Tuesday, March 22, 2011

San Francisco Conservatory Part II Garden Railway

Replica of the conservatory 

I have always loved trains and when my three sons were young we sought out train trips and even train themed vacations.  We had a large Lionel train table set up in one of my son's rooms and we spent hours building and landscaping our trainland countryside and towns.  I was delighted on our recent trip to San Francisco to find the conservatory had a miniature garden train railway on display as it  brought back happy memories spent with my boys!


The conservatory devoted and entire room to this beautiful display.   It was so fun to watch and as a gardener I appreciated the little details and plants they selected for their railway landscape. 



They included all the famous landmarks of San Francisco...the trolley cars,  Japanese gardens...


 the Coit Tower and the
TransAmerica building.




Many of the miniature models were made from recycled materials...I love the timer they used for the clock tower


and the cereal boxes for the  famous Victorian row houses.


The golden gate bridge was made from recycled plastic vegatable baskets ...  


the  windmill from old rulers!



They also had a Thomas the Train railway for the little ones to enjoy.


Of course now I want to get up in the attic and get all our trains out and make a garden railway of my own...and trust me if I had a space to display them  I'd be up there right now!     

video
      
 We had a great time!  

I'm linking with Tootsie's Fertilzer Fridays
 and Laurie's Favorite Things Saturday

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Birdies & Bunnies & Frogs..Oh My!!


Spring is on the way! My daffys are blooming and our fescue grass is starting to grow!  Of course with the changing of the seasons I had to change out the dishes and vignettes in my favorite little hutch.   I have collected birds and bunnies for years and due to my intense fear of frogs my friends and family have also given me "fake" frogs for fun. ( or maybe they are trying to cure me)  Aren't they nice?  I love to display all these little favorites along with my cabbage plates from Portugal for spring.    




My little hutch goes through a metamorphosis 3-4 times a year..sometimes I don't completely change it again in the summer unless I get really ambitious.  

Last Christmas..


Bare bones....



 Spring hutch full of favorites ...



I started collecting cloches about 2 years ago and love finding different shapes and sizes.  Some of mine are just lighting globes turned upside down...I found quite a few for $1 or less at thrift shops and just paired them with candle holders.. This is an example and holds robin eggs.   


I also have a collection of
 topiaries  that bring a little of the garden indoors.


These little bunnies are so fun..climbing in and out of pots and watering cans! 


And who can forget to put out their bunny on a stick?  Mine is nestled in with my dried hydrangeas from last year..I used these in Christmas arrangements too!  


I purchased this terra cotta pot in Napa .  I love how the date is stamped in the clay.  



My Fitz and Floyd bunny teapot..
a special gift from a friend. 





Funny little frogs displayed  in cloches.  Mama frog and baby frog...
Wonder if Marty has ever seen that? 




Don't forget to join in the cloche party next Friday March 11th!  Should be so much fun to see what everyone comes up with.





A collection of honeypots




My favorite Victorian birdhouse



and a bird filled cloche






complete my hutch's transformation.



Spring brings welcome changes..the garden comes alive, windows get washed, closets get cleaned and the grass turns the prettiest color of green.

Have a wonderful week!  I'm linking with

Tablescaper's Seasonal Sundays
and






Tuesday, March 1, 2011

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers Part I



On our recent trip to San  Francisco I couldn't wait to visit the conservatory of flowers in Golden Gate Park.  The exterior of this grand building just makes you want to discover what's inside.





The building's Victorian details are just beautiful but for a plant lover like me,  the plants inside are the main attraction.  Each room in the conservatory houses a different collection of plants with similar growing requirements.


The huge tropicals in the center of the conservatory tower to the ceiling accented by the stain glass windows and ceiling fans for air circulation.




The floors have a beautiful and yet functional drainage system with groves cut into the intricate ironwork keeping the excess water off the walkways.     I love the motif in the floor medallion as we entered the main room.


Another large room housed highland tropicals...most of the orchids were in this room..a somewhat cooler yet very humid climate. 


The variety and colors of orchids were just gorgeous!  I really had a hard time finding a favorite but here are a few....

























I love the shelves the orchids were displayed on...also you can see more of the ironwork on the floor that forms the walkway throughout the conservatory. 


From the Highland tropics another entrance leads you to a very tropical warm and humid climate.  The most interesting plants thrive here...



These plants have their own "pipe" for the collection of  water.  I think they are a variety of  the 'Dutchman's pipe'.   












My favorite room housed the Garden Railway which was really the most fun room!  I took so many pictures I will have to post Part II next week!!  Here's a sneak peek...



If you are planning a trip San Francisco and
love plants I recommend a stop at the 
conservatory in  Golden Gate Park.  

This week I'm linking with :

Tootsie's Flaunt Your Flowers Friday
Beverly's Pink Saturday