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Conservatory Chronicles
 Issue #52                                                                                                    
 February 2012
BIG CHANGES! STAY TUNED FOR MARCH 2012 CONSERVATORY CHRONICLES IN A NEW, EASY-TO-READ FORMAT... PLEASE MAKE SURE NEWS@SFCOF.ORG IS ON YOUR SAFE SENDERS LIST!
In This Issue
Pacific Orchid Expo This Weekend
What's In Bloom
The Orchid Whisperer
Rotten Botany!
PLANTOSAURUS INVASION
In the Gift Shop
POE Preview
Playland Memories
Community Calendar
Engage!
Nickels for Non-Profits
Be Conductor of the Day!
In the Press
Wish List
Archives


Conservatory Chronicles

Contributors

Reflections
Editor-in-chief:
Morgan Davis 
 
 Contributors:  
Annie Abernethy, Michelle Manzer, Dennis Westler

Photo Contributors:
Devin Begley, Eric Hunt, Allen Rokach     
    

STEP RIGHT UP!

This year's Garden Railway takes you on a trip through time...  

Playland at the Conservatory Banner
VISIT NOW THROUGH APRIL 15!

Visit Us
Reflections
 Holiday Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday

10am - 4:30pm (last entry is at 4:00pm) 

 

Please note that on Sundays and holidays, Golden Gate Park closes many of its roads to all vehicle traffic.

 
Information line:
415-831-2090

Admission:

$7.00 for Adults

$5.00 for Youth 12-17, Seniors age 65 & over, and College Students with ID

$2.00 for Children 5-11

Free for Children 4 and under

 

Discounts available to all San Francisco City and County residents with proof of residency
The Conservatory is free to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month.
 

Accessibility:

The Conservatory of Flowers is wheelchair accessible for both motorized and non motorized chairs. Handicap permit parking is located at the east side of the building and also on John F. Kennedy Drive in front of the Conservatory. Strollers are not allowed in the Conservatory.

 

Donate Now!
Purple orchid photo by Todd Worley

 Your donation will help ensure the continued growth and success of this unique educational and historic living museum. 
Click here to make a donation through our secure online form.  

Dear

 

"Winter Warmth in the Greenhouse"  

February at the Conservatory is always a great month to experience the tropical splendor of our extensive collections. For a short month, a lot happens: groundhog shadows, Black History Month festivities, Presidential holidays and the lofty aura of love that surrounds Valentine's Day... This year, Playland at the Conservatory continues to be extremely well received and I am personally enjoying many of our visitors' fond recollections of their fun and frolic at yesteryear's Playland at the Beach. This is also a leap year, giving us one more day to welcome our loyal members and visitors into the inspiring beauty within our 1879 glass envelope, San Francisco's most desirable retreat from the chilly and rainy Bay Area weather... or heatwave! I hope that you will be able to visit the Conservatory often not only during the month of February, but throughout the latter days of winter and the colorful months of spring. Thank you for your continued interest and support of the Conservatory of Flowers.

 

 Brent's signature 

Director

PACIFIC ORCHID EXPO THIS WEEKEND! poe flierCongratulations to the San Francisco Orchid Society on their 60th Anniversary! We're so grateful for all of their support over the years. Congratulations are also due to the Conservatory staff! Their display picked up the award for Best Representation of the Theme 'A Salute to the Golden Gate' at the Gala Benefit Preview! Come be dazzled by the award-winning orchid display, and on Friday and Saturday say hello at the Conservatory booth, where you can become a member, enter our raffle, and learn more about upcoming programs. Check out photos from last year's POE, and stay tuned for more!       
WHAT'S IN BLOOM?  
Orchids are bursting with color in the Conservatory's Potted Plants Gallery. Click the images to visit photo albums on facebook filled with vivid examples!
ADVANCED COPIES OF THE ORCHID WHISPERER! 
Advisory Council Member and friend of the Conservatory Bruce Rogers has published a new book: The Orchid Whisperer: Expert Secrets for Growing Beautiful Orchids. Click here to pre-order the book through the Conservatory's Amazon Associates program. After watching the beautiful book trailer, shot onsite at the Conservatory, you won't be able to resist getting your hands on more of Bruce's wisdom and humor!
film still from Orchid Whisperer book trailer  
View our videos on YouTube Film still by Roy Cox Productions 
FROM THE BLOG REEL   
Rotten Botany! This visitor joined us at the Conservatory to appreciate our smelly Valentine. Read all about the stinky Amorphaphallus konjac that bloomed in Lowlands this month. 
DINOSAURS SIGHTED
IN GOLDEN GATE PARK!  
Dinos in Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO:

BE ON THE LOOK OUT.
SOURCES SAY DINOS LIKED THE LUSCIOUS VEGETATION AND TROPICAL CLIMATE OF THE CONSERVATORY... AND ARE PLANNING TO RETURN...  

