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Dec 13

Como Park Conservatory: A Garden to Remember

sunken gardenThe Como Park Conservatory also known as the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is a beautiful garden area that is attached to the Como Park Zoo.  Not a large space just around a half an acre, but here is a case where size truly does not matter.  This stunning area has a large variety of fauna and is a perfect place to escape Minnesota’s cold winters.  Karen and I were there on a brisk day in the fall and enjoyed our time walking through the indoor gardens and seeing the conservatories collection of orchids, palms, ferns, and variety of other plants.Pink OrchidThe architecture of the building was as amazing to us as the plants that live inside it.  The Como Park Conservatory first opened its doors in 1915 and has been a hit for the Minneapolis Saint Paul Metropolis area ever since.  Around 2 million people every year visit the Como Park and many of them are there to see some of the wonderful attractions at the park.Karen and M at the gardenThe Como Park Conservatory has over 10 distinct gardens that highlight the diversity of the plant life that can found on our planet.  Unfortunately for us a few areas were being renovated like the Ordway Gardens which is a Japanese garden (reopened spring 2013) and some of the outdoor areas were past their prime viewing due to the lateness of the season.   Despite those setbacks Karen and I definitely did not leave the Como Park Conservatory disappointed because there was still plenty to see.  Karen really enjoyed seeing the variety of orchids in the Orchid House and the North Garden with its variety of usable plants.  I on the other hand really liked the Fern Room I cannot recall seeing that much green in one place in my entire life.slothvia
We both enjoyed our time going through the Tropical Encounters exhibit which gave us the experience of walking through a Central and South American rainforest without having to leave Minnesota.  There were a variety of animals from freshwater stingrays to a sloth named Chloe.  There were also a variety of plants and plenty of information on why preserving the rainforests that are left is a necessity.Como Park ConservatoryAnother one of our favorite areas of the Como Park Conservatory was the Sunken Garden.  The setting and the flower arrangements were just spectacular Karen and I both took a step back when we entered.  This part of the conservatory is updated seasonally tulips in the spring, rose in the summer, chrysanthemums in the fall and azaleas and poinsettias in winter.Sugar CaneOverall, Karen and I were really impressed with Como Park Conservatory.  The price of admission cannot be beat being its free but we donated more than the recommended rate.  It was worth it if it helps keep it open.  We will definitely be going back if our travels ever take us through the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area again.Como Park Conservatory After Restorationvia
Como Park Conservatory
Located at 1225 Estabrook Dr. Saint Paul
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the months of April through September and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October through March
Cost as of this Posting: Admission is free but a suggested donation of $3 for an adult and $2 for a child is recommended.
For more information visit their website at http://www.comozooconservatory.org/fern room

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