Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dahlia Diversity - Impressive Showing (Flower Show Review)

This past weekend I attended the Dahlia show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I so enjoyed seeing all the different varieties. Please  enjoy the photos. If I had thought about it at that time I would have jotted down the names of each of these!

A flower show is essentially a display of only one stem with one flower each submitted by a different grower, or in this case member of the Dahlia association. In this photo below you can see how this is all arranged. I also had a chance to talk with some of the members. I didn't know Dahlias were from Mexico, and of course hybridized in Holland, Europe etc over the years. Those guys did a great job showing off the splendor!

Dahlia Show - Chicago Botanic Garden Sep 2011
There were a few rooms with tables of flowers. Luckily I could get up close and explore each flower that interested me! And take lots of photos. The shots here are my favorites :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Pane at a Time - Garfield Park Conservatory Update

The other night I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Garfield Park Conservatory.  This was part of the launch of the One Pane at a Time campaign to raise funds to recover from the summer hailstorm severely damaged the Garfield Park Conservatory's glass-paned roof.  The resulting damage to the conservatory exhibition halls and propagation greenhouses will take years, many hours and many dollars to fix.

Here are a few shots of the interior as of September, 2011.

Prop house 1 - ~2009
Prop House 1 - Sept 2011

Above are two photos of Propagation House 1.  One the left you can see what this looks like today.  The house is closed until all the glass can be removed and the roof rebuilt.  There is a protective ceiling down the main walkway to allow people to pass through.  If one goes outside this path they need to wear hard hats and protective wear to guard against falling glass.  One the right is the exact same Propagation house in 2009 when I first started volunteering at Garfield Park Conservatory.  There are now few places for propagation and storage of plants.   

Garfield Conservatory Show House - Sep 2011

Garfield Conservatory Show House - Sep 2011

We walked through the Show House.  I recalled that the first room open to the public when the Conservatory first opened.  So much history here.  Even though I know that it had been rebuilt before, it was still shocking to see that it had been cleared - to remove the broken roof and also the broken glass from the floor / plant beds.  Only a few of the larger trees were not removed.  In the pictures below you can see in the photo on the left - the temporary roof that is across the fern room (out the window the building in the back is the roof of the fern room.)  In the photo on the right, you can see how they have removed most plants.

We also passed along through the construction zome to the historic fern room.  With the temporary roof in place and all the glass removed from the beds, the plants were starting to come back.  They did suffer from sun damage, over handling (walking on the mosses and the shop vac to remove glass) - but plants are resilient!  The pond had been drained to be cleaned and at the time of our viewing had not been filled. It wouldn't surprise me if the space is used to store shade loving plants for the winter.

Garfield Park Consevatory Show House Dec 2009

I put to the side here a photo of the show house during the Holiday Show last year.  The Conservatory will still be having a large display of Poinsettias this year and other colorful holiday plants.  This will be displayed around the conservatory as the show house will still be closed.

Thanks for reading this update. Please pass along the word about the One-Pane-at-a-time Campaign.  Individuals are being asked to buy a glass pane to rebuild the conservatory's roof. (or get your employer excited to contribute - email to ask how!)

Today I'm singing various opera arias - so excited for lyric season to be starting soon.

Teresa Marie