Dinos on the Lawn


MAY 2012
PLANTOSAURUS REX
prehistoric plants at the Conservatory of Flowers  


Photo Class SOLD OUT
WHAT'S IN STORE?

Seed Packets for Dinner.With spring right around the corner, it's time to start planning your garden. February is a great month to start sowing your favorite veggies indoors. Stop by the Conservatory's Gift Shop to pick through over 150 different seed packets including special varieties of basil, buckwheat, California poppies and more! Seed packets range from $1.59 - $5.99. There's a garden for every budget!  

Wicked Plants bannerSomething wicked this way returns... the banners that hung so menacingly high above San Francisco last summer and fall are ready for purchase. That's right: Wicked Plants Street Pole banners are in! This beautiful design garnered praise for our garden, and we know it will bring oohs and ahhs to yours as well. $40 each. Available in the Gift Shop now.

Playland at the Conservatory tee shirts, magnets, films and books are also available online.  

Rent the Conservatory!
A PREVIEW OF ORCHIDS FROM TAIWAN AT THE 2012 PACIFIC ORCHID EXPO
by Dennis Westler, San Francisco Orchid Society's Orchid Doctor
While Taiwan has become increasingly well known for its orchid industry, making great strides in both hybridizing and propagation, it is also the home to many exciting species orchids. An island having high mountains, and a broad range of climactic areas provides great orchid diversity. pleione formosanaPleione formosana is found near the treeline on mossy rocks, practically growing in the clouds. To me, it has always been one of the most beautiful of orchids, more precious for the fleeting nature of the flowers. Winter deciduous, it blooms on bare round bulbs in the spring before the leaves appear, with delicate flowers that are pink and white with accents of yellow and brown-maroon. The flowers last for 7-10 days. You will find this plant (and others in the genus) for sale at the Pacific Orchid Exposition. With a few special instructions is an easy plant to grow, quickly forming a mass of bulbs with many flowers.

Dendrobium moniliforme is a lovely plant of small stature found over a broad area in Asia, it has been one of the traditional subjects of Chinese and Japanese horticulture for hundreds and hundreds of years. The flowers come in shades of pink or white, with a yellow flowering form known as well from some locations. Needing a cool dry rest in the winter to flower well, it is a perfect plant to grow in the Bay Area with a bit of winter overhead protection so it can be kept dry. With this benign neglect it rewards you with many dainty, wonderfully fragrant flowers in the spring. You will often see this in vendor booths at POE as very dwarf forms with variegated leaves that make it a lovely plant even when not in bloom.

Anoectochilus formosanus is not for the beginner, unless they do well with some of the more demanding houseplants. One of the "jewel orchids," this plant's attraction is its velvety dark leaves covered with a netting of silvery veins that sparkle in the light. The flowers are interesting, but certainly secondary to the spectacular foliage. These plants need a warm bright location with intermediate temperatures and consistently high humidity. There are often lovely examples of this genus both in the show and for sale. A challenge, but one that is hard to resist. There are many more wonderful orchids native to Taiwan, including Cymbidium and Calanthe species that are grown in the Bay Area (and are favorites of mine), but these three give a good idea of the variety that can be found there, grown here, and provide pleasure for those of us taken by the desire to cultivate orchids. Photos by Eric Hunt
MEMORIES OF PLAYLAND
A guest enjoys our Dodger car at Aphrodesia After Hours
The Conservatory ran a contest with the SF Examiner to collect your favorite memories of Playland. Visit conservatoryofflowers.org for more readers tales of San Francisco's west end.

"The rides, the Fun House, bumper cars, the midway games: where do I start? One of my favorite memories is from the day I learned to walk through the spinning Barrel of Fun in the Fun House, without falling down. The Fun House was just that, a lot of fun. I liked to go on the "dark rides" (Limbo & Dark Mystery) with my mother. I would almost always cover my eyes with my hands and peek through the cracks between my fingers at the scary creatures. I would find out when I was older that my dad had designed many of those creatures. I was very excited when I was big enough to drive a bumper car by myself at the Dodger ride. I would drive as fast as possible and try not to get bumped. There were many games along the Midway. My favorites were the balloon dart toss & penny pitch. I was always trying to win as many point tickets as possible so I trade them for "special prize." I remember when my best friend and I combined all of tickets to win a toy sailboat, which we sailed at Speckles Lake in Golden Gate Park." - Niemela R.



