A visit to Phipps Conservatory

My and I have lived far away from one another for a number of years. Now that our kids are grown up and on their own, we make a point of vacationing together at one of our houses every year.  This year, we met in western Pennsylvania for our yearly sister vacation.  Because this year’s vacation was at my sister Linda’s house, and because she lives not too awfully far away from the town we grew up in and where one sister still lives, we spent several days in the old hometown, too.

I  enjoyed seeing Linda’s new house. (Well, it’s not new to her, but it was the first time I had ever been there.) She sent her hubby away or maybe he volunteered to vacate the house for our visit! (Our husbands don’t care to hang around for the four sister act, although I can’t imagine why.) It’s a nice house and now I can visualize Linda in her kitchen or at her computer. She made a Pepper Steak dinner our first night there and she has promised to send it to me so I can post it on this website. (Super easy and super good.)

We spent one afternoon at and Botanical Gardens. This is a beautiful steel and glass Victorian-style greenhouse located in Pittsburgh (at Schenley Park in the Oakland section of town).

What a wonderful place! It was built in 1893 by Henry Phipps as a gift to the city of Pittsburgh.

From the front. A sustainable perennial garden, requiring minimal water and fertilizers surrounds the front entryway.

A sustainable perennial garden, requiring minimal water and fertilizers surrounds the front entryway.

Once inside, the structure is divided up into different botanically themed “rooms.” The best way to tour it, according to our docent, is to start at the Palm Court and only make right turns. So, that is what we did. And, it was a rather smart idea, since we would have surely gotten lost a number of times had we strolled through it willy nilly.

There are something like 17 rooms and additional outdoor garden areas – Palm Court, Serpentine Room, Fern Room, Orchid Room, Outdoor Garden, Stove Room, South Conservatory, Tropical Fruit and Spice Room, Discovery Garden, Tropical Forest Conservatory, Sunken Garden, Desert Room, Japanese Courtyard, Victoria Room, Broderie Room, East Room, Aquatic Garden, Botany Hall…

An exhibition of  artwork by Hans Godo Frabel is currently on display throughout the conservatory. His glasswork is extraordinary and is so artfully interwoven into the gardens.

I believe this photo was taken in Palm Court. You can see several beautiful glass masks near the base of the palm.

I believe this photo was taken in Palm Court. You can see several beautiful glass masks near the base of the palm.

We ended our tour with a trip into the gift shop where Pam, bought each of us a glass teardrop shaped necklace followed by a visit to the cafe for a late lunch.

Of course, there is so much more to write about the sister vacation. Those stories are coming! But please view these remarkable pics of Phipps Conservatory and please visit there if you are ever near Pittsburgh, PA.

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9 thoughts on “A visit to Phipps Conservatory

  1. Nice story about our day at the conservatory. Your pictures turned out great. It was a beautiful place, the plants and glasswork phenomenal. We spent so much time there we missed the Gateway Clipper ride. Oh well, maybe next time.

    Hey Cin, maybe you could get a link on their website for doing such a nice job.

  2. Yes, it was a wonderful day. The beauty of the flowers were breath taking. The place was so big, I thought we would never get through the whole building. It was surprising how many plants/flowers I did recongize, and the millions that I didn’t. If you are in Pittsburgh, this is a must see. You will love it. Especially if you are with your beautiful sisters.

  3. Loved your story on Phipps. Rich and I have visited it several times over the years and always enjoy it. It’s surprising how big it is. From the outside it doesn’t look big but it took us a couple of hours to tour. Thanks for not showing any pictures of me! I truly appreciate it!

    • I absolutely loved Phipps!

      BTW, I noticed when I was going through all my pictures that you did an outstanding job of staying out of them! But, do not despair! One or two may show up in next story!

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