volunteer park conservatory and something fun to do this weekend!

Just now realizing that I should have listed the Volunteer Park Conservatory as one of the options for fending off the winter gloom. A temperature controlled greenhouse always feels tropical and melts away my bad spirits.

If you’re into bromeliads, you’re in for a treat! They have an entire section dedicated to bromeliads and the biggest mo fo air plants you’ll see this far North from the equator! Needless to say, we had a pretty good time on our visit. Here are some highlights and a heads up about an event THIS SATURDAY:

(scroll to the bottom for event info or you’ll have to hear me blabber on about plants)


The staghorn ferns were insane. I’ve got a pretty good green thumb, but I am no good with these guys and it is definitely something I’m working towards improving. I had to stop and admire the pure mass of these guys. They had them mounted above doorways and in places where we walked under them. Absolutely gorgeous specimens. Clearly, l can work on improving my relationship with these plants.


Next up we have the spiking tillandsia with pups coming out of the spike. Can you see it? The pup is damn near center to the photo and all the plant clusters are the bottom left. I didn’t even know they *did* that! For those of you that don’t follow, air plants are related to (part of?) the bromeliad family and a noteworthy characteristic of this classification of plants is that they have a lifecycle where they “spike” a flower – just one flower – and then they begin having offshoots or pups. Well… in most of my experience with flowering plants, you typically try and chop off the flowering shoot/spike/whathaveyou so that the plant can put more energy into the pups. This was not the case here in the conservatory! They left the flowering spikes to have their own pups and it. was. magnificent. If you’re lucky enough to have an air plant that flowers, maybe it might make use of that flower spike after all. Makes me reconsider my entire pruning process of my air plants and bromeliads!



Beautiful blooms! Some lovely flowers and hot pink inflorescence! This looks like more of a bromeliad to me, but I’m not sure of what kind. So tropical and beautiful, I can’t help but swoon.


Last but not least, our prickly cactus friends over here. They had a great display of desert plants of all kinds, but we ran out of time in the bromeliad room and they were trying to close the conservatory. (“for the last time it’s LAST CALL for stalking the succulents!!!”) Will definitely have to visit again! Which brings me to…drum roll….


They have an event THIS SATURDAY NIGHT that I am stoked about! The event is the last part of the Sylvan Series and focuses on music and art made through light. It’s called “Efflorescence” and this event is the last of five events in the series. This is definitely how I will begin my Saturday night this weekend! They had me at: “Stop at the Bromeliad House Wine Bar” 

More details about the event:

Coming up on May 6th, 2017 the Friends of the Volunteer Park Conservatory will be hosting the 5th event in The Sylvan Series presented by Lusio – “Efflorescence”.  Since this is the last Lusio event at the Conservatory until fall, we thought perhaps it was time to share a bit of the history and vision of how these wonderful events came into fruition at the Conservatory.

Lusio is the product of a vision Mollie Bryan had this time last year. After 10 ish years working in the arts and music industries with events like Best of the Northwest, Fremont Art Walk and Decibel Festival, Mollie was feeling ready to produce an art event of her own vision and voice.

The goal was to raise awareness through play and exploration for an underdog in the arts community – light art. Light Art is a vast format that can cover anything from live liquid painting on old school projectors, projection mapping, LED kinetic sculptures, performance art, and everything in between. “For some reason in the PNW there seems to be a lack of opportunities for light artists to showcase their work in public settings despite Seattle being a technology driven city.” says Mollie.

Mollie sought to combine some of her passions; art, nature and electronic music, into one short, free, public, family friendly event. Lusio went somewhat viral with approx 10k RSVP within a few months time and over 2,000 people attending the first event last July in Volunteer Park!

The Friends of the Volunteer Park Conservatory found Mollie during Lusio and after a few wonderful meetings, The Sylvan Series was born. This series was created specifically for the Conservatory and every event literally “lights up our lives” (pun intended).
The joy it produces every time is just outstanding. The Sylvan Series has given over 27 local artists the chance to showcase their art over the past 6 months and hundreds of people attend each event. Each artist chosen to participate in The Sylvan Series chooses their installation site in advance with care, and works hard to create an experience to delight and entrance the public. Many of these pieces are created on site, specifically for the event and may never be seen again!

Another important element to the Lusio vision is combining music to the experience, which provides a more well rounded experience. “Both visual beauty and musical beauty lights up the same areas of the brain, the medial orbitofrontal cortex. By providing a soundtrack by way of music (usually live electronic or dj) we are allowing the brain to ignite even more than it would by just a visual or musical performance alone.” says Mollie Bryan. “You might not notice the subtle way it effects your senses and experience, having a musical component to the event, but the over all experience will feel more encompassing and immersive.”

We hope you will join us this Saturday, May 6th at the Volunteer Park Conservatory for the last Sylvan Series event before we break until late next fall.
The Sylvan Series presents “Efflorescence”
Saturday May 6th

5 Visual Light Artists
Chris Tower / Julius Brown / Mokedo / Scott Keva James / Killing Frenzy

2 DJ’s
Pezzner / Treehead

$10 Members / $15 Non Members
Kids 12 and under are FREE
Wine Bar 21+ only

This is a walking art tour of the Conservatory
Open to the public
(sorry, gotta leave the pets at home this time)
No advance tickets needed!

You can also help support The Conservatory and your local artists by simply inviting all your friends to this event. We appreciate it!



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