COMMUNITY CALENDAR

 

 
February 24 - 26

Pacific Orchid Exposition    

Fort Mason, Festival Pavilion  

Fri, February 24, 10am - 6pm
Sat, February 25, 9am - 6pm
Sun, February 26, 10am - 5pm
 
March 1 - 7
San Francisco Film Society Cinema in Japantown
Visit sfgreenfilmfest.org for events, panels and screening times.
 

March 13 - 17 
 Bouquets to Art

the de Young Museum

Look for the work by Conservatory Director Brent Dennis!   

9:30 am - 5:15 pm  

 

March 21 - 25
San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
San Mateo Events Center

Wed-Sat, 10 am - 7 pm

Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm  


This month, did you smell the Amorphophallus? Learn about Playland from Historian Jim Smith? Sample chocolates at Aphrodesia?
Don't miss a moment at the Conservatory... 


Amorphophallus konjacAudiencechocolate sampling
 

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Share your photos, make recommendations and join the conversation!

BECOME A MEMBER AND ENJOY FREE ADMISSION YEAR ROUND!

With an exciting, constantly changing program of special exhibitions and seasonal delights,
the Conservatory of Flowers is a great place to bring the whole family more than once a year.
Amy Stewart in the Conservatory

Visit our website to learn about the various tiered benefits for membership levels, and to join!

 All membership levels include the following benefits:

* Year-round free admission   

 *10% discount in the Conservatory Gift Shop and selected merchants  

including Flora Grubb Gardens and The Urban Farmer Store

 * Invitation to exclusive members-only events and discounts for select special events

* Monthly 'Conservatory Chronicles' enews subscription annual print newsletter

* Knowledge that you are an important steward of the historic Conservatory of Flowers

* Reciprocal privileges at more than 250 horticultural organizations in North America through the AHS.

 

Photo of Amy Stewart's Wicked Plants lecture by Advisory Council Member Saxon Holt.
COMMUNITY GIVING
  
COLE HARDWARE IS GIVING the Conservatory of Flowers 10% OF YOUR PURCHASES!

MOLLIE STONE'S is giving us 5% of your grocery bill! Download this PDF to register.
 
and NICKELS FOR NON-PROFITS runs through March 31!

Volunteers bring their own bags at our Haight Street Whole Foods.Our new neighbors over at Whole Foods are featuring us as one of two non-profits in their Nickels for Non-Profits program through March 31! For every bag you bring in to the store to bag your groceries, you receive a 5 refund of your bill. That money is then donated to the Conservatory of Flowers. Simple!  

Thank your for your support of us, and the environment.   

 

Whole Foods Market | 690 Stanyan Street  

San Francisco, California

 

 

CONDUCTOR OF THE DAY!

All aboard!!! The Conservatory of Flowers offers train enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to be Conductor of the Day during the run of Playland at the Conservatory. Join us before the Conservatory opens to visitors! Choo-choo!!

For more information, visit the website or contact Development Associate Eddie Edelson at eedelson@sfcof.org or 415-577-2584.
Playland at the Conservatory is open Tuesdays - Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm, through April 15.  

READ ALL ABOUT IT!     

Enjoy some recent praise and coverage of our exhibits and events, and visit our website's press page to view more.

 

SF Chronicle Datebook Front page story in Datebook shares the surprise elements of Playland, chronicles visitors experiences and tells about the exhibit's unsung heroes. Then writer Peter Hartlaub challenges our staff to rig a video camera on a boat! Stay tuned, readers...   

Bay Citizen Drawing Crowds  Reporter Thorina Rose could publish a book with her beautiful watercolors of the Conservatory, its collection, and visitors at Saturday night's event. It wouldn't be a children's book... but quite educational! If you missed the after hours tour 'Sex & Survival in the Tropics', take a peek at scenes from the evening, in The Bay Citizen's Drawing Crowds.   

San Francisco Chronicle Catherine Bigelow's Social City column notes that smell of corn dogs aloft on sea breezes could almost be detected at the Conservatory of Flowers during the Green & Gold Gala. She speaks with guests and Playland at the Conservatory sound designer Andrew Roth. 
   
ABC7 News Don Sanchez explores the thrills of Playland and chats with Exhibit Director Lau Hodges.    

 

WISH LIST!

THANK YOU TO THE GENEROUS DONOR WHO CROSSED OFF SOME BIG TICKET  ITEMS FROM OUR WISH LIST LAST MONTH! 

 

   Hi Lumen Projector and Screen for Presentations 

 

Drape Sponsorship for the Orchid Gallery Interior Decoration Upgrade 

 

2 Podiums for Lectures and Presentations

 

Contact Morgan Davis with items for in kind donation!

 

 

 

Conservatory Chronicles 5

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