Plant Pics, 032416 edition

Pitcher plant
One variety of orchid, in a smaller room off to one side.
One variety of orchid, in a smaller room off to one side.

While I love tending baby insects at Dow Gardens‘ annual Butterflies in Bloom, it is also fabulous to hang out among the plants of the conservatory for a couple of hours at a time. It’s a large version of a dream space, something I could only wish for my own home.

A wall-mounted plant, from the front and from the side.
A wall-mounted plant, from the front and from the side. Like most of the conservatory plants, it is not labeled.
Plant with twisting leaves
This twisty plant is the kind of thing I would take home …
Plant with narrow triangular leaves that are red on the back, green with spots on the front
… ditto this one.
Plant with what look like tiny peppers, half yellow and half red
This pepper-looking plant has caught other people’s eyes too.
Pitcher plant
Pitcher plants are tough to maintain at home. I killed a hanging version but hope to have success another time.
Another variety of orchid.
Another variety of orchid.
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Ice and Orchids at Dow Gardens

One final orchid.
One of the orchids in the "orchid room" of the Dow Gardens' Conservatory.
One of the orchids in the “orchid room” of the Dow Gardens’ Conservatory.

At Midland’s Dow Gardens this time of year, you get a marked contrast: snow and ice outside, tropics inside the Conservatory.

When I visited last Tuesday, the restroom were under construction, so my first sight was this:

Chic and shiny portable restrooms.
Chic and shiny portable restrooms.

These are the loveliest portable restrooms I ever have encountered. Want to know if one is occupied? Check whether the light above the door is red or green. Why so nice? Duh, Midland. If they’re still there this Tuesday I’m going inside whether I need to or not.

Following are photos I took on the way to and from the Conservatory, outside it and inside. The orchids are not labeled so I cannot name the varieties, but welcome comments from anyone who can.

The iconic waterfall.
The iconic waterfall, almost but not quite entirely frozen.

 

The lovely ballerina, snowed in but not forgotten.
The lovely ballerina, snowed in but not forgotten.

 

Ice formations.
Ice formations.

 

More ice formations.
More ice formations.

 

A pitcher plant. I plan to grow these at some point.
A pitcher plant. I plan to grow these at some point.

 

A stem of orchid blooms.
A stem of orchid blooms.

 

One final orchid.
One final orchid.

Dow Gardens in winter has more than butterflies

While I’ve been volunteering at Dow Gardens’ Butterflies in Bloom, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to take photos.

butterfly

Certainly there are lots of butterflies. One of the most popular is the blue morpho, which looks like this open:

morpho1

Sometimes they’re hard to spot when they’re closed, because the underside of their wings looks very different:

morpho2

We also had African moonwing moths this week:

moth

The gardens look very different in the winter-almost-spring, with ice formations on the waterfall.

waterfall

In case you haven’t been to the gardens, one of their most recognizable features is the “red steps,” which are very Alden B. Dow-like in design.

redsteps

This is the view of the inside of the conservatory from the “office” within.

officeview

This is the center of the conservatory, with permanent artwork hanging above.

center

The center also is home to a pair of frogs (this is the male) who are at least 7 years old.

frog

The noisiest residents are the canaries, but there also is a lone Chinese quail.

birds

Art exhibits periodically grace the gardens. This work by Victoria Billingham is one of three in the conservatory, and there are more throughout the gardens.

vase

In one of the side rooms of the conservatory there are a number of bonsai, including this olive tree.

olive

In the room opposite, there are orchids.

yelloworchid

purpleorchid