Eaten alive at The Conservatory, Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA!

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

     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. 

 The Conservatory on a cloudy day         

     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

COLOR!
There is nothing I can say about color that "color" doesn't say better itself.

     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).

View shot

The Cactus greenhouse

Another view inside the Cactus Greenhouse 

Another view of one of the Greenhouses

 

     Now here are some artsy-fartsy pictures of color, shapes and patterns.

 One of the many orchids

Another orchid 

Color

And more color

Delicate blossoms on a VERY thorny cactus

Cactus forms

Cactus

Patterns

More patterns

More patterns, more thorns

 

     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.

Carnivorous Pitcher Plants 

     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.

 It is a slippery slope once you start

    While admission is free, one is encouraged to leave a donation of $3.00 and sign the guest book.

 

Charles Buell

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

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Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "etherial" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog and other people's blogs to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I just love your artsy fartsy photos. I almost feel like I had an actual visit and it makes me want to run out to the botanical gardens in Athens, GA.  But at only 38 degrees outside it will be a few weeks before I actually do it.

Jan 12, 2009 02:24 AM #7
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Celeste, you probably have some of these plants growing "wild" where you live:)

Thanks Tammy---glad you enjoyed the vist.

Jan 12, 2009 02:28 AM #8
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

what a joyous burst of colour, in our unbelievably bleak winter landscape... thanx

Jan 12, 2009 02:41 AM #9
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Alan, I figured you could use that about now:)

Jan 12, 2009 02:44 AM #10
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Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

I used to love to visit the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park, when I lived there.   I don't think it's still around.     Next time I visit Seattle, will add this to my list of places to go.    Thanks!

Jan 12, 2009 03:16 AM #11
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Li, thanks for commenting.  I am pretty sure the Bloedel still exists.

Jan 12, 2009 03:41 AM #12
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Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Just what I needed on this nippy day - tropical visions! Thanks.

Liz

PS -And now you've got me checking all your pictures, etc for the messages - pretty tricky!! 

Jan 12, 2009 04:34 AM #13
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Thanks Liz---glad you enjoyed it.

Jan 12, 2009 05:28 AM #14
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James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Charlie, Interesting and beautiful plants. I do enjoy gardening, but am not very plant literate. Its also interesting your dad had a connection to Seatle. Is this in anyway how you eventually ended up clear across the country?

Jan 12, 2009 07:14 AM #15
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I am sure it had something to do with it.  That and my best friend moved here 10 years before I did----he was obviously smarter than me:)

Jan 12, 2009 07:40 AM #16
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James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Well there must be many things you find more appealing about WA than CT since you made the move.

Jan 12, 2009 09:15 AM #17
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Honestly James---both states are incredibly beautiful.  Some time the two of us will have a nice cup of coffee and discuss all the "reasons":)

Jan 12, 2009 10:35 AM #18
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Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
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Amazing pictures! I love the orchids. I wish I had a greenhouse.

Jan 13, 2009 03:22 PM #19
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Man, it sure is a long way to the bottom of this post:)  Lizette, thanks for taking the journey through.  Since you liked the orchids, here is another one for you.

Orchid at the Conservatory in Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA

Jan 13, 2009 04:00 PM #20
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Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

I really do love to go to the arboretum (Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati), relaxing.  Don't know much about the plants, etc. though.

Jan 14, 2009 05:49 AM #21
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jack, you should do a post about the Krohn Conservatory----wanna see, wanna see:)

Jan 14, 2009 05:56 AM #22
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Stephanie Logan
Dune Lake Properties - Moses Lake, WA

You are a talented photographer! Thank you so much for the gorgeous photos and the time it took to put this all together. How beautiful! -S

Jan 14, 2009 07:34 AM #23
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Stephanie, thanks---and you are welcome----it is all fun:)

Jan 14, 2009 08:32 AM #24
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Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

I'll look into it.  Don't know if I can make it in this snow to get pictures.  We'll see.

 

Jan 14, 2009 11:46 AM #25
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jack that sounds worthy of a post all its own:)

Jan 14, 2009 02:03 PM #26
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