The Chrysanthemum Festival is an annual celebration of Fall at Longwood Gardens. Longwood horticulturists spend over 18 months grooming different types of mums into various shapes and forms.
The tradition to preserve the Asian horticulture art started in 1981 and is the largest mum show in North America. Each unique display and sculpture rests in the four-acre conservatory.
Due to the pandemic, the festival now operates at 35% capacity. The garden also uses safety signs and designated paths for its guests. Director of Communications, Patricia Evans, explained the other safety precautions Longwood Gardens has taken:
“And we have 400 acres. So there’s lots of room for guests to spread out safely and enjoy the gardens And, of course, we’re cleaning and sanitizing all of our high touch areas as much as we can.”
Even with Covid restrictions, the Chrysanthemum Festival unveiled its most prized exhibit— the ‘Thousand Bloom Mum.’ The goal of the ‘Thousand Bloom Mum’ is to make every flower on one plant as perfect as possible. This year’s mum has over 1,400 perfect blooms and is nearly 12 feet wide and 10 feet tall. It is the largest in North America.
Over 18,000 boldly colored mums attract around 1.5 million visitors a year.
“We just decided to take a personal day off for ourselves, kinda just get away from work and just be one with nature, just unwind,” says Hannah Mire and Dave Wallace.
Yearly visitor Jeff says, “Just all the colors, some of the artistically grown ones, the topiaries, the shapes, there’s always something interesting to see.”
Longwood Gardens is located in Kennett Square, outside of Philadelphia. Visit the beautiful sights of Fall before it ends on November 15. Timed tickets for Wednesdays through Mondays must be purchased ahead of time on the Longwood Gardens website.