Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers was my last stop in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.


This conservatory opened in 1879, making it the oldest public glass and wood greenhouse in North America. It is a city, state and national historic landmark!

It has survived a boiler explosion, earthquakes, closure for structural instability, and severe windstorm damage.

In 1999, a $25 million dollar restoration took place with the conservatory reopening in 2003.

I cannot express the sheer joy and glee I had wondering around in here. I had multiple "plantgasms".

The conservatory is broken out into sections: Potted Plants, Lowland Tropics, Highland Tropics and Aquatic Plants. There is also a special exhibit area, which I will showcase in another post.

In the Lowland Tropics, plants from low-laying tropical forests are featured. Plants from Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia.

It's a jungle in there!
Pavonia strictiflora (Goethea strictiflora)
There was a great selection of Pleurothallids, Masdevallias, and Draculas in the Highland Tropics. As a former "Orchid Geek", it was fun to see plants tucked in here and there. This room had it's own fog to simulate the cool temperatures and high humidity of  being at 3,000 feet elevation. It was amusing to balance taking lots of pictures with keeping my camera out of the constant mist.  

Dracula bella
Nepenthes lowii 'Mulu'
Petrocosmea begonifolia
Restrepia antennifera
Barbosella cogniauxiana

Bulbophyllum 'Elizabeth Ann'

The Aquatic Plants room featured plants from the Amazon and Mekong.  There was a large collection of pitcher plants and Bromeliads

A world in a bowl.

Guzmania conifera

Bulbophyllum blepharistes
Pitcher Plant in bloom.
The Potted Plant area had an assortment of orchids, bromeliads, begonias and other interesting plants. Upon entry into this room a beautiful Schomburgkia splendida was in flower with it's long arching bloom spike.

Schomburgkia splendida

Globba schomburgkii (Dancing Girl Ginger)

A mix of Phalaenopsis
Nepenthes robcantleyi

Zamia roezlii

Vireya rhododendron

Tacca chantrieri (Bat Flower)
The special exhibit was of carnivorous plants. I will include the special exhibit in a special extra post.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

The second garden on my San Francisco belated birthday weekend was the Japanese Tea Garden.

The Ticket Gate
The Main Gate
Located in Golden Gate Park, it is the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S. It was built originally as a Japanese village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition.

The garden's history (see website for details) is sad. Created by Makato Hagiwara and maintained by his family until they were forced with other Japanese Americans into internments camps in 1942. They were not allowed back after the war.

The garden is small (approx 5-acres), but beautiful and well-tended. There are many pagodas, stone lanterns, an arched drum bridge and koi pond.

This garden requires a leisurely pace, so that you enjoy it's small size to the fullest and linger long enough to enjoy the garden from all angles. 

This little bugger was pulling up mouthfuls of moss for his/her nest.

The drum bridge is an especially popular place for a picture. Almost impossible in fact to get a picture without many others trying to do just the same thing.This garden attracts a lot of tourists, so going early or at an off time might be good.

The Moon Bridge

There is a tea house that serves tea and snacks. The gift shop was a nice place to pick up a little souvenir Lucky Cat.

Palm Trees?!?
The pine was being held up by the pole.