caryn hewlett

adventuress. photographer. writer.

Greenhouse Wonderland

Last weekend, my love and I made the short trek up into San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park so we could go somewhere I hadn’t been since childhood: The Conservatory of Flowers. It was like stepping into a tropical greenhouse wonderland, and I am now even more obsessed with bringing more greenery into our little home.

With an outside almost as gorgeous as its interior, I have a feeling this greenhouse will always have a special place in my heart. As you enter, there is a ticket foyer, and then five rooms to explore that are filled with different kinds of plants: you enter into the lowland tropics room, to the left you have the potted plants room and the special exhibit room (this time was butterflies!), and to the right you can find the highland tropics room (with A/C!) and the aquatic plants room.

These lowland tropical plants can be found in places like Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia, but they look so amazing contrasted with the white glass panes of this Victorian era greenhouse, which opened in 1879.

So much greenery and leaves with intricate textures, it was a dream!

Next, we traveled into the potted plants room, which may have been my favorite due to the variety of plants, but it’s really hard to pick a favorite room. I have many pictures of this room to come soon, I have to upload them from my camera! There was such an amazing collection of various potted plants, like orchids, vines, and more.

We found our way into the special exhibit, “Butterflies in bloom,” which once again, amazed me and filled me with abundant joy. We were able to see chrysalii of butterflies such as the monarch and swallowtail, see a butterfly emerge from its crysalis (an amazing experience I love each time), and then we were able to roam around the butterfly room. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a butterfly land on me, but perhaps next time!

The next room we discovered by re-entering the lowland tropics and entering the highland tropics room, which felt so good, as it has air conditioning. If visiting, keep your eyes peeled in this room because if you look closely, there are lots of hidden flowers amongst the greenery. It was in this room that I was introduced to the Wardian Case, a Victorian era invention used to protect and transport plants from overseas into England, and are a precursor to the terrarium. I will certainly be getting my hands on one (or more, hehe) soon.


My love and I certainly enjoyed our trip to the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, and can’t wait to show you more of the pictures! Come back to see more!

What are your favorite botanical gardens? Tell me in a comment!


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