With that introduction I suppose I should say where the Bloedel ranked on my Conservatory meter? Sorry you’re going to have to wait until the end of the post for that. According to the Conservatory brochure they are located at the highest point in Vancouver and its geographic centre. It’s also billed as having three different climate zones under one roof…tropical rainforest, subtropical rainforest and the desert zone. The park was deserted on a cool October morning and the view was beautiful.It was nice for this pair with the dog to stop in front of the huge Gunnera for scale. And check out that dome! Pretty cool eh!? (that's the Conservatory)
First thing inside the doors we have a beautiful False Aralia, or Dizygotheca elegantissima.
Which I read is technically now a Schefflera elegantissima, naturally I love it.
This tall Trumpet Tree, or Cecropia peltata was pretty spectacular as it reached for the sky.
And the Joannis Palm, Veitchia joannis, with its feathery fronds was also pretty gorgeous.
There were many colorful bromeliads...
Which were only outdone by the colorful birds.
Spiral Ginger, Costus pulverulentus.
I love the striped Bamboo.
Persian Palm, Alocasia x portidora ‘Portore.’
I was surprised to see this Screwpine, or Pandanus utilis in my photos from the Conservatory. TuesdayI posted a picture of an unknown plant in Hawaii and it turns out to be a Screwpine (thanks Mr Subjective for being the first to identify it).
I couldn’t find the name of this plant.
Flowering banana, Musa uranoscopus.
Papaya Tree, Carica papaya.
By the time we wound our way around to the desert zone I had completely forgotten that I had been promised it. What an unexpected treat! Nothing like a few large Agave attenuata to make a girl feel at home.
Bitter aloe, Aloe ferox.
Candelabra cactus, Cereus uruguayensis.
This one was labeled Dagger-tip Agave, or Agave macrantha.
And the last thing of beauty we saw in the Conservatory was this Hedychium coronarium, white ginger.
To respond to my introductory remarks I did enjoy our visit to the Bloedel, I imagine a young person who has not traveled to distant lands entering this space and being inspired and transformed by seeing the plants.
It was unfortunate timing that tree trimming was going on during our visit and the resulting safety precautions closed a segment of the garden, I wish things like that could be done during non-business hours. But that said the garden was well tended and the plants looked healthy. Stepping into the warm enclosed tropical environment on a cold winter day must be a treat. I remember that soul-warming effect when stepping into the Conservatory at Volunteer Park in Seattle (I’ll be sharing photos of a visit there soon) and the Gaiser Conservatory Greenhouses at Manito Park in Spokane. Come to think of it everywhere I’ve lived (and many places I’ve visited) have Conservatories…except Portland. What’s up with that? In such a gardening-mad and plant-rich community why do we not have a Conservatory?