Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

Blooms under glass

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

My name is David Smith-Harrison, and I began observing and nurturing plants at a young age. I love watching plants grow. I started drawing and painting plants and trees as a young artist. Flowers, plants, and gardens continue to inspire my professional artwork. I am currently nurturing and growing a garden in Magna, Utah, which is on the very western edge of the Salt Lake Valley nestled up against the Oquirrh Mountains. Before that, I lived and gardened in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years, where gardening seemed effortless compared to gardening in Utah.

Today I’d like to share a few photos from a visit to the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers in the Golden Gate Park. I hope you enjoy them.

close up of light pink double-flowered azaleasIncredible double-flowered azaleas (Rhododendron hybrids, Zones 7–10) feature their layer upon-layer of sugar-pink petals.

close up of bromeliad with bright red foliageA bromeliad (probably a variety of Guzamania, Zones 10–11) shows off red leaves. Rather than producing large, showy flowers, many bromeliads have leaves that flush bright colors as they get ready to bloom to attract pollinators to the usually small, less noticeable blooms.

citrus tree in the conservatoryA citrus tree is loaded with ripening fruit and opening flower buds.

San Francisco Conservatory of FlowersA view of the Conservatory of Flowers from the outside.

close up of potted fern and plants with pink flowersInside the conservatory, dark green leaves of bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus, Zones 10–11) are paired here with the pink blooms of a flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa, Zones 4–8).

Nuns cap orchid bloomsYou can’t have a conservatory without orchids blooming. This looks to be the lovely Nun’s cap orchid (Phaius tankervilleae, Zones 10–11).

lots of Nun’s cap orchids in bloomA whole planting of Nun’s cap orchids blooms together.

orchids in the conservatoryMoth orchids (Phalaenopsis, Zones 10–11) bloom behind lush tropical greenery.

close up of large pink moth orchid bloomsPink moth orchids have become widely available and affordable, making it easier to enjoy their beauty at home.

white and pink Dendrobium nobile flowersThis stunning orchid looks like Dendrobium nobile (Zones 10–11).


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  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/29/2024

    Great pics!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 03/29/2024

    Wow that double-flowered azaleas is amazing! Great photos, thanks for the tour!

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