Posted by: Waheeda Harris | March 25, 2013

The wealthy class

Pennsylvania - Longwood GardensWe owe a thanks to the wealthy as travellers – without their vision and wanting to leave a legacy, we’d have less places for us mere mortals to visit.

Visiting Longwood Gardens in western Pennsylvania was a lush treat on a winter’s day. As I walked up the slope from the main entrance to the conservatory, I looked out at the vast grounds, which was beautiful despite the lack of leaves and flowers of late February.

I heard from our guide that this place had been the former home of a member of the Du Pont family, a well known name in the United States thanks to a corporation that bears the name.

Pierre Du Pont had purchased the land to protect the trees and when he died, his legacy created this gardens, conservatory and grounds, which are visited year round for its unique plants and landscaped creations.

As I walked through the conservatory, seeing the profusion of flowers and plants, the bright colours and inhaling the floral scents, I gave thanks for the wealth of Mr. Du Pont, who not only cared about his environment, but wanted to preserve it. And he could.

He used his wealth to protect what he loved, and left his legacy to be a place that people could visit, appreciate and learn.

I saw many people enjoying the beauty of the flowers and plants, all getting a dose of the natural beauty while in the conservatory and hoping it would soon be seen outside. But I also started to realize how this lasting legacy not only gives joy in the moment, but joy for the future.

I know I will never be able to do anything similar in my life, to create such a place. I hope as a traveller, sharing information is my small way of encouraging another person to not just go somewhere, to see what I’ve seen, but to protect it so othesr can see it now and in the future.

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