Gift #863: Conservatories

Well at this rate, we’re going to be in December before I finish posting all the wonderful experiences from Denver that I had planned to share with you!  There’s so much as I go through my photos and remembrances of the trip.  I had wanted to spend a couple of days just posting on the Denver Botanic Gardens because they are so beautiful and there’s lots to see there.  I don’t think I’ve ever posted on the conservatory there before, which is a shame since it’s quite remarkable.  A large two-story glass building houses an incredible array of tropical plants and is landscaped beautifully.  Then there’s a separate room off the main display that features a large waterfall and a collection of orchids.


Tropical plants aren’t my favorites – their hot colors and strange foliage seem a bit alien to me and I tend to favor the more subdued temperate forest plants.  However, in spite of that I do enjoy walking through conservatories and the one in Denver is a great one for many reasons.  One of the most compelling is their free-range African dart frog program that lets visitors observe these tiny frogs up close and personal and if you’re lucky you can persuade them to eat from your hand.  (Just kidding  – I’m seeing if you’re paying attention!)  They do have poison dart frogs, but they’re kept safely behind glass where they can allure all they want to without being a deadly attraction to visitors.  Aren’t they cool though?


So dart frogs aside, there’s plenty to capture your attention!


Lots of unusual flowers and plants.  The colors offer striking combinations.


And then there’s the signage.  I have a thing for signage.  (you can check out previous posts from Denver to verify that statement).  I really like the sketched chalkboard style of the signs in the conservatory, and I’ll point out they’ve been there for much longer than chalkboard art has been a fad.  They have a cool 1700s science illustration feel to them that kind of makes you feel like you’re an explorer encountering these strange plants for the first time.



I think they’re fascinating.  And they give lots of info about their ecological role and  conservation status of the plants, since many are threatened or endangered.  And then on to the plants!  This one offered amazing foliage


Ginger is always a favorite – I think this variety is called “beehive”.  Appropriate, don’t you think?


I don’t remember what this is, but it looks dramatic in the sunlight.


Ah, now this was a fascinating specimen!  This is the chenille plant, because it’s fuzzy red flowers look just like it.  They feel just like fuzzy soft pipe cleaners.  This plant would be right at home in a 70s style pad.


These draping flowers were incredibly beautiful.  Hanging down from the aerial foliage, they looked just like paper lanterns!  They brushed your head and shoulders as you walked by and for a few moments I really believed I was deep in the Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Conservatory.  It’s done a lot to cultivate my appreciation for the unusual and rare plants of the tropics.

Blessings to you,


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