The Conservatory Chronicles
Issue 90
March 2015
Do you have your tickets yet?...

Gala Under Glass

Thursday, May 7, 2015 


Our May 7th Gala is shaping up to be a fantastic affair! The Bay Area's finest caterers, spirits purveyors and entertainers have signed on to ensure our guests will be fêted in grand style. Won't you join us?

Photo by Lauren Cohn-Frankel Photography
Photo by Lauren Cohn-Frankel Photography


Guests at Gala Under Glass will begin the evening with a "sneak preview" of our brand new special exhibit, Stranded! Tropical Island Survival, on the night before it opens to the public.


Later, entertainment by the Decobelles and the Dick Bright Orchestra will keep your toes tapping as you mix and mingle, browse our silent auction, dance and enjoy even more delicious food and drinks. Cocktail attire is encouraged, and feel free to add a tropical touch to your outfit if you wish. Reserve your tickets today; this fabulous occasion won't be the same without YOU!  

Prepare to be Stranded in the tropics! 
"Wash ashore" with us in our NEW special exhibit starting Friday, May 8th
Stranded! Tropical Island Survival
Photo by John Caddell


Do you know how to survive on a tropical island? The resources you need are there...let the Conservatory of Flowers show you what they are and how to use them!


In our new special exhibit, Stranded! Tropical Island Survival, visitors will "wash up" on an uncharted tropical shore to learn the ins and outs of island survival.

Strolling through a living jungle of life-saving plants, you'll discover the best sources of building materials, food and water and see examples of basic structures and tools. Fun survival facts fill the gallery, including tips for climbing coconut trees and more. Don't miss this wonderful exhibit, all about tropical plants and their uses.
Visit Aquascapes: the Art of Underwater Gardening, now in its final weeks
...and, if you just can't let go of this exhibit, take a tank home!

Our wildly popular exhibit of aquascapes - underwater gardens consisting of artfully arranged aquatic plants, wood, rocks, and fish - comes to an end on

Sunday, April 12.

These last few weeks are a great time to see this exhibit for the first time, or to revisit if you saw it earlier, as the tanks have had several months to mature and "grow into themselves." The plants are lush and firmly rooted, the fish have spawned cute babies...seriously, we could stare at these miniature worlds for hours. 

Have you been equally mesmerized by Aquascapes and wish the aquatic fun would never end? If so, take home a tank! We're selling them completely intact with plants, fish, filters, lighting and everything you need for your at-home aquatic oasis! Tanks must be picked up between April 13 and 18. Email Exhibits Director Lau Hodges for details.

Enter for a chance to win some SERIOUS bling.

These stunning diamond and pearl earrings could be yours!

Renowned Los Angeles jewelry designer Georgina Whitford of Designs by Georgina has generously donated these gorgeous diamond and pearl earrings, valued at $4875, as this year's Gala Under Glass raffle prize. 

Earrings by Designs by Georgina
They're real...and they're SPECTACULAR!
Can't attend the Gala but would love a chance to win? No problem! Simply email Development Associate Betsy Nichols at, with your name and phone number. Betsy will call you and get you registered!

Tickets are $20 each or SIX for $100. We're not mathematicians, but the $100 deal seems pretty good. 

The winner's name will be drawn at Gala Under Glass on May 7. You do NOT need to be present to win. Description: Four gold and white Australian South Sea pearl earrings, 13 x 15mm in diameter, set in 14 carat yellow gold, with twelve Conquac Diamonds. Stunners!

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show
This year's "Going Wild"-themed show ends this Sunday, March 22
SF Flower & Garden Show

The 30th annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show has been on all week at the San Mateo Event Center, and runs through this Sunday, March 22 at 6pm. In addition to endless gorgeous and inspiring floral displays from creative designers from across the Bay Area, this year's show also features hands-on floral design demonstrations, photobotanic workshops, a plant sale, and much more!


This year's theme is "Going Wild" which, according to their website, "reflects the Show's desire to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable gardening, yet allows creative freedom for the floral and garden designers." This show's always a favorite with us!

Join the Conservatory, or renew today!
Spring's the perfect time to become a member or renew an existing membership
Family at the COF

Some members like to take a quiet stroll alone through our tropical greenhouse. Others come with their children or grandchildren, and delight in pointing out cacao pods, banana bunches, painted turtles and papayas along the way. 

Whatever your reason, we hope you'll join the Conservatory and make it your own special place to visit with friends and family. Every dollar of your membership purchase goes to support our historic Victorian greenhouse and its lush, exquisite botanical collections. 

Conservatory memberships are among the most affordable in San Francisco, and our members also enjoy special privileges at nearly 300 other gardens and arboreta throughout North America, as part of the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program

Celebrate this glorious Spring: become a member today!
What's in Bloom : Phoenix roebelinii
This pygmy date palm is a piece of San Francisco history

Pygmy date palm
Phoenix roebelenii
Common name: pygmy date palm
Native to: Southeast Asia
Location in the Conservatory: Lowland Gallery, south of the cacao tree

The Conservatory 's pygmy date palm is a prized relic from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The Expo was held 100 years ago, in 1915. This elegant arching palm was donated to the Conservatory after the closing of the exhibition. 

 Each pinnate leaf, or frond, has 100 narrow, shiny leaflets. When in bloom, it drops hundreds of tiny white flowers that blanket the ground of the gallery. Around the time it was donated to the Conservatory, the pygmy date palm enjoyed popularity as a hot house plant, and in landscapes due to its attractive leaves and trunk.


Check out our What's in Bloom page to see what else is blooming!