Conservatory of Flowers

I went to the San Francisco Conservatory yesterday for the first time in uncountable years. We caught a docent’s tour, who delivered her knowledge of the plants in a succinct, stand-up style. The several rooms ranged from Northern California cool to tropical warm with the plants that grow in each climate. I couldn’t choose a favorite room, but I will say that the Victorians had the right idea when they included a potted plant conservatory in their building plans. After dinner the guests would “retire to the conservatory, my dear” to be refreshed and the air in the potted plant room, truly smelled and felt healthy and relaxing. We sat for a long time amid the plants.

I wanted some inspiration for my clay flowers series and I got it. I was amazed to find out that the pitcher plant “flower” below is not a flower at all but an enlarged stem to catch nourishment. The little flap at the top serves as an umbrella. What a cool shape!

2tonepitcher

pitcherflower2

Here are some others that I liked.

flower orchid

I don’t know it this next one is a flower or fruit or what, but the texture is wonderful and it was about the size of a big rolling pin. I wish I could use it for texture on clay.

knobbyflower1 They change the flowers just like in a museum. They were starting to move in plants to get ready for the Lunar New Year celebrating the Year of the Ox by filling the Potted Plants Gallery “with the blossoms, colors and fragrances that bring good fortune and prosperity for the coming year”. Quince, peach blossom, kumquat, mandarin orange and pomelo promise to ” boost all visitors’ chances for good fortune and wealth in 2009″. (Quotes from their website.) I guess you just have to look at the plants or fruits to get rich. It’s worth a try.

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3 responses to “Conservatory of Flowers

  1. Nature has so much to offer; when I lived in San Francisco many years ago, I used to like going to the arboretum and the tea gardens too.

  2. I’ve been trying to figure out if the conservatory of flowers and the arboretum are the same place. The conservatory looks like an amazing place to sketch and paint. I’m going to have to go!

  3. Linda, You have lived a lot of places! I wanted to go to the arboretum also, but after the conservatory and tea garden, we had to get going or we would have been stuck in rush “hour” traffic. Would you believe I have never been to the arboretum?

    Jana, the conservatory is that victorian glass building sort of across from the Academy of Sciences and the arboretum is part of the Botanical Garden, or the Botanical garden is part of the arboretum, whatever. I’ll go with you!

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