Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Visiting The Phipps Conservatory Part 3

During December I posted our holiday visit to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.  It's a beautiful building full of fascinating plants and I promised to continue the tour with more on the conservatory and a look at some of the areas which were not decorated for the holidays.

We'll continue our tour in the Desert Room with a look at the Chihuly art glass piece hanging in the entry.

The piece works beautifully with the spiky plants in the desert exhibit.

It's very prominent in the room so it will show up in a number of the photos.

Notice the unusual red barrel cacti

This molded wax agave was aptly named as it looked almost fake.

Another prominent feature in the desert garden is the variegated A. americana which is about 12' across.  There are some large ones in my neighborhood but none quite this size.

 This Monk's Hood cactus was especially distinctive.

No tag for this one.  It's similar to an ocotillo but a bit larger than I'm used to seeing and on single stems.

Some plants were not as happy with the artificial sunlight as others.

Most do very well here

The red barrel cacti at the base of the large agave are quite striking.

Huge opuntia

I gave these jumping cholla plenty of room.

A Japanese Garden in the outdoor courtyard at the southeast corner of the building.

Winter is the best time to see the structure of the garden though I'd love to see it at other times of the year.

Also a great time to get a look at the beautiful forms which make up the structure of the conservatory.

Back inside and through the Palm Court there are several more Chihuly glass displays.

Ferocious Blue Cycad is always a looker.

There will be two more posts from our tour of the Phipps.  Next up is a tour of the tropical forest exhibit and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes.


  1. A fan of Chihuly here, his works are amazing and fits in well in botanical gardens.

  2. That enormous variegated Agave americana is fabulous, I'm so amazed there is not a single blemish on it. How appropriate that big hanging Chihuly sun is for this room. Must have made you homesick, just in case you were missing the Texas Death Star.

  3. Thanks for the tour, really enjoyed it!
    I haven’t been to a botanical garden since last time I went to Kew Gardens here in London in 2006, they have a fabulous desert glass house too and it is so exciting to see all the unusual plants I could never grow in my own garden.

  4. I'm a little late in responding, but wanted to say how much I've enjoyed the photos and commentary from your travels. All have been most interesting and beautiful!


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