Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Phipps Conservatory Orchid & Bonsai Show 2013

My family's visit to Phipps' winter Orchid Show.
Hi all! I fell off the blogging band wagon last week (mostly due to my migraine issues), but I am back again with the more orchid and bonsai photos from our trip to Phipps Conservatory.

If you are ever near the Pittsburgh, PA area during the bleak months of January or February, the Orchid & Bonsai Show at Phipps is definitely worth a stop! This year it is showcased from January 12 - February 24, 2013. It has been my favorite of their flowers shows over the past three years, with their Spring Show as a close second. And as my friend from Florida pointed out, it is the cheapest way to soak up some Floridian heat and humidity in the midst of our cold, dry Pennsylvania winter!

Beautifully simple Bonsai and Orchid arrangement as you enter Phipps' lobby. Admission and Phipps' scrumptious cafe are to your right; coat lockers, restrooms and elegant gift shop to your left.
Colorful orchid trees filled the Palm Court this year. Many of the palms and tropicals here have been growing along since I was a little girl coming to Phipps, like my girls now.
Morning sun pouring in from the east in Palm Court. It was quite warm and humid in the greenhouses; heaven compared to the bitterly cold temps outside!
Square, wooden planters at the entrance to Palm Court.
Orchid hanging basket in Palm Court with dark purple sweet potato vine, maidenhair ferns and bright pink Cordyline fruticosa 'Maria' complimenting the orchids.
Bromeliads and maidenhair ferns near South Conservatory.
My three kiddos plus three more friends smiling in front of Phipps' elaborate train display. I actually had lunch with the gardener in charge of this area when I attended Gordon Hayward's talk at Phipps in September. The trains are always a highlight for the children!
Just off the side in the Gallery Room, they have started out their veg garden early. A garden pump, rows of kale and herbs.
The best kid-moment of the day was their "trip" to the market. Complete with miniature shopping carts, healthy foods a plenty, produce scales and registers.
Logan posing with his red pepper and basket of choice produce.
My girls enthusiastically playing their parts at the checkout counter.
Bonsai trees filled the Serpentine Room. This one is a 21-year-old Fig tree, created by air layering.
Willow Leaf Fig, Ficus salicaria
This is a Weeping Fig, Ficus benjamina, which has been in training since 1976. It was create by John Naka.

This vibrant orchid is Phalaenopsis Lea Maria Salazar 'Red Dream'...
It was placed on a cart and marked for sniffing. Grace takes their advice.
Not many orchids here, but it is one of my very favorite rooms. The Fern Room is filled with green delights! Here are various tree and ground ferns.
Nice bunches of bananas are always fun to see in the Fruit and Spice Room. Bananas are amazing plants that grow quickly to giant heights, and all without any woody tree growth for support.
Logan charming me with his smile again, this time holding his little Echinacea seedling. Potting up baby plants is another highlight our kids always look forward to at Phipps.
Color packed into the Sunken Garden. I am not so sure about those white pillars... but many lovely orchids and bedding plants still abound.

White orchids lightening the evergreens.
Orchid on the fountains.
Here is one that caught my eye: Coleus Under the Sea 'Gold Anemone'. This is a new coleus from Canada, which has fun twisted petals.
Orchids, Cordyline and foliage filling the walls.
The boys love playing with the fountain in the Victoria Room.
Lush banana and other tropicals over water in the Victoria Room.
East Room with red mimosa (Calliandra) and red flamingo flower (Anthurium).
A black urn is an elegant way to display a few red bromeliads.
Epicattleya 'Rene Marques' is a more delicate orchid.
Rattlesnake plant (Calathea lancifolia) from Brazil.
After a long day out, my hubby and kids stopped for some impromptu story telling in the cafe while I shopped a bit in the gift shop.  I needed an ornament from Phipps for our Christmas tree next year. :)
Need more orchid color this month?
Try these, all from Phipps Conservatory's Orchid Room this winter:


  1. Wow, great pictures from what must have been a fantastic outing! The orchids seem so brilliantly colored and substantial, I always think of them as wispy little things. Your kids are adorable as always, mine are both over 6' now so these photos make me nostalgic for outings gone by.

  2. Julie, I LOVE your photos! The 21-year-old Fig tree is really interesting! I especially enjoy seeing all of the kiddos!!!:):):) so fun!!! Thanks for sharing so many photos! They are beautiful!:)

  3. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Helps so much when all we have is ice and snow.A sunny sky though.
    Sheila Stephens

  4. Wonderful excursion...you all look like you had so much fun!!

  5. Glad to hear you are feeling better. What beautiful photographs. The Bonsai are inspiring. So much patience and care required. And who doesn't love orchids. I enjoyed the virtual visit. It was a welcome relief from the winter grey here in Michigan.

  6. Hey lady! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! Come on over and check it out!!!

  7. ...Love your pics. Phipps is one of my favorite places in the Burgh. Christmas at Phipps is the most beautiful display of trees and flowers and lights I've ever seen.
    Love Your blog too. Just found it via Pinterest and one of your GARDEnING Pins.

    Check out me and my blog TO WEED OR NOT TO WEED, THAT IS THE GARDEN
    (http://toweedornottoweedthatisthegarden.blogspot.com/) when you have time. I think you'll like my pics too.


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