Longwood Gardens' "Voices in the Landscape" tells Black stories through the lens of horticulture

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Monday, April 3, 2023
"Voices in the Landscape" tells Black stories through horticulture
Longwood Gardens' "Voices in the Landscape: Deeply Rooted" celebrates the contributions of the Black community "through the lens of horticulture.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This spring, you can journey through Longwood Gardens through a story, with "Voices in the Landscape: Deeply Rooted" hosted by storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston.

"It is a sound installation that is really intended to be experienced in the gardens, both indoors and outdoors," says Erin Feeney, Associate Director of Landscape Architecture and Programs at Longwood Gardens.

The self-guided tour features 10 stops, each with its own story.

Feeney says the tour shares and celebrates the contributions of the African American community "through the lens of horticulture."

Alston is a nationally recognized, award-winning storyteller from Philadelphia.

The content at each stop was written by Alston.

"She was inspired by the gardens," says Feeney.

Visitors access the content via QR codes on signs at each location and then listen on their phones.

Feeney says the tracks of audio "really allows our visitors to be heads up," so they can look and reflect on "the beauty of the landscape around them."

It's an experience that engages the senses.

"Voices in the Landscape" is really an immersive experience in that each of the locations is connected with a landscape, and a plant within the garden," says Feeney.

Inside the east conservatory is stop No. 7 called 'Making a Connection.' which features the Wood's Cycad, one of the rarest plants on earth.

Also inside, visitors can hear about George Washington Carver at stop No. 9 named, 'A Horticultural Icon.' Carver was nicknamed "The Plant Doctor" for his work in the plant sciences.

Outside, you can explore the Lookout Loft Treehouse. It is one of six stops featuring new audio versions for children.

Feeney says this sound installation is an opportunity for visitors to connect with both nature and the community.

"And we really hope it inspires people," she says.

"Voices in the Landscape: Deeply Rooted" runs through June 30 at Longwood Gardens.

"Voices in the Landscape: Deeply Rooted" | Tickets

Longwood Gardens

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348