Friday, September 20, 2013

Volunteer Park Conservatory in September

The new ticket vending machine (near the entrance) in the palm house in September 2013

The seasonal display house in September 2013

The cactus house in September 2013

The fern house in September 2013

The bromeliad house in September 2013

Click here for more photos of Volunteer Park.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is always a pleasure.  In September 2013, I found two major changes.  Following the results of a 2012 study Seattle Parks and Recreation conducted to identify a more financially stable model for operating the Conservatory, the City adopted the $4 adult entry fee beginning on February 1, 2013.  Also, the center of the seasonal display house had been cleared & paved, with a few benches & planters set in a symmetrical pattern.  I liked the open space, which had been cluttered before.  But I thought the planters were tacky.  The planting design is consistently excellent, better than I have seen in any other conservatory. 

Built in 1912, the Conservatory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Volunteer Park Conservatory is open except on Mondays, even on holidays, from 10 to 4.  Summer hours are 10 to 7. The conservatory has 5 houses, each quite different. There are bromeliad, palm, fern, seasonal display & cactus houses.  It is hard to say which is most interesting.  The seasonal displays are changed 6 times each year.  Plants are often replaced in all of the houses.

I think Volunteer Park is the greatest park in Seattle.  Not only is the park beautiful, but it has a number of first-rate attractions including the conservatory, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Isamu Noguchi's Black Sun & the panoramic view from the Water Tower.  The park is easily reached from Downtown Seattle by the 10 Capitol Hill bus, which stops at the park.

1 comment:

danger garden said...

Okay so $4 isn't a huge amount but when I was a poor 20'something looking for an inexpensive getaway that $4 would have kept me from afternoons wandering the conservatory. Afternoons that were just what I needed. Damn. I wish I were rich and could give them the money they need to make that go away.