Paradise under glass

Orchids are always on display in Baltimore's Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory.

Orchids are always on display in Baltimore’s Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory.

The original Palm House has brought a bit of the tropics to Baltimore since 1888.

The original Palm House has brought a bit of the tropics to Baltimore since 1888.

I didn’t have a day to get away. I had an hour (although once I arrived I would have liked much more time.)

The petals of the flowering cherries had drifted away. The tulips and daffodils had faded. It’s too soon for roses. And I wanted flowers.

Baltimore’s Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory  brings flowers from all over the world to Charm City. And on the day I went (Mother’s Day) everything was in bloom.

Desert cacti, citrus trees, ginger and always the orchids filled the warm green spaces with color and fragrance.

A cell phone tour is designed to satisfy the botanically curious.

A cell phone tour is designed to satisfy the botanically curious.

The original Palm House is only the beginning of the tour. Three rooms were added when the conservatory  was renovated in 2004: Mediterranean, Tropical and Desert Houses. Gardens around the conservatory and an assortment of events throughout the year keep it interesting.

The conservatory is located near Druid Hill Park and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. The conservatory pairs nicely with a visit to the zoo to see the lions and giraffes and penguins. Lots of renovations have been going on at the zoo with plenty of cushy new habitats for our wild friends. The Children’s Zoo is always a winner.

I didn’t have time for all that. It was OK. For an hour or so, I entered a world of flowers so different from the blossoms in my own backyard. It was, it is paradise under glass.

© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

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