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.
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:
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.
Certainly there are lots of butterflies. One of the most popular is the blue morpho, which looks like this open:
Sometimes they’re hard to spot when they’re closed, because the underside of their wings looks very different:
We also had African moonwing moths this week:
The gardens look very different in the winter-almost-spring, with ice formations on the 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.
This is the view of the inside of the conservatory from the “office” within.
This is the center of the conservatory, with permanent artwork hanging above.
The center also is home to a pair of frogs (this is the male) who are at least 7 years old.
The noisiest residents are the canaries, but there also is a lone Chinese quail.
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.
In one of the side rooms of the conservatory there are a number of bonsai, including this olive tree.
In the room opposite, there are orchids.