Tag Archives: Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

My 4th blogoversary!!

And I’m still here!  Thank you to all my wonderful followers and all the “likes” over the years. I appreciate it very much.  Similar to past years’ posts about my blogoversary, below are some of my favorite posts as well as the most popular posts as defined by the number of likes they received. Similar to last year’s post I’m going to link the favorite and popular posts and end with a gallery of favorite photos from those posts. I hope you all enjoy. Here’s to another year of blogging!

First off, some popular posts for the weekly photo challenge.  This challenge was entitled Orange and as you can see, I have many orange photos.  One of my own personal favorites Early Bird which contains some favorite sunrise photos.  And this one was by far the most popular in terms of likes.  Again, thank you my lovely followers and photo lovers.  Entitled Intricate, it’s mostly made up of photos from Spain where there is an abundance of intricate tile work and architecture.  One last weekly photo challenge post, this theme was called Muse where I focused on flowers and sunsets.

Next, some of you know that last March together with my sister and my daughter, we packed up my mother’s apartment and moved her to Virginia to live with my sister.  I enjoyed putting together Memories from my mother’s life, a photographic tour of many of the photos we found while packing.  A companion to this one was Duets with my sister.  Whenever the two of us get together we always play duets and our mother really enjoys this so we found time amidst all the packing, sorting and tossing to play duets.  One last post from that trip is a restaurant review of The Cheesecake Factory in Pembroke Pines where my mother lived.  My daughter had never been there before and we enjoyed it so much that we went back for our final dinner while in Florida.

A few posts from last summer include one I did on summer gardening.  I also found time to visit the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory while the water lilies were in bloom.  I need to make sure and see those every year, they are so beautiful!!  And then our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair that I posted at the end of summer. A must for this family!

Last fall I took care of my mother so that my sister and her husband could take a week’s vacation to celebrate their 25th anniversary.  I was able to take a trip to our nation’s capital and enjoyed visiting the National Gallery of Art.  I also met a blogger friend there and we had a marvelous time both at the museum as well as a fabulous lunch at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana afterwards. It was a quick trip but well worth it!

Three last posts that I’d like to share, the first is our annual trip to the conservatory during the winter. It’s such a nice escape from winter, truly a breath of fresh air that leaves us feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the rest of winter.  In May I went to Art-a-Whirl, where local artists let the public into their studios.  It was so interesting and fun that I’m going back again this year!  So, stay tuned for another Art-a-Whirl post this May.

To close I’m sharing a post from last weekend’s visit to our fantastic conservatory, this time for the annual orchid show.  Such gorgeous flowers!  And I hope you’ll enjoy it again if you’ve already seen it.  And if you missed it, well, here’s your chance to see it.  I had fun putting it together.

As promised, here’s a gallery of some of my favorite photos from last year.  Enjoy!!

 

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Filed under Minnesota, Travel, Writing

Orchid show! and WPC – Vibrant

I don’t always see the annual St. Paul Winter Carnival Orchid Show every year.  But I do try to visit the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory once each winter to get a breath of the tropics and to escape winter even if just for an hour.  It is truly heaven on earth inside the conservatory!  If you’re interested, here are a couple of posts from previous years’ visits:  2015 and 2014. Today’s visit was a bit unusual in that it’s typically bitterly cold outside and cloudy. While I am thoroughly enjoying the sunshine today, it did make it harder to get good photos but I did get a few.

When I saw the theme for this week’s photo challenge I knew exactly what I wanted to enter for it.  Please enjoy my photographic tour of this year’s Orchid Show! Click on each gallery to see larger images.

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Winter visit to the conservatory 2015

Each winter we try to make at least one trip to our beloved conservatory that is just down the street a piece.  It’s the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, formerly known as the Como Conservatory and it’s located in Como Park in St. Paul, MN.  If you’d like to checkout my posts from the last two years’ visits, you can find them here and here.

This year’s visit was perfectly timed in that the temp was 12 when we left the house.  It’s a bit windy today so the wind that blew in our faces as we ran to the entrance probably made it feel like 5.  BRRRR!!! We felt much better in the warmth of the conservatory and then waited a few minutes for our glasses to defog.

As usual, we saw many beautiful flowers and plants.  I also see something new each time I visit.  For example,  I had never seen the “hairy” bark of a palm tree before.  There’s a photo of it in the mix below.  I hope you’ll enjoy today’s visit with me while I show you what I saw.

We started in the sunken garden where it’s already spring.

No visit is complete without seeing the fern room.

Then of course there are the lovely orchids that are found throughout the different rooms.  They are so beautiful.  Which is your favorite orchid?

