Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian greenhouse and botanical garden located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

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The materials for the conservatory were purchased by businessman James Lick. He died in 1876 before construction could commence and the materials were sold by his estate. A group of businessmen purchased the materials and offered it as a gift to the City to be erected in Golden Gate Park.

The conservatory opened in 1879 making it the oldest building in Golden Gate Park. It is also the oldest wood-glass conservatory in North America. Its design is inspired by the Kew Gardens in London. The impressive wooden Victorian building has 16,800 window panes.

It houses nearly 2,000 plant species across five galleries – Aquatic Plants, Highland Tropics, Lowland Tropics, Potted Plants, and West Gallery.

The conservatory is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm. It closes some public holidays; visit the website for full hours and pricing.

It is located at 100 John F Kennedy Drive.

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Auckland Wintergardens

Visitors can enjoy bright and colourful flowers all year round at the Auckland Wintergardens located in the Auckland Domain.

Auckland Wintergardens

Auckland Wintergardens

The Wintergardens were constructed following the First World War with funds from the Industrial, Agricultural and Mining Exhibition of 1913 – 1914, which was a world’s fair held in the Auckland Domain.

Construction began on the gardens in 1916 and they officially opened on May 2, 1928.

There are two display glasshouses – one contains temperate plants that change with the season and the other is heated to an average temperature of 28°C and contains tropical plants and a giant lily pond.

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Temperate House

Temperate House

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Tropical House

Tropical House

There is a formal courtyard between the two Victorian style glasshouses with a sunken pond in the centre. There are also several neoclassical marble statues throughout the courtyard.

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Wintergardens courtyard

Off to the side of the courtyard visitors can enter and get up close with New Zealand’s native flora in the fernery, that has been developed in an old quarry site.

Fernery

Fernery

During the summer months (1 November – 31 March) the Wintergardens are open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday 9am to 7.30pm. From 1 April – 31 October it is open Monday to Sunday 9am to 4.30pm.