Mediterranean Plants Under Glass at Longwood Gardens
James R. Ault
Longwood Gardens is a display garden situated on 1060 acres in southeastern Pennsylvania. Longwood is open year-round, attracting visitors to its 200 acres of outdoor displays and 3½ acres of conservatories and greenhouses. Longwood has been incorporating Mediterranean-climate plants into its conservatory displays since the mid 1980s. This was done to maintain lower greenhouse winter temperatures because of the escalating costs of heating fuel and to increase visitation during the winter months by providing the visitors with a kaleidoscope of plants in bloom. Longwood is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 6B, characterized by an average minimum winter temperature of 0 to -5F; as such, relatively few Mediterranean-climate plants are hardy outdoors in our area.
The Mediterranean-climate regions of the world include the true Mediterranean, the California chaparral, parts of coastal Chile, western and southern Australia, and the southwestern cape of South Africa.
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