One of my favorite places in all of Seattle is the Conservatory at Volunteer Park.
My earliest memories of the Conservatory were when I visited it with my dad in 1965----when he was giving a lecture to the American Gloxinia & Gesneriad Society (Now The Gesneriad Society). One of his many claims to fame was hybridizing gloxinias----developing many new colors and variations on the theme.
I used to love to take the kids there when they were little. It is a great place to go to relax and unwind and be transported wherever one needed to be----especially on a cold and rainy day. Back, then there was a large pond with several large Koi Fish in it----now it is just a wishing well with a bunch of Koin in it.
One of the things that stand out the most about the Conservatory is the smell. All I have to do is "think" about going to the Conservatory and wherever I "actually" am seems to be flooded with the smell. It is not the smell of any one plant, but the combination of plants, flowers and humid conditions that create a smell that is recognizable every time I go there.
Another thing is the
While most of the greenhouses are tropical or subtropical in theme, there is one that has always been a desert greenhouse, with all manner of cactus. Some of the plants are a hundred years old I am told.
One of the things that stand out in the desert greenhouse is the patterns. While all life forms have distinguishable patterns, they become very apparent in the cactus----and painfully apparent if you get too close.
Here are some of the pictures inside the Conservatory (as always with my posts, the pictures will tell you more if you hold your cursor over them).
Now here are some artsy-fartsy pictures of color, shapes and patterns.
There are several species of "Pitcher Plants" at the Conservatory. While one might associate these plants with the tropics----or subtropics, there is one species that can actually be found in Connecticut. My dad owned a peat bog in Thompson, Connecticut and we used to find them there.
In this next picture one can see the tiny downward pointing hairs that would make it difficult for an insect to work their way up the slope. Gradually the insect would end up at the edge where they would slide into the primordial ooze and be turned into nutrients the plant can absorb.
While admission is free, one is encouraged to leave a donation of $3.00 and sign the guest book.
PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)all pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.