This time of year, a few hours in a conservatory renews the spirits. You may not have thought about looking in from the outside of the building, but the view from the other side of the glass can be very interesting.
These photos were made during two trips – one to the WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Tacoma, in November, one to the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle in December. Both glass houses are over a hundred years old, and they’re kept going thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers. Here’s to those hard working people who maintain the plants, the facilities and everything else that keeps these wonderful resources running and available to the public.
- A Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) inside the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle.
- Dead leaves push against the glass, seen outside the WW Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma.
- More dried leaves pushing against the glass at the conservatory in Tacoma.
- A palm stem with coarse fibers surrounding the leaf sheath, inside the conservatory in Tacoma.
- A jumble of conservatory plants, including Spanish moss, or Tillandsia usneoides. That’s the familiar gray epiphyte which, draped heavily on live oak trees, is characteristic of much of the American south. It’s not a moss and it’s not from Spain – the original range was southeastern N. America, down through Central & S. America to Argentina. Now it has been introduced in other locations.
- A graceful orchid at the conservatory in Seattle.
- Dried plants settle against the windows of the WW Seymour conservatory in Tacoma.
- Ferns against the window at the conservatory in Tacoma. This photo was taken with a vintage lens, the Pentax Super Takumar 50mm F/1.4.
- Palm leaves, alive and healthy, inside the conservatory in Tacoma. Also taken with the Takumar 50mm F/1.4.
- Looking up at palm fronds in the conservatory in Tacoma.
- A single orchid petal in the conservatory in Seattle.
- A cactus inside the conservatory in Seattle.
- I think this is a fan aloe, Aloe plicatilis, aka Kumara plicatilis, a South African plant. Seen at the conservatory in Seattle.
- I could look up at palms all day. Inside the conservatory in Seattle. This was taken with a Lensbaby Composer.
- Inside a vestibule at the conservatory in Seattle, plants are pressed up against the windows. Taken with a Lensbaby Composer.
- A complex shot – looking across a conservatory room, through windows to another room, with reflections. Taken with a Lensbaby Composer.
- An orchid display (maybe Dendrobium sp.) anchored by maidenhair ferns at the conservatory in Seattle, taken with a Lensbaby Composer.
- The Coleus plants were going strong at the conservatory in Tacoma, and made an interesting picture as they pressed against the glass. I walked all around the conservatory, getting as close as I could to it, to find scenes like this.
- A view of the front of the WW Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma. It’s a small one, but it’s full of Victorian charm!