Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden Under Glass

Visiting the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Last week I shared some photos from the outdoor gardens at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. Today we’re taking a trip back to this wonderful place, but focusing on what is happening inside the beautiful conservatory.

Shortly after you enter the garden, you are treated to this view of the conservatory, with its striking 63-foot-tall dome in the center. Within the conservatory are 11,000 square feet filled with all sorts of fascinating tropical plants. The formal arrangement of hedges and brick pathway create the perfect setting for this beautiful building.

My favorite room in the conservatory is the orchid house. Every time I visit there are different varieties in full bloom. Conservatories usually pull off incredible orchid displays like this by having two different growing areas. One is out of the public eye, where the orchids live when not in flower. Once they begin to bloom, they get moved out to the public display area. I don’t have a greenhouse, but I’ve tried to steal this idea at home. My orchids live in a shaded area outside during the summer and on a bright windowsill in a back room during the cold months. When they come into flower, they take place of pride in the living room. That way they can have the conditions they need to thrive and grow, and I can enjoy them to the utmost when they’re in flower.

More orchids! The big white one in the foreground is a cattleya. I’ve found them to be one of the easier groups of orchids to flower and reflower at home.

This green wall is loaded down with tropical plants like bromeliads that naturally grow perched on tree branches and so easily take to life on a wall.

A stunning vanda orchid. I think these are pretty difficult to grow without a greenhouse, but what an incredible flower!

And in the corner of the orchid room there’s an enormous bougainvillea. It’s hard to beat this iconic tropical vine when it comes to sheer flower power.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/14/2019

    Wow, the shimmering beauty of that all glass conservatory strikes me like the Hope diamond might affect a jewel aficionado...gets my heart beating a little faster. What a treasure...the conservatory as well as the diamond!

  2. cwalda 05/14/2019

    So beautiful ?

  3. User avater
    simplesue 05/14/2019

    That Vanda orchid is a beauty! I enjoyed the virtual tour of the conservatory, I could almost feel the warmth, humidity and smell the perfume! Nice photos!

  4. cheryl_c 05/14/2019

    Agree with Michaele and would add that the plants inside are also jewels in their own right! Breathtaking photos! I especially liked the green wall.

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