Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spring Sprang at Phipps Conservatory

Dear Husband and I took advantage of the last month of our membership at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens by joining half of Pittsburgh to ogle at and take photographs of their spring show dedicated to colors and scents. I thought it was one of the most beautiful they have done, with gorgeous hues of orange and purple and pink and red like those in the potted flowers to the left. The skunk sculptures were adorable in the bright sunlight, and I really liked the tall white Grecian columns and figure of a woman with a water jug (below). Their Congo forest exhibit has been changed out for one on Cuba...although with the exception of more and different kinds of palm trees, it looked a lot the same to us. Happily we stumbled upon a docent giving a tour of (one of) the greenest buildings in the country, the educational and office building behind the main conservatory. In just half an hour, he told us about the zero-runoff water collecting system, the greenhouses with roofs that open in the summer to equalize the temperature, and the water-cooling system under the rainforest. Phipps has so many solar panels and such eco-conscious design that this greenest building produces more electricity than it uses. There were dozens more interesting factoids about the water filtration system, the windows that catch sunlight, the lawn that only needs to be mowed once a year, and the smart heating/cooling system that directs its energy toward only those parts of the building where people actually are. He wanted to go on for another half hour, but we excused ourselves to finish with the exhibit rooms. However, they were so full that we decided we had seen enough and went home to enjoy what had started as a snowy day but become a warm and sunny one.


Bonsai azalea!

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