according to a Longwood press release.

This is not the first time that Longwood Gardens has won a USA Today contest. In 2014, Longwood was named Best Public Garden in North America. For more about the contest and the complete list of Botanical Gardens winners, visit www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-botanical-garden.

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