Spring makes an early arrival at Longwood Gardens


January 23, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

If you're tired of snow, sleet and frigid temperatures and can't afford a jaunt to the Caribbean, take a trip up U.S. 1 to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa. There you can "Welcome Spring." The current garden display is a reminder that more agreeable days are ahead.

The display, with its acres of colorful blooming bulbs, opened yesterday and continues through April 30. About 45,000 daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, lilies and other spring favorites create a panorama in pastel. In addition, acacia blossoms offer a touch of gold in January and February; in March, cymbidium orchids are the featured attraction; and in April, the gardens are filled with the heady scent of Easter lilies.

A photographic exhibit, "Gardens of the Brandywine Valley," by Gottlieb Hampfler, will be on display through Feb. 28. Mr. Hampfler was Longwood's staff photographer from 1955-1975. Visitors on Sundays will be treated to concerts in the Conservatory Ballroom, which are held at 2:30 p.m. and feature organists, pianists, a jazz quintet, a percussion ensemble, Irish musicians and a youth brass band.

Four Fabulous Fun Days for Children will again be offered this season. The first, "Dan Crow in Concert," is scheduled Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mr. Crow, an award-winning recording artist for Walt Disney Musical Co., performs a program for the entire family. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Cost: $10 for adults; $3 for ages 6 to 15; $2 for ages 3 to 5.

The Dave Schiff Quartet will perform "Jazz for Juniors," recommended for ages 9 and up, Feb. 19 at noon, and "Sonic Boom" will be presented by the University of Delaware Percussion Ensemble Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Seating for the Feb. 19 concert is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for the Feb. 26 concert can be ordered by advance mail free of charge, but concertgoers need to purchase a garden admission ticket on the day of the concert.

The final children's performance is April 9 and features Body Language Dance Company of Young Audiences. The show combines creative movement accompanied by Bach, rock, poetry and jazz, with audience participation. The program is for children ages 6 to 10. Tickets by advance reservation are $10 for adults; $3 for ages 6 to 10.

The gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The conservatories open at 10 a.m. Admission is $10 for adults ($6 on Tuesdays); $6 for those age 16 to 20; $2 for ages 6 to 15; free for under 6. Longwood is on U.S. Route 1, three miles northeast of Kennett Square.

For information, call (610) 388-6741.

Cross-country skiing

State forests and parks in Western Maryland provide several miles of marked trails for cross-country skiing. In Garrett County there are 10 miles of groomed trails at New Germany State Park in Grantsville; (301) 895-5453. Herrington Manor State Park near Oakland -- (301) 334-9180 -- has six miles of groomed trails, ranging from beginner to difficult. The park office at New Germany is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day, and hours are extended to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays. There is a $2 per person fee on weekends and holidays; other days admission is free. Herrington Manor is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and there is no charge to use the ski trails. Both parks have cabins for rent and warming huts with food concessions. The cabins are a popular choice for weekend getaways, so be sure to call ahead to check availability. Ski equipment can be rented at Herrington Manor. At New Germany, you can rent equipment just outside the park on Lower New Germany Road.

An eight-kilometer cross-country ski race is scheduled Saturday at 10 a.m. at Herrington Manor State Park. The race is open to all ages and all levels of ability, and trophies and medals will be awarded to winners in each group. Registration begins Saturday at 8 a.m. at the lake concession area. The fee is $5 for adults; $1 for children under 12.

The annual cross-country ski race at New Germany State Park will be held Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. The race is part of the multi-state Allegheny Cross Country Ski Race Series and consists of an eight-kilometer race for ages 12 and up, and a one-mile race for ages 7 to 12 followed by an 1/8 -mile race for tots. Registration is from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The fee is $5 for adults; $1 for those under 12.

Antiques show

"A Toast to the Country Life" is the theme of the Annapolis Heritage Antiques Show, which opens Friday for three days at the Medford National Guard Armory in Annapolis. Price of admission is $6.

Some 34 antiques dealers from 12 states will exhibit furnishings and decorative arts from the 17th century to the 19th century, including formal and country period furniture, fine art, ceramics from around the world, Asian carpets, museum-quality ship models, antique naval weapons and folk art.

Barbara Milo Ohrbach, nationally recognized author and speaker, will lecture on "The Endless Hunt: Collecting and Decorating with Antiques" Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Opening comments will be made by Gregory R. Weidman, curator of the Maryland Historical Society.

The $20 ticket to the lecture includes a continental breakfast and admission to the show. The London Town Foundation, sponsor of the show, will hold a champagne reception and show preview Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $30 and include gourmet food provided by area caterers.

Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. Friday; noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds will benefit the London Town Publik House & Gardens. The armory is on Hudson Street off West Street in Annapolis. Call (410) 222-1919.

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