POSTCARD from the fountains at Longwood


Nighttime performances of the Main Fountain Gardens at Longwood continue through October.

The fountains at Longwood Gardens, in the Brandywine Valley near Wilmington, Del., were always part of the magic of the place. Lavish like everything else, their waters sprayed and sparkled and dazzled all who watched their merry dance.

Pierre S. DuPont created three watery shows, the Open Air Theatre (I never miss these performances during Longwood’s Christmas extravaganzas.), the Italian Water Gardens (which transport visitors to an Italian villa) and finally, the Main Fountain Garden, a grand design of water, plants and sculpture located adjacent to the Conservatory.

But then, the Main Fountain Garden was closed as revitalization began in 2014. I joined all the Longwood fans who waited longingly for the fountain’s reopening.

At last in May, it reopened. All summer long, friends, members and visitors have been stopping by for a brief daytime show, or better yet, the evening performances of water set to music.

The 12-minute daytime shows at 1 and 5 p.m. are delightful. But if you can come at night, the illuminated performances are breathtaking. As I watched, sitting there in my chair (you can bring your own), sipping my wine (from a vendor’s cart nearby) I had to remind myself to breathe.

Have you seen it yet? You should. the 30-minute nighttime performances continue through October.


Daytime performances give visitors a better view of horticultural and architectural design of Longwood Garden’s main fountains. 

Ⓒ Text and photos by Mary K. Tilghman