"Plants make me quiet. I like to be in their company." -Peter Zumthor
A sunny September afternoon in Columbus, Ohio spent wandering the conservatory is a day well spent. This was my second visit and equally enchanting as the first. Here, let me show you around.
^ The very first plant in the very first exhibit of the Franklin Park Conservatory is this little mountain creeper. I find it adorable and take endless closeups of its sweet face.
^ The conservatory boasts a nice collection of Dale Chihuly's glassworks but for me, they don't work with the plants. The wild colors and flamboyant shapes steal the show from gentle growing things and I'd prefer for all the art to be shipped back to the Pacific Northwest where it can live in outlandish harmony with its equally dominant siblings at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle.
^ Jungly greenhouses are my happy place. I find a bench near an air conditioning vent where I gaze up at the sprawling canopy, listen to the nearby drip drip drip, and thank the Lord that I am not in a real jungle where I would be dying of the humidity.
^ Something hard and something soft.
^ Something sharp and something sweet.
^ Jade plants. Just like I grow at home, only much, much bigger..
^ The palm room is the heart and soul of the entire conservatory. Inside the airy cathedral, monumental forms of green dwarf ordinary human beings and fill me with a sense of awe.
^ The dark green tree in the upper right corner of this shot is a fiddle leaf fig. Yes, the same fiddle leaf fig that grows as a meter-high houseplant in trendy American homes, though it's hard to imagine this tree was ever a meter tall.
^Gorgeous fans of palms that flow down like waterfalls,
^ or spring up as buoyant feathers.
^Eventually, I work my way across the room and out the door. I walk across a wide sunny terrace, then turn and look back at the Victorian dream of a greenhouse from whence I came.
^ This cupola alone explodes with character and charm against a perfect blue sky.
^ I have a thing for semi-circle windows and this one above the door sets a high standard for detail and depth.
^ Looking out from the building, I'm tempted to continue on into the gardens beyond. But the afternoon air is hot and humid, and I change my mind.
^ Back inside under the cover of green and the whirring ceiling fans, I feel quite at home at the conservatory.
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Road Trip 2019: read all about it.