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Conservatory Chronicles
  Issue #58                                                                                                    
  August 2012
In This Issue
OPEN Labor Day Weekend
Plan Your Wedding or Event
Vertical Plant Walls
Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park
Tickets on Sale for Fall Workshops
In the Giftshop
DinoNite Extended Thursdays
Plantosaurus Rex Reviews
Become a Member
Enews Archives
RPD logo  

Conservatory Chronicles


Morgan Davis

Annie Abernethy, Guadalupe Cote, Vanessa Fajardo  
Devin Begley Photography, Julie Michelle Photography, Ian Tuttle Photography 

Visit Us
Tuesday - Sunday

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



10 am - 4:00 pm  

Litnic, Lagunitas, music and Quiet Lightning:  

5pm on


JFK Drive will be close to vehicles Monday, Sept. 3 



For the run of Plantosaurus Rex, the Conservatory of Flowers will be open until 7:00 pm on Thursdays!  

Last entry is at 6:30 pm. 


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


$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.


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!
 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.  
Plantosaurus Rex

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.

to us to support our programs, building and initiatives.

COF Dome
We have a team ready to help you plan your wedding or private event at the Conservatory of Flowers. Visit the website, download images and pricing info, or email for information about how to get started.

Join Our Mailing List
As our summer comes to a close and the Bay Area learning community welcomes tens of thousands of young people back to school, the Conservatory of Flowers is preparing for the scores of monthly field trip visitors for what I like to call "Class Under Glass." There is something inspirational and remarkable about the fascinated looks on children's faces as they embark on their Adaptation Tours led by the BEST "jungle guides"...a.k.a...our corps of energetic volunteers! Plantosaurus Rex, the popular show inhabiting our west wing, featuring ancient plants and an array of prehistoric dinosaurs will be a big draw this autumn. As young guests hike through the mesozoic era, their experiences will compliment many of the classroom curriculum and hopefully spark an interest in plants.

I too am headed "back to school" in a sense, as I embark on a new journey with many learning opportunities. I have accepted a position with a park system nestled amid the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, just northeast of Sacramento. It is with obvious and tremendous mixed emotions that I write this final welcome note, cheering on the excellent work of our staff, volunteers and community. I have greatly enjoyed my 5+ years of service with the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department. I will always cherish the days at the Conservatory of Flowers, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and the amazing Golden Gate Park.

As school resumes, remember that the Conservatory has extended hours on Thursday evenings to allow for family visits to be a fun exclamation mark after a day in the classroom. Back to school our young people go, back to new opportunities for us grownups, and back to the Conservatory we trust you'll come, to a special place where we do our best to connect people to plants and make learning FUN! Thank you for all the fun - and all you have taught me over the past five years.


 Brent's signature 




What's in Bloom?

"Growing Vertical" by Guadalupe Cota, Senior Nursery Specialist 

East Panel  
A volunteer from City College helps plant the east panel of the vertical wall.

The Conservatory has really grown up over the summer - literally! Inspired by Patrick Blanc, the French botanist sensation, director Brent Dennis mused about how a vertical plant display could be incorporated into our garden, and voila! By the end of the summer, the Conservatory's walls were awash with plants. In the entry vestibule, a new display behind the greeter desk features tropical plants cascading down a wall made of plastic bottles, designed by Chris Bribach.  

Meanwhile, in the Lowland Tropics Gallery we've mounted two wood and steel panels constructed by carpenters at Paxton Gate, the curiosity and garden shop on Valencia Street. The frames are made from wood of Tabebuia impetiginosa, a tropical tree also known as Ipe. This is a very hard tropical wood, resistant to fire and water. The two panels are planted with an assortment of epiphytes, ferns, aroids, orchids, begonias and bromeliads. Most of the plants originate in exotic places like New Guinea, Borneo, Australia and Malaysia; the clones are bought from internet-based tropical plant vendors, local vendors, or are propagated from our collections.  The panels have incredible texture and attached baskets achieve a three-dimensional look. The walls will boast color throughout the year, as the orchids come into bloom...

Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park
This fall, sink your teeth into prehistoric fun in Golden Gate Park, where dinosaurs and ancient plants spring to life at three unique destinations. As part of "Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park," the California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers and San Francisco Botanical Garden will offer a variety of 
dinosaur-themed programs and events, all within easy walking distance of one another. Learn more about the fun educational programming and social events in Golden Gate Park!  
Events Calendar 

Check out our reading, writing, science and arts programming and register in advance. Visit for ongoing updates on programs and special events at the Conservatory. 


Jonathan reads at QL September 3 & October 8 |The Greenhouse Effect  Quiet Lightning returns for a summer reading series in the greenhouse. Sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing.  

September 12 | Photobotanic Workshop on Macro Photography | In this all day workshop with photographer Saxon Holt, students will shoot the famed Dahlia Garden and Arizona Garden adjacent to the Conservatory, have tripod time inside the COF, and learn from class critique and hands-on instruction. 8am-6pm | $150 public / $130 Members

Succulent Terrarium Image September 13 | Succulent Terrarium Building with Urban Bazaar | Learn to create a tiny world of succulents, rocks and moss, encapsulated in a glass orb terrarium. You learn basic succulent identification, propagation, and care; how to transplant succulents, and how to use color and decorative elements to create a beautiful tiny terrarium. | 6:30-8:30pm | $35

Highlands Orchid September 18 | Stump the Orchid Whisperer! | Bring your tortured orchids and let the Orchid Whisperer diagnose what ails them. Hands on workshop for the black-thumbed orchid lover!| 6-8pm | $5 Public / Free to Members

September 27 | Dinos Among Us After Hours | Free Entry if you dress as a dino! Music, entertainment, snacks and social activities at the Conservatory. Special guest lecture on what we can learn from fossils.
6-10pm | $5 entry | $5 Beverages (21+ after 6:30pm) 

October 18 |Going Extinct! Say goodbye to Plantosaurus Rex, as the dinosaurs disappear all over again. Music, entertainment, snacks and social activities after hours at the Conservatory. 6-10pm | $5 entry | $5 Beverages (21+ after 6:30pm)    

What's In Store?
Living Accessories!
Gem Sprouts 
Image is a teensy bit smaller than actual size.
The Conservatory gift shop is now selling the must-have "living" accessory of the back to school season!  GemSprouts is the original living plant jewelry company.   Choose from a tiny succulent or cactus; either plant is easy to care for and needs watering only every four to six weeks!  These living pendants are made of recycled plastics and the plants are grown in pesticide-free and chemical-free greenhouses.
Your GemSprouts purchase will support the Conservatory of Flowers, and GemSprouts donates a portion of all proceeds to Conservation International.  Conservation International partners with governments on local, regional and national levels around the world to preserve natural resources for the benefit of all life on Earth. So not only will your purchase represent your unique style, but it's also good for the environment.  Support your local nonprofit: us!
Click here for more Gift Shop items...
The days are longer, and you want to be in the park after work! For the run of Plantosaurus Rex, we'll be open until 7 pm every Thursday evening.Plan your visit. Upcoming free programs beginning at 4:30 pm include:

September 6 | #Plantosaurus Social | Flower instagrammers unite! We love instagram! If you've lost countless hours debating over the Walden vs Valencia filter... we know the feeling, and we're here to support! And, if you're just beginning to play with iPhone photography and Instagram, Instameets are a great place to pick up tips. Tag your photos and invite your friends using #instawalkcof or #instameetsf. Check out our IG photo stream on facebook, and get inspired to shoot! RSVP to give us a good headcount on the Meetup page, or email Morgan.

October  4
| Sketch-a-Saurus Social DinoNite | Drawing in the Flowers - we'll have sketch pads and pencils, just bring your creativity! Plan your visit. 
We're Dinomyte, We're Dinomyte!
If you haven't visited yet, there's no way you've missed all the headlines... the press is delighted by Plantosaurus Rex!       

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.


Don't miss a moment at the Conservatory, join us online!
Check out our summer photo albums... what we did on summer vacation:
Bollywood Nights Photobooth
Snap Fiesta photobooth at Bollywood Night
Draw-a-saurus Rex Family Program
Outside Lands
Conservatory Booth at Outside Lands
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Share your photos, make recommendations and join the conversation!

Conservatory Chronicles 5

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