We in San Francisco are lucky enough to have another reason to go to Golden Gate Park – the Conservatory of Flowers greenhouse. For some reason, greenhouses have always held a special fascination for me – the humidity, warmer temperature, seductive and exotic scents wafting through the moist air…maybe it reminds me of tropical vacations?
During the infrequent but chilling cold spells we sometimes get in SF, including during the summer fogs, I especially enjoy visiting the conservatory – it reminds me that spring or warmer weather is close. The conservatory is housed in a very dramatic and historic Victorian wood and glass building – it was restored extensively in the early 2000’s after a damaging storm. Today there are areas devoted to plants of low- and highland tropics, water plants, and special exhibits.
The conservatory offers special tours and speakers periodically, and one of the wings has exhibits that change every few months. The current special exhibit is called “Butterflies and Blooms”, which features hundreds of live butterflies set in a cottage garden. This exhibit runs through June of 2017; check the website for current exhibits and gallery descriptions.
For budget travelers, the conservatory offers free admission on the first Tuesday of every month….and on any nice day, you can always enjoy the lawns and seasonal gardens outside. Please note – on some Sundays and major holidays, Golden Gate Park roads are closed to vehicular traffic.