Tag Archives: orchids

Orchids at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Dag nab it! I missed the orchid display at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory this year.  I guess I never saw a notification for this year’s display.  Bummer!  But never fear, I was alerted to another orchid display at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, about a thousand miles away from home!  Yea, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  It’s about a 30 minute drive southwest of home. And it’s a lovely drive with lots of open spaces and many, many lakes.

We arrived to a very full parking lot so we wondered what else was going on at the Arboretum.  Other than the orchids there was a farmer’s market in the Oswald Visitor Center so that must be what the rest of the visitors were doing there. There weren’t that many orchids in the visitor center so we found our way to their conservatory. A warm, sunny room full of colors!  Before you get to that room there is a walkway full of succulents including many cactus plants. Naturally I took a bunch of photos, the nicest ones are displayed below.  I hope you enjoy!!

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Orchid show! and WPC – Vibrant

I don’t always see the annual St. Paul Winter Carnival Orchid Show every year.  But I do try to visit the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory once each winter to get a breath of the tropics and to escape winter even if just for an hour.  It is truly heaven on earth inside the conservatory!  If you’re interested, here are a couple of posts from previous years’ visits:  2015 and 2014. Today’s visit was a bit unusual in that it’s typically bitterly cold outside and cloudy. While I am thoroughly enjoying the sunshine today, it did make it harder to get good photos but I did get a few.

When I saw the theme for this week’s photo challenge I knew exactly what I wanted to enter for it.  Please enjoy my photographic tour of this year’s Orchid Show! Click on each gallery to see larger images.

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Marjorie McNeely Conservatory – Como Park, St. Paul, MN

One of our favorite activities during the winter months is to visit the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park. It’s a ten minute drive from our house and provides a nice refuge from the frigid weather.  And boy howdy, have we ever had frigid weather this year! Not to mention the piles of snow we’ve accumulated.  Here’s a good view of that snow with the conservatory in the background:

This year I focused more on the blooms.  Last year I documented many of the plants that are contained within the conservatory.  If you’re interested, check out that post by clicking here.  We managed to strike it rich in terms of seeing beautiful orchids. The winter carnival is happening right now and there was an orchid contest and the winners were displayed in one of the rooms.  I also noticed that there were many more orchids blooming this year than last year.  Last year we visited the equivalent of about 3 weeks ago.  What a difference 3 weeks makes!

I did snap some photos of lovely greenery too:

A collection of some other things blooming:

The sunken gardens where many couples get married:

And here’s a photo from hubby’s camera, the photographer at work ;)

This was quite the scene with the sloth named Chloe and the lone sun bittern.  There was a volunteer who just told us how the bittern loves to torment the sloth to gain control of this tree.  Another volunteer watched with us while the sloth moved away from the bittern.  He said he’d never seen that sloth move so fast! It seem the bittern won this round:

I’m thinking the bonsai room was either closed last year or we missed it.  There’s a nice display of a few bonsai plants but it wasn’t a good day to take photos in there.  It was too bright.  But I did get one of an olive tree and then a view of the room:

Finally, a study of amaryllis. I liked hubby’s photo a little better than mine so he let me display it here.

I’m participating in my friend Marianne’s new photo challenge “one trip every month”.  Do check out other trips at the link to her blog and enjoy!!

one trip every month

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A visit to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, St. Paul

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

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

Next, a gallery of some beautiful orchids:

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 bottom:

The accompanying sign:

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There are so many interesting plants here, here’s some sugar cane:

A Manila hemp plant with rope made from its leaves:

IMG_0867Spinach 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:

In another area of the conservatory, adjacent to the original building (pictured up top) is the fern room:

Another fun sign:

IMG_0914Some gorgeous green ferns:

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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:

IMG_0900And would you believe a sloth lives in here too?

IMG_0895I 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?

IMG_0885Rest 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.

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