Franklin Park Conservatory
Columbus, Ohio
June 2012


This garden and conservatory is set on 88 acres in Franklin Park. The conservatory was originally built in 1895 and renovated in 1989. It consists of several greenhouses displaying plants of different climate zones, all anchored by a beautiful Victorian Palm House.

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One of the houses represents the Himalayan Mountains. The signage is good, the rock work is beautiful and the plants are well-labeled. This was true of all the greenhouses.

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The most interesting thing about the Himalayan House (at least to me) was a working model train and village. Maybe I’m still a kid at heart but I do love to see model trains incorporated into plant displays.

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The Tropical House has an amazing assortment of plants and two beautiful Chihuly glass sculptures. There is a great collection of Chihuly pieces scattered throughout the greenhouse complex but the pieces here are really spectacular.

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I knew the Conservatory would be a great experience, but the grounds were a very pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect much from Franklin Park but found it to be a beautiful and educational garden in its own right.
The Herb Garden is beautifully laid out, immaculately groomed with great displays of herbs and vegetables.
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I often forget just how ornamental vegetables can be when they are grown and presented well.
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A highlight is an expansive display of daylilies. The collection concentrates on award winners and on cultivars created by Ohio plantsmen. Plants are very well labeled. The range of colors, and the size of some of the blooms was really astounding.
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The combination of conservatory and park makes this a great garden to visit any time of year. I’m sure the conservatory is especially spectacular around the winter holidays but visiting in spring, summer or fall to see the outdoor plantings is highly recommended.

To see more photos of the Franklin Park Conservatory, click
here.
Click
here to visit the Franklin Park Conservatory website.

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