Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Memorable 1st Visit to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory (Ft. Wayne, IN)

The weeping spruce trees on the east side of
the conservatory always look like they're
celebrating something.
Each winter, just as the gray, cold days start to wear on me, I start wanting to pay our local botanical conservatory in Ft. Wayne, Ind., a visit. For many of the past years, we made it a family affair, inviting our girls and their spouses to join us for a couple of hours of lush, tropical goodness. It's a way to spend some family time and forget about the weather.

About a month ago, we joined younger daughter Jenna and oldest grandchild Hannah at the conservatory for a bit of Christmas cheer and hopefully some nice photos of Hannah for their Christmas card.

The theme is always different each year, but always full of beautiful flowers and unique decorations. Poinsettias are usually part of the display and this year was no different. There were lots and lots of poinsettias...

Tree branches painted gold add a bit of glitz to this holiday display.

The waterfall in the rainforest is a popular photo spot.

Winter? Where?

Paperwhites were dotted throughout a sea of blood red poinsettias.

There are always orchids in bloom, no matter what the season.
Mini ruffled poinsettias decorate this holiday "cake."

Several lush poinsettia standards were placed here and there throughout the display.

Santa was clearly having fun this afternoon as kids waited in a long line to see him.

There were live reindeer outside for the kids to see and be photographed with. I'd never seen a real reindeer before and I was surprised at how small they are. I had expected something along the lines of a moose in size.

Hannah wasn't too sure about the reindeer, but I was impressed with their pedicures.

The conservatory was a busy place and as Hannah is one of those people who gathers energy from those around her, her mommy wasn't too pleased with the photographs she took (or attempted to take) while we were there. Jenna pretty much gave up on the idea, but I took a few photos of my own and I think they turned out just perfect. Two-year-olds always take the best holiday photos, no matter what. :-)

Be a joiner!

One of the many benefits of being a member of the American Horticultural Society is their Reciprocal Admissions Program. Regular admission to the conservatory is $5, but I can go as often as I want at no charge, thanks to the AHS. If you haven't become a member, you really should, because it's one of the best deals out there for gardeners. just $35 a year, you get free admission to over 300 public gardens and arboreta in North America, discounted or free admission to select flower and garden shows, a subscription to The American Gardener magazine (excellent!), and can participate in their seed sharing program.

Upcoming exhibit

Today was the last day to see the "High Style Holidays" exhibit, but this week, the conservatory will be installing a new one featuring internationally known artist Sakaya Ganz. "Changing Tides" will run from January 10th through April 5th and will feature an imaginative seascape using recycled materials.

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is located in downtown Ft. Wayne (Ind.) at 1100 South Calhoun Street.

Tuesday-Saturday 10 am to 5 pm
Thursday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday 12 Noon to 4 pm
Closed Mondays, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day
Discount Admission with Bagel Station Café Purchase
Receive $1 off Conservatory admission with the same-day purchase from the Bagel Station café (minimum $5 purchase)
Show your café receipt at the admissions desk to receive your discount.
Admission Rates 
$5 Adults
$3 Children (ages 3-17)
Free ~ Children age 2 & under
Members free 


Garden Fancy said...

What a wonderful dose of tropical warmth at a much-needed time of year! And what a cute granddaughter you have! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely outing with us. I just joined the AHS, and I'm looking forward to visiting some of the gardens under the RAP. Best Wishes for the New Year! -Beth

Lisa at Greenbow said...

If I had been able to go see the exhibit I would have been dancing down the aisle too. Cute pics of Hannah. Love seeing the orchid and spruces.

Lona said...

Oh how beautiful! I love all the pictures and Hannah looks like she was enjoying it.I did not make it to visit the conservatory in Columbus before Christmas. I love going and seeing the hundreds of poinsettias and the gingerbread houses. Theirs seems the same every year though not like the one in Indiana.The gold branches in the large urn is so pretty.I do white branches but on a much smaller scale. :) Thanks for the tour.

TN Garden Center said...

Wow! This is beautiful. My husband and I never got to go on a honey moon and I have always wanted to take a trip somewhere very interesting to make up for our missed trip. Love new places and ideas for cool places to visit. Looks very nice for Christmas!

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