Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Conservatory Tour PhotoJournal - Phipps Conservatory

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After our weekend in Columbus, we headed for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Friends at church had recommended the Phipps Conservatory to us and we were looking forward to seeing it! We arrived in Pittsburgh on Monday late afternoon, so after chilling at the hotel for a bit, we went to experience the Duquesne Incline and see the view of the city.

But this is supposed to be a collection of photos of the conservatory, so let's move on to Tuesday morning when we did that.

Chihuly glass is also featured prominently at Phipps!

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
has been open to visitors since 1893. It's a 15 acre site, with a 14-room glasshouse, and 23 distinct gardens. It features sustainable architecture and green practices, seasonal shows and exhibits, and amazing collections of plants and flowers. The Summer Flower Show is Van Gogh in Bloom, and if you can possibly get there to see it, you really should! (This exhibit runs until October 6, 2019)

Phipps took inspiration from some of Vincent Van Gogh's beautiful paintings, and recreated them in the glasshouse, using flowers, trees, grasses, and landscaping features to put visitors 'into' the scenes. At the entrance, we were greeted with a flower mural of Van Gogh's "Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat".

As we walked through the various rooms in the glasshouse, we encountered recreations of other Van Gogh works, including "Wheat Field With Cypresses", "Starry Night", "Starry Night Over the Rhone", and "The Night Cafe". Our favorites were "Houses at Auvers" and "The Red Vineyards Near Arles". Kennady especially loved "Sunflowers" but was disappointed that she couldn't walk right into that painting!

The "Starry Night" scene was beautiful, but of course it's too light inside a glasshouse - even on an overcast day! - to give the same effect as the iconic painting.

Phipps also has a gorgeous orchid collection!


These glass characters can be seen wading through the stream down the center of the orchid house.

And yes, more Chihuly.

This Chihuly is in the Butterfly Garden, where we saw more lovely butterflies and moths.

It's hard to pick a favorite of the Van Gogh displays, but this one, "Houses At Auvers", was so amazing!

Next stop for us was the children's garden outdoors.

Another beautiful current exhibit is Tropical Forest Cuba.

Most of the sustainable and green gardening practice displays are outdoors.

Japanese garden and Bonsai:

Back inside for some more Van Gogh. This one was hard to capture in pictures because there were so many elements to it, but it was pretty neat. Even the billiard tables are done with plantings and landscaping materials.

Kennady loves this painting, and had hoped to walk right into it. She had to settle for a picture with the Sunflowers (dahlias, zinnias, and something called aeonium) in the background.

This one was just stunning - "The Red Vineyards Near Arles".


No wonder our friends thought we would enjoy this conservatory! We are already wondering if we'll be able to take some day trips to Pittsburgh to see future exhibits!

More Conservatory Tour PhotoJournals will be coming in the days ahead!

This post will be linked at Sometimes Wordless Wednesday, hosted by Tots and Me . . . Growing Up Together!

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Sally Matheny said...

What a beautiful post, Kym! I love hearing about possible places to visit. The incorporation of the art work was beautiful as well. I'm a fan of Van Gogh--even reproductions. :)

Kristen of A Mom's Quest to Teach said...

What an awesome idea - matching up the paintings with the plants. I would love to see something like that - and I love water lilies exhibits - always a favorite when I visit Longwood Gardens.

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