What? The nectarines are in bloom already?

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The Estate Fruit House, part of the vast West Conservatory Complex at Longwood Gardens, is a carefully heated and ventilated greenhouse used for forcing crop plants into production much earlier than they would if they were grown outdoors. Pierre du Pont would often delight his guests with its out of season delicacies. Long rebuilt, the Estate Fruit House’s three distinct rooms hold space for diverse fruits from hardy rape vines to tender melon plants. Lemons, tomatoes and figs are also grown within. During the first week of March, I was lucky enough to be there for the early flowering of the artfully espaliered nectarine trees grown in one of the three spaces. Hopefully, I’ll be back for the nectarine cropping later in the season. The smell of ripening fruit inside is a singular pleasure as well.


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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘New York’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘New York’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘New York’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Lafayette’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Lafayette’.

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Espaliered nectarines in the Estate Fruit House at Longwood Gardens.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Fantasia’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Fantasia’.

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Espaliered nectarines in the Estate Fruit House at Longwood Gardens.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Redgold’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Redgold’.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Early Rivers’.

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Espaliered nectarines in the Estate Fruit House at Longwood Gardens.

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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica ‘Early Rivers’.
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