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10 Can’t-Miss Events at Longwood Gardens This Fall

260299_Beer Garden_Davis_ Harold _Hank_ _Longwood Volunteer Photographer_

As you may have heard, Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience is back, everyone! And that’s not all horticultural haven Longwood Gardens is offering up. Get out your calendars and take a brief glimpse at just some of the many classes (botanical illustration!), tours (the Champion Tree tour!) and concerts (Argentinean tango!) happening at the floral oasis. We promise: it trumps any humdrum visit to the pumpkin patch. 

The Return of Nightscape

Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience is back and better than ever. Now in its second year, Nightscape offers an adventure into a magically transformed landscape of color and sound. Arranged by Klip Collective, the light movements are set to strains of Bach, Brahams and Debussy, performed by native Philadelphia musicians. A Beer Garden at Longwood Gardens will offer live music on Thursday evenings and serve up the signature brews. Nightscape admission is free for members and includes all-day admission to the Gardens, complete with shopping and dining destinations before the show. Nightscape runs Wednesday through Saturday evenings, now until October 29th.

Performances That Inspire

Celebrated blues singer-songwriter Taj Mahal is coming to the Gardens! Together with his signature trio of musicians, the night will also kick off with a special guest – three-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette who will open the evening performance with her signature R&B style. Known for hits like “Fishin’ Blues,” Taj Mahal redefined American blues music with his Caribbean, African and South Pacific-influenced tunes. Tickets are limited so don’t miss your chance to see these two living legends on September 11 at the Open Air Theater.

Spicing things up at the Exhibition Hall, Argentinean bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto will perform his tango, new tango, jazz, classical and world music, accompanied by talented tango dancers. At the age of 17, Del Curto won the “Best Bandoneon Player Under Age 25” in Argentina before founding the Eternal Tango Orchestra and serving as a music director for the Broadway show Forever Tango. Del Curto will perform twice on October 16 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – tickets are free with Gardens admission, but seating is first come, first-served!

Combining forces for another stop in their international tour, organist Ken Cowan and violinist Lisa Shihoten will grace the Ballroom with an explosive virtuoso program. Presenting the works of composers Saint-Säens, Barber and Korgold’s Garden Scene from Much Ado About Nothing, the duo will perform on November 18. Stick around after the show for a complimentary coffee reception with the artists!

Lessons in Landscaping

Whether you’re an accomplished artist or a blossoming beginner, “An Evening of Botanical Illustration” caters to your skill set to create beautiful works of botanical art. All students are encouraged to work with the medium of their choice: watercolor, graphite, color pencil or pastels. Beginners will receive thorough instruction in color mixing and watercolor techniques, while more advanced students can work at their own pace with lessons in composition and color. Don’t let the title fool you – this class is a nine-evening course running from September 19 through November 14.

Capture the magic of the Gardens for yourself with “Water, Water, Everywhere.”  This digital photography workshop allows you an hour in the world-renowned waterlily pools to get up close and personal with the intricate details of water. Enjoy a morning lecture on composition and water-shooting techniques before getting wet and wild. Submit your photos to the online classroom for discussions and techniques. The workshop is on September 16 from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Discover the Italian way to create intrinsic floral designs in “A Day in Italia.” This class will practice the method of using “volumes” of flowers and color blocking in two hands-on arrangements: an Italian modern mass design and a horizontal layered design. The one-day class is on October 1 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Buon viaggio!

Touring the Trees

Walk through an autumnal oasis with Peirce’s Woods Highlights, a tour of the seven-acre woodland garden complete with towering oaks, ashes, maples and tulip trees. Just a nook of the larger Peirce’s Park, the woods were designed and planted throughout the 1990s with 10,000 plants rescued from the North Carolina mountains before impending highway construction. This eastern deciduous forest tour is available on certain days through October and free with regular Gardens admission.

If these trees fall in the forest, everyone will hear. The Champion Tree Tour is an exclusive guide to the biggest, tallest and oldest trees in the region. Participants can measure and record tree circumferences and heights, while discussing tree identification strategies and natural history. The tour takes place October 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour behind the scenes of one of the biggest Longwood events with Chrysanthemum Festival Highlights. Learn how the Gardens horticulture experts create spectacular designs like clouds, spirals and a fountain of cascading fall blooms from more than17,000 chrysanthemums. Take an early afternoon tour on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays during the festival’s run from October 22 through November 20.

For more information about Longwood Gardens and planning your visit to Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience, click here.