March 2022 Trip: Longwood Gardens

Hello everyone!

This March I desperately longed to get out of the house, so what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than a stroll through the gardens?

I’d heard about Longwood Gardens through my local comm, who regularly hosts spring meetups there. The timing had never worked out for me to attend a meet, unfortunately so I’d never been here before. It was about an hour and a half drive from me which, all things considered, wasn’t too bad.

Naturally, I misjudged the time a bit and ended up running a bit behind whilst getting ready and had to iron my dress while it was already on. It was super nerve wracking, but I managed to get most of the wrinkles out without burning myself which was a small miracle! Whew!

I decided to do the traditional himekaji hairstyle which is big curls! I teased my hair a bit at the roots to give my hair some volume, but it ended up being really windy which killed my hair. Overall, I was still pretty happy with how it turned out!

For my outfit I simply could not resist wearing my new My Melody Liz Lisa collaboration dress. This is the one dress that really sold me on Himekaji, and I was devastated that it wouldn’t fit me. I fell head over heels in love with the vintage furniture print on the dress, it was just so cute and elegant! Fortunately, over the past year or so I’ve managed to lose a significant amount and I knew I’d be able to fit it. I also took a hard look at the dress, and figured even if I still couldn’t I’d take a risk hoping I couldn’t use the waist ties to let it out. While it does fit, it is a bit tight, so I’ll probably take it to the seamstress at some point. The waist ties are really big, so I can’t imagine it’ll be a problem to let it out in the bust, so busty girls rejoice! 

I also managed to snag the matching purse on the secondhand market, so of course I had to choose that bag to take with me! I wore a white pair of Liz Lisa earrings and my favorite Lodispotto platforms!

We arrived at the gardens at 1:30 and walked around outside a bit. While my boyfriend complained about the cold, I didn’t find it to be all that cold so I was able to take my Liz Lisa coat off. The outside gardens were perfectly manicured, so I got some really nice pictures!

Tripods were allowed outside, so I used it as a good opportunity to get a few good couple photos! (My boyfriend is blurred as I only really share his name/appearance with close friends as he prefers not to be associated with my ‘kawaii’ projects due to his professional career.)

I always really enjoy our height difference, it always gives us a good laugh! Even in my platforms I’m still barely at his shoulder!

After we finished taking some photos outside we walked over to the large indoor greenhouse which was just stunning! The rich green contrasted with the delicate iron work made my heart flutter, it was so beautiful!

The house was a self guided tour centered around the creation and ongoing preservation of the gardens. My boyfriend really enjoyed it as it was founded by the Dupont family, and he finds their chemical empire to be really interesting since he works in an adjacent field. 

I was obsessed with this “cauldron” in a pink room!

For those of you that don’t know, I have been obsessed with Severus Snape from the ‘Harry Potter’ series since I first read the books nearly sixteen years ago. I could absolutely go on a convoluted rant about how much I love him, but it is suffice to say he is my “special” character. So a cauldron in a pink room was really just my kinda thing.

After I composed myself we walked around a bit more before venturing outside to visit the birdhouse where we took some cute selfies. 

It was nice to simply chat about the different things going on in our lives and catch up around niche hobby drama. 

After we walked around a bit we entered another greenhouse where we took some more nice pictures.

I would say that in here is where I got approached the most regarding what I was wearing. One lady asked me if it was Lolita, which I said something along the lines of, “That’s close, but it’s called himekaji.”

Another gentleman was super interested in the “Asian dolly fashion”. It seemed kinda gross at first, but he was really nice and just genuinely interested in the history of the fashion. He asked in what country it originated and when, who were the top designers, and really much more thoughtful questions. It turned out he had worked in fashion merchandising and had retired several years ago and now was spending his days learning about more obscure kinds of fashion. It was an interesting conversation, I would say one of the more engaging conversations I’ve ever had. 

After that we wondered around a bit more before making our way over to what I was looking forward to the most, the orchid room!

It was so beautiful, and it gave me a nice way to test my photography skills! Here are some of my favorite shots I took of the orchids as well as some other flowers that we saw!

It was really nice, although a bit more crowded than anywhere else in the gardens so we didn’t stay long. 

One of my favorite pictures!

After that we walked around outside, I’d say this was my favorite part. We visited this tower that reminded me of the tower in Pokemon Sword and Shield that has all the ghost pokemon in the wild. Ghost pokemon are my favorite type, so it was really neat to see! I didn’t take any pictures as I just wanted to enjoy it all!

After walking about five miles we had our fill. We briefly checked out the gift shop, which was nice, but we weren’t really interested in anything so we left after a few minutes.

By now it was dinner time so we Googled some local places to eat and found a cute little restaurant nearby. It was a solid choice! I had this incredible pasta dish followed up by a delicious tiramisu. 

My poor boyfriend ended up choking on the chocolate powder.

We had both been looking forward to dinner to talk about our views on local politics so we debated the senate race and different candidates and what we liked and didn’t like about them. We came to similar conclusions about who we think will win and why. 

Overall, it was a really lovely day and just what I needed to recharge my battery! Longwood Gardens was much bigger than I originally anticipated! There was so much to explore and we only saw about half of it, we’d really like to go back. I think spring might be a good time, or maybe even early autumn might be a good time to revisit the gardens. I look forward to re-visiting Longwood gardens to see some new plants in bloom!

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