Volunteer Park Conservatory
It has been a little more than two years since I visited the Conservatory at Volunteer Park. Last time I went it was still one of the few free places to visit in the city. Now, however, there is an entrance fee of $4.00 per adult, children $2.00. At this time of year there are lots flowers in bloom and the admission fee was worth it. Donations alone were no longer enough to take care of the plants, repairs, and upkeep. Many of the flowers in the greenhouse will bloom outdoors here in gardens but not until probably April or perhaps May. In addition to garden flowers the Conservatory is well known for showy displays of orchids. Since I love orchids and have several plants of my own growing happily in the kitchen I was looking forward to seeing the ones here. It was hard to limit the number of flower pictures but I took so many that not all of them could be included. Here are a few of my favorites.
Just inside the door to the greenhouse was this grouping of Lady Slipper orchids. This type of orchid usually only blooms once a year and has one stem per new plant so there were several plants in this display.
Close up of another Lady Slipper orchid
The Lady Slippers came in a variety of colors and sizes. Here are two yellow ones. Note the support hook holding the stem straight.
I liked this delicate pale pink one with the tiny darker spots on the petals.
Here is another one with spots on the petals. It is easy to see the shoe shape on this one.
This huge display is of phalaenopsis or moth orchids the most common type grown in homes.
A closer view of one of the clusters of blooms
These are cymbidiums. More difficult to grow at home they are thriving in this moist greenhouse environment.
Blue and pink hydrangea
There were several different bromeliads including this bright red variety
This may be another bromeliad but I couldn’t find the nametag in all the foliage
Then there were some strange plants like this chenille
This one is often called a peace flower and its red cousin below is an anthurium
Some plants were more notable for the leaves than the flowers
Then there were the cactus plants including several different agaves
This one is just starting to bloom, see the strange brown sticker trees growing out of the soft puffy center?
This strange plant catches small insects for food.
In the midst of all the flowers was this quiet pool with running water and ferns
An oasis of calm and quiet in center of the bustling city.