16th century


Botanical gardens | Columns | thecourierexpress.com

  • June 27, 2022

My main experience with botanical gardens is in visiting the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh several times over the years. It is truly a unique and inspiring experience.

Each room is like a fairyland. Flowers are everywhere, expertly arranged in a unique floral landscape to showcase a specific theme. There are even delicate little touches like fountains, stepping stones and a small footbridge over an indoor stream.

Every room has a theme and even the overall flower show itself has a theme.

I remember the first year I visited the theme was “Singing in the Rain” and they even had a large TV in the lobby continually playing the Gene Kelly classic song and dance scene.

Each room was like a wonder land or a travel machine that endeavored to transport you to another place in the world. Rooms showcase plants from the tropics, from primeval times, Hawaii, world deserts, the Mediterranean and more. It was a unique adventure when I visited as a child, and I am still in awe when I think of the botanical gardens today.

These are the kind of rooms children would love to explore as a place of adventure. What could be more exciting than exploring an indoor jungle with ponds, streams and waterfalls? Even adults could get lost among all the vegetation and winding paths.

It made me think of how nice it would be to have an indoor flower garden as a part of your own house. It is a very romantic idea to have the fresh, clean, perfumed smell of flowers always around you.

Wealthy businessman Henry Phipps gifted the conservatory to the City of Pittsburgh in 1893. These days it boasts of being one of the “greenest” greenhouses in the world and keeps its plants as “environmentally sustainable as possible.”


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