Friday, December 20, 2013

Phipps Conservatory Part 2

Our holiday tour of the beautiful Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh continues with Part 2.  You can find Part 1 here.

After touring the galleries on the east side of the conservatory we went back through the center Palm Court.

A closer look at the Poinsettia tree and the brick arches.  1892 is the year of construction.

Another view of the succulent wreath.

Behind the Palm Court is the South Conservatory where a model railroad is set up each fall and remains in place through the winter.  Seasonal displays are placed here at other times of the year.

A very Pittsburgh neighborhood where many areas contain the words "Heights" and "Hills".  Pittsburgh is also known for its numerous iron bridges.

Tunnels are an important feature in the nearby Allegheny Mountains.

Mining plays a big role in the economy of the region.  The rocks and stones are real and closely resemble the terrain of the area.

Dinosaurs roam a section of this display.  I was impressed with the scale of the plants which looked just right in the miniature gardens.

Uh, oh!

We seem to have entered a tropical "Train Forest" complete with working volcano.

The scale reminds me of central Mexico.

Teeny little agaves and succulents appear in scale with the surroundings.

The variety of plants was fun to check out.  I had never considered a miniature garden but the challenge looks like fun.

Additional trains and miniature gardens along the side.  The candles are for evening tours which would be beautiful.

In addition to all the Poinsettias there were so many different varieties of Cyclamen.  Fringed Cyclamen which I haven't seen.

Another bright pink display.  

The Serpentine Room is a frosty winter scene.


Pieces by local glass artists were on display among the flowers.  Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost'.

Glass stars suspended from the ceiling would be lighted during evening tours.

The bright white flowers are Star of Bethlehem and so appropriate to the season.

A mix of fringed and standard pink Cyclamen.

Red Cyclamen

Beautiful container arrangements were placed throughout the conservatory.

The blue flowers on the right are coleus.

'Peppermint Twist' Poinsettias

The Phipps Conservatory has an amazing collection of orchids, most of which I will save for another post but this one Oncidium 'Christmas Carol' is a beautiful tribute to the season.  Do they appear to be Carolers in a row?

Reindeer moss--Cute!

Hippeastrum blooms in pink....

...with matching Poinsettias.

Another look at the Chihuly in the dome.

Looking down at the beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby.  Note how many children came to see the displays.

The outdoor garden was closed until evening when the garden features special light displays.  It was a bit too chilly for us to wait around and we had family stuff to do.  But the set-up looked inviting.

Touring the Phipps was a beautiful start to our holiday season.  It is clearly a world-class conservatory.  I will post a Phipps Part 3 in a couple weeks to cover the non-holiday displays.  There's also a lot more to share from our visit to Pennsylvania, including a visit to Amish country, covered bridges and historic small town scenes.


  1. Oh, very much looking forward to the non-holiday display post. A conservatory that huge must have room for some impressive and fascinating plants.

    1. It is a very special place and the orchids were especially nice.

  2. Beautiful!!! And I'm in love with that succulent wreath! I can't wait till spring when I can use more echeverias and fun succulents in my wreaths.

    1. I hope you found the succulent tree in the previous post too Louis. They (and you) have inspired me to try again in the spring. My experience with vertical succulents displays is not good.

  3. Wonderful! That's the most impressive miniature train/landscape I've ever seen. The dinosaur is a nice touch!

    1. It was so well done and the use of natural stone and materials especially made it a stand out in the world of miniature train displays.

  4. Replies
    1. I know you enjoy conservatories and this one is special though a bit of a trip.

  5. Oh my goodness--that will definitely get a person in the holiday spirit! I've just added Phipps to my "bucket list." Lovely.

    1. It's a beautiful place, but a bit of a drive since Pittsburgh isn't that close to any other major city.

  6. Impressive miniature plantscaping on that model RR...never did that when I was a kid! I think Chihuly must have made a mint, since his work is at so many gardens. Only flown thru Pittsburgh once, to get to my relatives in SW NY state...hilly to the max!

    1. It certainly seems his work is everywhere and fits so well in gardens. Those "hills" are steep. If you drove up to NY you went right through the area we visited.


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