A Pittsburgh Garden Worth The Visit

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located in downtown Pittsburgh between Carnegie Mellon University and  Schenley Park. The gardens feature a conservatory and outdoor gardens. Throughout the year the garden features different exhibitions. Although the gardens are more expensive ($18) than others, I was able to go for free during the Tomato and Garlic Festival, with a  donation of my own Home Grown Festival.

One of my favorite parts about the garden is the fact that they had both temporary and permanent exhibitions. Currently, in the temporary space there is a butterfly garden, however seeing it the last week of the exhibit there was a limited supply of butterflies. Also, there is currently glass art by Jason Garmath that features glass Venus fly traps, pitcher plants, orchids and more throughout the gardens. Garmath integrates his beautiful glass art to multiple garden rooms to give the gardens another layer of depth.

In total, the gardens feature 13 different rooms with three different outdoor spaces. Here are some of the rooms I recommend that you do not miss.

Palm Court

The palm court is what you first go into when you go into the gardens. The different species of palms create a great architectural element to walk you though the garden. Annuals create color and add a lot of excitement to the display.

Orchid Room

Just like this sounds, the orchid room features multiple different types of orchids and other types of plants that create beautiful colors in the room. Some highlights of the room is the miniature orchids, the Barbara Tisherman Slipper Orchid Collection, and the rare Phalaenopsis Frank Sarris orchid.

Childrens’ Discovery Garden

The Children’s Discovery Garden features different plants that attract butterflies, bees, and birds. It also allows children to have the opportunity to go and water the plants and play with different musical instruments. Although it says it is a children’s gardens, it has something for all ages including my favorite, the garden beds of dahlias.

Japanese Courtyard Garden

The Japanee Courtyard garden does a good job of replicating different parts of a Japanese Garden in a small place. Throughout the small courtyard, it features bonsais and Japanese plants.

Broderie Room

The Broderie Room is more of a formal knot garden. Although you can not walk into the gardens, the colors and the contrast, made this room one of my favorites.

Outdoor Garden

The Outdoor Garden is more what you think about when you think of a botanical garden. It features a dwarf garden,  an herb garden, and a medicinal garden. It also, has an event space where the festival was taking place.

I would highly recommend, going for a visit, especially if you can find a day where there is an event. I would set aside about 2 hours minimum to spend there.


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