Franklin Park Conservatory Botanical Gardens
Ah! The beautiful fragrance as you approach the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. It welcomes you to a day of relaxation and education.
At this time beautiful blown glass pieces by Dale Chihuly are the special exhibit. So it is no surprise that when you enter the building there is a video of Chihuly showing many of his creations and techniques. Since there are many gardens to see, after a few minutes we tear ourselves away from this interesting story. Since my Dad was a glass blower, this was especially interesting to me.
Admission to the gardens is a very reasonable price, especially for seniors at $9 and free parking close to the entrance. Would be an excellent place to have a membership if you lived in the area as they have interesting events and displays throughout the year.
Exhibits ranged from tropical plants to those of the desert. For a person who enjoys plants, this is a perfect spot to spend a day or several days. Waterfalls, rocks, and small pools made you feel that you were actually there. The tropical plants held a special interest to me on this day as they took me away to a different location in our world without leaving Ohio! Strategically placed blown glass bubbles and balls added to the beauty of the exhibits.
Overhead the skylights were filled with glass pieces designed by Chihuly. So you needed to keep on your toes not to miss another beautiful scene either around the bend, at your side, or overhead.
One of the busiest places was the butterfly exhibit in the tropical foliage and flowers of the Blooms & Butterflies Center. After you watched the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, you could then see them released in the Pacific Island Water Garden. This was a place of much excitement as the guide took them out one by one at first and let the children hold them. They all had their fingers stretched out for a butterfly! The child in me got to hold one as well.
Checking out the gift shop finished our day there. Had to buy a plant to take home as a memory of a day of exploring the Franklin Park Conservatory. This is a place for a return trip especially during a different season of the year. Wish I lived closer!