I've been to Longwood Gardens many times in the evening for fireworks and other events. This summer, there are no fireworks or fountain shows because the large fountains and grounds in front of the conservatory are being renovated.
There are other enticements to visit, such as the outdoor Beer Garden with live music on Thursday nights.
But the main attraction this summer is the new installation of a “light and sound experience.” Last night Gary and I attended the members only opening, and the gardens were packed with people.
I tried taking photos and even attempted a video but I could not begin to capture the effects. Different colors and patterns of light are projected onto a textured landscape of plantings. The locations vary from the topiary garden to the banana tree house and the texture of the living canvas transforms the light into a dimensional art experience.
In the conservatory, the lights are projected onto a sort of suspended, huge disco ball made out of big vines and plant materials. As mesmerizing and interesting as this was, I was starting to think, this kinda feels like the acid trip I never took, back in college in the 70's. If the music had been selections from “Hair” I would have sworn I was tripping!
And then we walked down to the lake across from the tree house. Longwood has set up low chairs to view the lights projected on the water, and against the backdrop of trees in Pierce Woods.
This is where the magic unfolds. Before my eyes, the glimmer of white lights start to depict mist arising from the water surface. Leaves tremble and it seems as if a gust of wind blows across the trees. The mist dissolves into clouds and rain. Then dragon flies dance above the lake, their wings trailing helix drifts of light that turn into waterfalls on the huge backdrop. It is so dimensional I can hardly believe the fish jumping and the splash into the water are not real. How incredible! With just a subtle touch of color, the seasons change and leaves drift down in autumn, snow falls, new buds glimmer in spring.
I was so enchanted I watched three times and I can't wait to go back again. Disney could not have done better! If you are in this area, or can arrange a trip, don't miss this experience.

Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective

Wednesdays through Saturdays,
Now–October 31, 2015




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  1. SarasotaMermaid says

    Loved the story of adventure held in check by the voice of reason! I was delighted to see you stayed at Pipestem State Park, West Virginia. You must return in the autumn to sample the fresh pressed sorghum molasses, apple cider and gorgeous colors of the autumnal foliage. It’s Almost Heaven in West Virginia!

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