Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Spring Preview in the Conservatory

As I write this on Wednesday evening, snow is once again flying and there's a powdered-sugar dusting on the grass and trees.  The white stuff started about twenty minutes before school was out and more is predicted for a while tonight as temperatures drop well below freezing.  Sigh.  Spring interrupted. Over the weekend, I walked over to the Seymour conservatory to get a breath of warmer air.  Outside, popping up through the dessicated banana leaves were these charming Leucojum (vernum? aestivum?) 

Inside, spring has already arrived.

A nice jolt of color in the seasonal display area is especially welcome during the cold months. 

Unusual orchid foliage.  Unfortunately, the plant wasn't marked so I'm not sure which one. 

Tephrocactus strobiliformis (guessing.)

If the weather ever warms up, this will be happening outside.

I know I've seen this one in catalogs but it's even nicer in person.  Such a sweet and subtle yellow color.

Once again, the huge NOID agave labeled simply, "Century Plant."  

There were some brown-edged leaves on some of the permanent large tropical plants including some tree ferns.  Upon inquiry, I learned that the furnace went out on one of the coldest nights of the year and it wasn't discovered until the next morning, the tree ferns, "haven't been happy for quite a while," and someone over fertilized a few things.  Sad news but it does make me feel better that even the pros have problems sometimes.

Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish Moss) looks very happy!

The gift shop is well stocked with Tillandsias at the moment, including this impressively large and blooming T. duratii. 

It's nice to know that no matter how much snow falls or how low the mercury falls, one can always visit Spring at the conservatory or in my own greenhouse.
Only 26 more days until spring!


  1. I know you are counting the days until everything starts anew...oh the delights of spring.

  2. It's such a shame that Portland doesn't have a conservatory!

  3. I can never remember the botanical names of plants, but I would expect a conservatory would. They can do better then "Century Plant" for that giant agave. I wish I had a conservatory "escape" up the street from me. That Spanish moss is awesome!

  4. oooh, nice plants...but I'm riveted by those stamped concrete blocks!

  5. The sight of tulips is rapturous to me! I love them madly but I could not grow them here to save my life!

  6. Old man winter may be holding on with his cold dead hands but spring cannot be stopped! I'm glad you were able to make use of your local refuge.

  7. This was wonderful to look at today, when my garden is under 3-4 inches of the dreaded and dreadful white stuff.

  8. I'm avoiding all tastes of Spring until it's actually here in my garden, as nothing beats homegrown Spring. :)

    That "Tephrocactus strobiliformis" looks a lot like what Gerhard called Opuntia turpinii -- but it seems like "pine cone catcus" has a lot of synonyms.

  9. Thank goodness for conservatories in winter - they help us get through it with a shred of sanity. This one had a nice display. Narcissus 'Pipit' is one of my favorites, too. A reliable performer in the garden, mine are next to bleeding hearts and forget-me-nots, so lovely!

  10. I could use a jolt of conservatory right now. Love seeing all that color. All of my indoor plants are begging to go outside. They just don't realize that it is too cold for them yet. Can't wait for some more color in the garden.
    I love tillandsias. This one is quite impressive with the bloom. WOW.
    Just think it won't be as long as it has been... Come on spring.

  11. We also visited a local conservatory this past weekend, glorying in all that color and verdant lushness.


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