With Google and Pinterest, I’m able to search for millions of answers to my gardening questions, help identify plants, and discover new ideas and inspiration for building my dream garden.
Being a bit old school, I still enjoy reading hard-copy (not ebooks) self-help gardening books, too. Especially, books chocked full of tips, advice, and LOTS of color photos for visual learners like me. I tend to get bored with wordy books with no action or pictures. However, there’s nothing like real-life hand’s-on experience to make all that “book” learning and research stick in your brain.
That’s why I love attending classes, workshops, and seminars in addition to doing online research as a way of reinforcing all that knowledge. Volunteering or chatting up experts at local nurseries and community gardens is another great way to reinforce that learning.
My favorite way of continuing education is to simply take field trips to local public gardens, arboretums, and garden centers. Plants and shrubs are always well-maintained, everything is labeled clearly, and you can see what is blooming at different times of the year.
I’m fortunate to live near several very famous public botanic gardens and arboretums including Chanticleer, Barnes, Awbury, Morris, Tyler, Winterthur, and Longwood. When I visit, I always plan to take tons of photos to help catalog everything I see since there is absolutely NO way I’ll remember it all.
Longwood Gardens is one of the biggest AND most famous public gardens in nearby Delaware.
The first time I visited Longwood was with our Boston relatives in springtime of 2012. Longwood’s tickets were pricey, but money well-spent when I came home SO inspired. Longwood has such beauty and magnitude that it’s impossible to see everything in one visit. Just like Disneyland, but for gardeners and without the rides! I hear they do an amazing light show exhibit at Christmas, so I guess I’ll just have to go back and check it out for myself.
There were tree houses, winding pathways, fountains, ancient Magnolias, shaped boxwoods (like Alice in Wonderland,) a greenhouse conservatory, an outdoor amphitheater for summer performances, an extensive gift shop, and a pretty decent restaurant for a quick lunch and place to rest weary piggies.
If you ever have the chance to visit Longwood Gardens, I highly recommend it. Longwood is Disneyland for gardeners!