Longwood opens new Meadow Garden

Courtesy photo
Visitors enjoy live music at Winterthur.
Courtesy photo Visitors enjoy live music at Winterthur.
Photos by Caryl Huffaker
Clockwise from upper left:
The barn is used for Longwood's Christmas decorations; The view from the Webb farmhouse; Belin the cat gets a pat from a gardens visitor; The Webb farmhouse built in the 1700s is reminiscent of the Barns-Brinton House.
Photos by Caryl Huffaker Clockwise from upper left: The barn is used for Longwood's Christmas decorations; The view from the Webb farmhouse; Belin the cat gets a pat from a gardens visitor; The Webb farmhouse built in the 1700s is reminiscent of the Barns-Brinton House.

Longwood Gardens opened up the new large Meadow Garden last Friday, but it was quite a washout with rain, wind and gray skies. On Saturday the meadow had lots of visitors, including a large group of photographers and bird watchers who were waiting for the doors to open. The new garden has three miles of hiking trails that go in all directions to get visitors to various beautiful views. One of the most interesting spots was the Webb Farmhouse that is near the white buildings travelers can now see from the new Route 52.

These are houses owned by Longwood in which some of the employees live. You can go by cart down to a pretty bridge across a pond where visitors could watch turtles walking on branches, hear bull frogs and see an occasional bird. The carts could not go any farther, as there was no more paved road.

For the non-athletic types, Longwood has a six-seat shuttle that leaves at noon on the hour and half hour for the Webb Farm House. To get it go sit on the stone wall behind the garage that is behind Peirce/duPont House. As the shuttle rides are just getting started and people don’t know about them yet, I would check with the staff at the house to make certain it is running that day. The Webb Farm House was built in the 1700s and is very reminiscent of the Barns-Brinton House on Route 1. It is being used as a gallery with information about native plants, the former use of the land and a backdrop for antique farming tools, some found in the trees.

Probably the most popular part of the elevated platform on which you travel is the section the goes through the deep woods and through a bog that is wonderful. This is the greatest way to travel, as you see everything and never get your feet wet. While the bog is a big hit, Belin, the cat host at the Peirce/duPont House is a big attraction, as she waits outside greeting people. Belin was found as a kitten on the property and was kept as one of the 11 cats who work as mousers at the gardens. She was named after Mrs. duPont and raised at the house, where she still can retreat in bad weather. Belin receives attention and petting from visitors all day. The staff watches to see that no one feeds her, as a visitor did and made her sick.


It is really beautiful the way in winch Longwood has opened up the Meadow. They have planted swirls of native plants and built trails to several high points with beautiful vistas. Even the bridges have been designed with unusual beauty, or as we say locally, “did it a la Longwood.” This is a really class act.


The current exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum of Art will be discussed by Virginia O’Hara, curator of collections, and Edie Dondero, senior planner for land and easement management. The talk at 2 p.m. on June 25 is free for members and included in museum admission.


The Gershman Y is sponsoring a series with professors from Yale and Harvard, who will speak at the Brain Café. You are asked to view a U-Tube and then meet at the Brain Café at Good Karma (331 S. 22nd St., Philadelphia) at 6 p.m. The first topic is by Harvard professor Michael Sandels, who will speak on “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to do: The Moral Side of Murder.” The meeting is Tuesday, June 17. To watch the lecture in advance go tohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpmESnTeZP8. The other lecture is on morality on July 15. For information and reservations call 215-545-4400.

Fairy House

The Brandywine River Museum of Art is offering a workshop for all ages on Saturday, June 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to make a beautiful fanciful fairy house for your garden. Participants will decorate a small house with natural materials, all of which will be provided. Cost is $15 for an adult and $10 per child. To register call 610-388-8326.


There will be music this summer on Wednesdays at the Anson B. Nixon Park. Bring a chair or a blanket and a picnic and enjoy the concerts that begin at 7 p.m. The opening event on Wednesday, June 25, will be Alligator Zydeco Band, the father-daughter team who front this band of talented musicians. The concert is free, underwritten by The Hadley Fund, with supper available from Byrsa Bistro.


Winterthur will once again have concerts called “Music Along The Banks” in their knock-out garden. The first concert will feature Buffalo Chip & the Plainsman on Friday, June 27. Led by singer and guitarist Chip Porter, they will feature members of the band Wildaxe. Bring your own chair or blanket, picnic to the concert from 5:30 to 8 p.m.. The Cottage Café will be open for light fare and beverages

Sin City

If you remember all the dreadful weather we have had, you might remember the terrible storms, one of which caused Winterthur to cancel the “Music Along the Bank “concert by the Sin City Band. This popular band has been rescheduled for July 11 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per member and $15 per non-member.


In celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Barns-Brinton House, they are holding a Colonial Faire on Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with colonial crafts, foods and drink, period dancers, plein-air painting and tours of the house. Beer will be served in souvenir mugs. Parking will be available at nearby businesses They will unveil the plaque for the National Register of Historic Places, followed by the serving of a birthday cake.


That modern Masterpiece “Evita” will be at the Academy of Music June 17 to 25. This is the first new production of this seven-time Tony Award masterpiece since it debuted on Broadway over 30 years ago. This tells the true story of how the beautiful and charming Eve Peron rose from the slums of Argentina to become the First Lady. Idolized as a champion of the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world. Her greed and outsized ambition was stopped by her fragile health. Tickets can be purchased from 215-731-3333.


The not to be missed Broadway show “The Book of Morman” that won six awards for “Bet Musical is on tour and will be at the Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St., Philadelphia from July 29 through Sept. 14. This satiric treatment of Mormon missionaries trying to convert the natives is full of innocent fun. Tickets are available from 800-447-7400.


The Children’s Theatre of the Player’s Club of Swarthmore will present “Oz” June 14 to 25 on the weekends. This shortened version of the famous foursome is at the theatre at 614 Fairview Ave., Swarthmore, with plenty of parking. For info or tickets call 610-328-4271.


The Delaware All-State Theater will present the funny musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” Friday, June 20 through Sunday, June 29. The cast is composed of talented students who worked hard to be selected. This whimsical comedy will be given at the Tatnall School. For tickets call 302-635-0754

‘Sunshine Boys’

The Barley Sheaf Players, 810 N. Whitford Road, Lionnville, will give that funny, funny comedy “The Sunshine Boys” June 13, 14, 20 and 21. This is the story of two old vaudeville geezers who are doing their act again after many years. This is in spite of long term bad feeling between them is done by excellent amateur actors. Tickets are $15 from 610-363-7075.

Walnut Street

The Walnut Street Theater has announced its roundup of plays for its 2014 season. They will begin with “9 to 5:The Musical” about three female office workers who have finally become fed up with their egotistical, lying , hypocritical boss, a musical made famous in the film with Dolly Parton, Sept. 2- Oct. 19, 2014. The high flying “Mary Poppins” will be back to delight Nov. 4 trough Jan. 4. 2014-2015. Noel Coward’s timeless comedy “Private Lives” will be Jan. 13 through March. 1. Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” will be March 10 through April 26. They will end with the winner for best musical, “Memphis,” May 12 through July 12. Subscriptions are available from 215-574-3550.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.