Friday, October 17, 2014

Very Late Postcards from San Francisco: Conservatory of Flowers

San Francisco has many things that Boston should have, from beaches to La Boulange, and one of the biggies is the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park (we don't have one of those, either). Considering that we have long, cold winters, it makes sense for Boston would have a large public conservatory where Bostonians could pretend we were in the tropics instead of New England. It would be mobbed.

A charming Victorian confection, the Conservatory of Flowers opened in 1879 and has had more than its share of fires and other disasters since — although it survived the 1906 earthquake intact, it was badly damaged in a windstorm in 1995. You can read about them here. These days, it's spectacular inside and out (click on any photo to enlarge it):
Boston doesn't have nearly enough palm trees (or redwoods), either.

Outside, there are vivid flower gardens, and people picnic and play music on the grounds. 
Inside, the temperature is in the mid 80s, with steamy humidity to keep the tropical plants happy.  

It's a jungle in there!

Victorian clutter and a moon gate.

There are lots of luscious orchids.

There was also an exhibition of creepy carnivorous plants. 

A pool in the Aquatic Gallery.

A blooming whatever in the Aquatic Gallery.

I wonder if this ironwork was inspired by Edward Gorey's creatures. 

While I was there, the curators were all staring upward and wondering what to do
about a plant that had broken through the ceiling.

At closing time, I cooled off outside under some palm trees. 
To catch the bus to my B&B, I found a lonely path through some woods.

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