THE TEDDY BEARS are cuddly, the fountains appear to spout domes of glass, and the tea garden is just right for a party -- if you are a child with imagination.

The Children's Garden, a new feature of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is a 1,500-square-foot topiary world meant to stimulate and amuse children. The Children's Garden has a topiary bear who fishes in the fountains, another who overseas the tea garden, two giraffes who live in the maze in the garden, birds and a penguin.

The Garden's animals are made of ivy; the entire display is ivy and plants that include blossoming red and orange nasturtium.

The tea garden, maze and play areas are built for children younger than 9 years old. Over it all is a treehouse, from which parents can watch their kids, or kids can see the wonders to come. The garden takes only a few minutes to visit, and is a charming and refreshing break for children tired or bored by Longwood's acres of gardens and conservatories.


adjoins the East Conservatory at Longwood Gardens and is open through April. To reach Longwood, about 125 miles north of Washington on the former country estate of Pierre S. du Pont, take I-95 north to Route 52 west in Wilmington, Del. Follow Route 52 to U.S. 1, turn left and follow the signs. Longwood Gardens is open daily; admission is free for children under 6, $1 for children 6 to 14, $5 for adults. 215/388-6741.