We always enjoy the bonsai room:

And then a mish mosh of other photos:

 

 

 

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Marjorie McNeely Conservatory – Como Park, St. Paul, MN

One of our favorite activities during the winter months is to visit the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park. It’s a ten minute drive from our house and provides a nice refuge from the frigid weather.  And boy howdy, have we ever had frigid weather this year! Not to mention the piles of snow we’ve accumulated.  Here’s a good view of that snow with the conservatory in the background:

This year I focused more on the blooms.  Last year I documented many of the plants that are contained within the conservatory.  If you’re interested, check out that post by clicking here.  We managed to strike it rich in terms of seeing beautiful orchids. The winter carnival is happening right now and there was an orchid contest and the winners were displayed in one of the rooms.  I also noticed that there were many more orchids blooming this year than last year.  Last year we visited the equivalent of about 3 weeks ago.  What a difference 3 weeks makes!

I did snap some photos of lovely greenery too:

A collection of some other things blooming:

The sunken gardens where many couples get married:

And here’s a photo from hubby’s camera, the photographer at work ;)

This was quite the scene with the sloth named Chloe and the lone sun bittern.  There was a volunteer who just told us how the bittern loves to torment the sloth to gain control of this tree.  Another volunteer watched with us while the sloth moved away from the bittern.  He said he’d never seen that sloth move so fast! It seem the bittern won this round:

I’m thinking the bonsai room was either closed last year or we missed it.  There’s a nice display of a few bonsai plants but it wasn’t a good day to take photos in there.  It was too bright.  But I did get one of an olive tree and then a view of the room:

Finally, a study of amaryllis. I liked hubby’s photo a little better than mine so he let me display it here.

I’m participating in my friend Marianne’s new photo challenge “one trip every month”.  Do check out other trips at the link to her blog and enjoy!!

one trip every month

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A visit to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, St. Paul

What started as a fun visit to one of my favorite spots in St. Paul, has turned into a post I’d like to dedicate to a friend who just died.  I had posted one of my orchid photos on facebook and there was a message from a mutual friend letting me know that our dear Lish lost her battle with cervical cancer.  On her facebook page was another friend reminding his female friends to get tested, indeed it is so important.  So, this will also serve as a reminder to all women out there: please get tested for cervical cancer.

I try to go to the conservatory at least once during winter and most especially when it is so frigid outside as it is today.  When we woke up it was only 2 degrees!  It’s a wonderful taste of the tropics that helps we in the frozen tundra survive the winter.  Indeed, as we entered the building our glasses fogged up.  Perfect time to clean them eh?  Following are some of my best shots.  I hope you’ll all enjoy.

From the frigid outside:

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

Next, a gallery of some beautiful orchids:

In the north garden are a variety of tropical plants as well as helpful signs that teach the visitor a thing or two.

We were told by a volunteer that there was a cacao pod in the tree but it was too far back for me to photograph, but here’s the sign for that tree:

This huge plant particularly spoke to me as it is called the Traveler’s Tree but I had to photograph it in pieces as it is quite large. Here’s the top:

The bottom:

The accompanying sign:

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There are so many interesting plants here, here’s some sugar cane:

A Manila hemp plant with rope made from its leaves:

IMG_0867Spinach anyone?  This is a Malabar spinach.  I didn’t know spinach grew up?  And can you see the black “berries”? Are these seeds?

And here’s one that made me think of Z at Zeebra Designs & Destinations and I wonder if she sees these all the time, the Panama hat plant:

This most gorgeous blossom is on a ginger plant.  I have been to the conservatory many times and I see different plants and flowers each time.  I don’t recall ever seeing this blossom before. Isn’t it beautiful?

And from another angle (it’s so beautiful I had to take several shots):

Here’s another gallery of shots of other beautiful plants and flowers:

In another area of the conservatory, adjacent to the original building (pictured up top) is the fern room:

Another fun sign:

IMG_0914Some gorgeous green ferns:

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And hubby’s favorite, a Wooly Tree Fern:

There is so much more here since they expanded it several years ago.  In another section a bit further away from the fern room is the Rain Forest room.  The best way to get there is through the gift shop, for if you take the corridor in front of the gift shop, which is full of windows, you get a bit of a chill on a cold day like today.  In this room we saw many more plants but also birds, ants, fish, a tarantula (ewie!!), snakes and well, I just could not photograph all of them.  But here are two photos of some of the things we saw. A pretty blue and yellow bird who was nice enough to sit still long enough for me to get a good shot of him:

IMG_0900And would you believe a sloth lives in here too?

IMG_0895I also recorded the birds singing in this room, and I wanted to include it so that you could hear what the birds chirping sounded like.  Alas, I am not sure how to do that.  I will look up how to do this and add it later if I can figure it out.  For now, I will leave you with a last photo of the sunken garden.  The display in this room is changed every few months and it’s already time for the spring display even though it’s only January.  They rent this room for special occasions and I know at least one couple that got married here. What a great venue for a wedding don’t you think?

IMG_0885Rest in peace dear Lish.  You made this world a brighter, happier place with your great wit, compassion and sense of humor.  I will remember you always.

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