What started as a fun visit to one of my favorite spots in St. Paul, has turned into a post I’d like to dedicate to a friend who just died. I had posted one of my orchid photos on facebook and there was a message from a mutual friend letting me know that our dear Lish lost her battle with cervical cancer. On her facebook page was another friend reminding his female friends to get tested, indeed it is so important. So, this will also serve as a reminder to all women out there: please get tested for cervical cancer.
I try to go to the conservatory at least once during winter and most especially when it is so frigid outside as it is today. When we woke up it was only 2 degrees! It’s a wonderful taste of the tropics that helps we in the frozen tundra survive the winter. Indeed, as we entered the building our glasses fogged up. Perfect time to clean them eh? Following are some of my best shots. I hope you’ll all enjoy.
From the frigid outside:
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory
Next, a gallery of some beautiful orchids:
A perfect place to sit and enjoy the gorgeous orchids
from our visit to the conservatory
In the north garden are a variety of tropical plants as well as helpful signs that teach the visitor a thing or two.
We were told by a volunteer that there was a cacao pod in the tree but it was too far back for me to photograph, but here’s the sign for that tree:
This huge plant particularly spoke to me as it is called the Traveler’s Tree but I had to photograph it in pieces as it is quite large. Here’s the top:
The accompanying sign:
There are so many interesting plants here, here’s some sugar cane:
A Manila hemp plant with rope made from its leaves:
Spinach anyone? This is a Malabar spinach. I didn’t know spinach grew up? And can you see the black “berries”? Are these seeds?
And here’s one that made me think of Z at Zeebra Designs & Destinations and I wonder if she sees these all the time, the Panama hat plant:
This most gorgeous blossom is on a ginger plant. I have been to the conservatory many times and I see different plants and flowers each time. I don’t recall ever seeing this blossom before. Isn’t it beautiful?
And from another angle (it’s so beautiful I had to take several shots):
Here’s another gallery of shots of other beautiful plants and flowers:
Brilliant red dianthus
The buds are in yellow in the foreground which become the orange stems. Interesting no?
A purple blossom on the tip of this bud.
another interesting hanging plant
Beautiful display of bromeliads
Is that a blossom? Curious isn’t it?
In another area of the conservatory, adjacent to the original building (pictured up top) is the fern room:
Another fun sign:
Some gorgeous green ferns:
And hubby’s favorite, a Wooly Tree Fern:
There is so much more here since they expanded it several years ago. In another section a bit further away from the fern room is the Rain Forest room. The best way to get there is through the gift shop, for if you take the corridor in front of the gift shop, which is full of windows, you get a bit of a chill on a cold day like today. In this room we saw many more plants but also birds, ants, fish, a tarantula (ewie!!), snakes and well, I just could not photograph all of them. But here are two photos of some of the things we saw. A pretty blue and yellow bird who was nice enough to sit still long enough for me to get a good shot of him:
And would you believe a sloth lives in here too?
I also recorded the birds singing in this room, and I wanted to include it so that you could hear what the birds chirping sounded like. Alas, I am not sure how to do that. I will look up how to do this and add it later if I can figure it out. For now, I will leave you with a last photo of the sunken garden. The display in this room is changed every few months and it’s already time for the spring display even though it’s only January. They rent this room for special occasions and I know at least one couple that got married here. What a great venue for a wedding don’t you think?
Rest in peace dear Lish. You made this world a brighter, happier place with your great wit, compassion and sense of humor. I will remember you always.