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A Second Flowering

Articles: A Second Flowering

A panoramic view of the historic Conservatory of Flowers in its Victorian setting in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Photographs by Kevin Frest, except as noted
The recently reopened Conservatory of Flowers celebrates its 125th birthday in 2004—the oldest public conservatory in North America.
The jewel of Golden Gate Park is back. Eight years after a Pacific storm, driven by one hundred mile-per-hour winds, devastated San Francisco's historic Conservatory of Flowers, the graceful wood-and-glass structure is as good as new, having been painstakingly restored and thoroughly outfitted with new tropical displays. Since reopening in September 2003, more than 150,000 visitors have explored the jungle inside the landmark greenhouse. While it may be the romance of the ornate Victorian architecture that attracts them at first, it is the collection of extraordinary plants inside that people remember. Old favorites, such the century-old imperial philodendron under the Conservatory dome, continue to amaze visitors, as does a host of newly acquired plants drawn from the far corners of the world's tropics. The challenge ...


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