What was I thinking to volunteer to organize an event at my first planning meeting? Garth made it quite clear that I was on my own (a promise that he did not keep. He was a big help). What I was thinking is that nothing could be better in February than a taste of Spring and where better to get that than in the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens. So, the recruitment began. Patty was indispensable. She collected the reservations and the checks and made sure that Longwood got its money. At first, we were afraid that we wouldn’t get the required number of attendees, fifteen. In the end, we ended up with 24, a much better turnout than we expected. The party consisted of the Louise Story, the Dorners, Cawthornes, Ripperts, Suffredinis, Yaskowskis, Schwabs, Sanders, Ilnickis, Kellers, Gumperts, Gills, and Paul Holl (Fran was unable to make it).
Most of the time was spent in the Conservatory, a magnificent edifice that only a DuPont, or, perhaps Louis XVI, could build. Surrounded by hanging baskets of flowers, tropical rain forests, desert plantings and numerous water features, it really was a bit of Spring in February. Oh, and don’t forget the mile-long Green Wall with individual restrooms – what a luxury, and the Steinway player piano. Suff was the resident photographer and captured DVCMG members at leisure.
It was hard to envision going back outside once we were there. However, a small contingent ventured out to see the Peirce-duPont house. The house was originally built in 1730 by Joshua Peirce and expanded by Pierre S. du Pont in 1914. It is there that Pierre built his first conservatory.
All-in-all, Longwood Gardens rejuvenated us. The sight of beautiful flowers, the sound flowing water and the perfume of moist air may not hold us over until April, but it sure helps!
After our sojourn, the group (less Luise and Paul) regrouped at McKenzie’s Brew House on Rt. 202, where great food, drink and discussion were had by all!
- Susan Gill