Glass flowers by Jason Gamrath at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Glass flowers by Jason Gamrath at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

IMG_2355

The Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle is currently displaying some glass flowers by artist Jason Gamrath amidst their collection of exotic and not-so-exotic plants.  We went there expressly to see the glass art, but quite frankly, the glass flowers couldn’t hold a candle to Nature’s offerings.  The conservatory has done some remodeling since my last visit.  The seasonal room seemed less crowded and more open, making for a less chaotic experience.  The orchids are no longer behind glass.  Here’s a virtual tour:

Seasonal room, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Seasonal room, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

IMG_2333

IMG_2335

IMG_2344

IMG_2336

IMG_2343

Cactus room

Cactus room

IMG_2338

IMG_2337

Orchid

Orchid

Passion flower

Passion flower

Bromeliad room

Bromeliad room

IMG_2351

IMG_2350

IMG_2348

IMG_2360

Holiday Open House at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Holiday Open House at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

The warehouse at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market was awash with holly, greens, and festive floral arrangements for its Holiday Open House this week.  Here are a few photos of some truly inspiring holiday decorations.  Please do try this at home with gleanings from your winter gardens, woods, and trails.

Wreath of densely packed succulents

Wreath of densely packed succulents

The moss softens the texture of this twiggy wreath from Oregon's Best Specialty Growers

The moss softens the texture of this twiggy wreath from Oregon’s Best Specialty Growers

Vintage Santa and holly from J Foss Garden Flowers

Vintage Santa and holly from J Foss Garden Flowers

More woodsy wreaths from Oregon's Best Specialty Growers

More woodsy wreaths from Oregon’s Best Specialty Growers

Garland from scabiosa pods, J Foss Garden Flowers

Garland from scabiosa pods, J Foss Garden Flowers

These potted succulents reminded me of a box of living ornaments

These potted succulents reminded me of a box of living ornaments

More vintage trimmings at J Foss Garden Flowers

More vintage trimmings at J Foss Garden Flowers

Orchids in a white bucket

Orchids in a white bucket

Books for sale -- The 50-Mile Bouquet

Books for sale — The 50-Mile Bouquet

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and twinkling lights

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and colored lights

Orchid from Orchidaceae

Last week I returned to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle in order to take more photographs of the fresh, local flowers.  Next time, I’ll arrive earlier in the day, ahead of the buyers, so that I can photograph a bigger selection.  On this visit, I was taken with the striking orchids for sale at Orchidaceae (www.orchidaceae.com).

Some orchids in Orchidaceae's temperature-controlled show space.

Just lovely!

Fresh orchid from Orchidaceae, a grower in Walla Walla, WA

Colorful bags for wrapping purchases

Skinny asparagus

I was surprised to learn that asparagus is related to the orchid family:

“Through DNA analysis, scientists have now restructured the branch of the floral or botanical family tree that contained the orchid family, and the orchids are now placed in a position quite unrelated to lilies.  In fact, the orchid family is from the same origins as the common asparagus.”
     — Marc Hachadouruan, Botanica Magnifica

I was reminded of this last week when I went to the Volunteer Park Conservatory and saw several varieties of orchids in bloom.  The sure don’t look much like asparagus!

Orchid, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Orchid with lovely chocolate stripes

The lip of a graceful orchid

Captive Orchids

January 6, 2010

The Volunteer Park Conservatory showcases its orchids behind a high fence, as if putting these blooms behind bars.  Perhaps their only crime is that they are so beautiful. 

This orchid reminds me of the holy-water fountain in our church.

Yellow, gold and pink orchid

There is something animal-like in the purple spots on this orchid.

Purple and white orchids

This orchid looks like a little Dutch clog.

Delicate apricot and rose-colored orchid