Frugal Foodie Mama: Franklin Park Conservatory: Blooms, Butterflies, & Chihuly

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Franklin Park Conservatory: Blooms, Butterflies, & Chihuly

Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio...
Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.
This post was created in partnership with Experience Columbus
As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Located just outside of downtown Columbus, Ohio, Franklin Park Conservatory is a botanical oasis housing one of the most extensive collections of Chihuly glass artwork in the Midwest. The conservatory started in 1895 with just one Victorian-style glass greenhouse (aka, the Palm House that is pictured below), but has expanded since then to also include a conservatory, botanical gardens, as well as multiple art collection displays. 

Having lived in the Columbus area for over 8 years, the Conservatory has long been a favorite of mine in the city. I can easily spend a full day strolling through the various gardens in the conservatory & admiring the vibrant colors of Chihuly's glass sculptures. I was fortunate to be able to bring both my husband & my daughter to their first visit to the conservatory earlier this summer.

If you ever find yourself in the heart of Ohio, be sure to make a visit to Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens a part of your Columbus itinerary. Need a little more convincing that the conservatory is a Columbus must-do? Check out some of my favorite exhibits below...

The Blooms.

The Conservatory houses 3 separate biomes as well a Pacific Island water garden & a showhouse. Throughout the conservatory- both inside & outside- you will find thousands of different plant species and flowers. 

Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Part of the original glass greenhouse, the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse houses horticultural designs & breathtaking floral displays that change seasonally. The showhouse also provides access to two rooftop gardens- the Zen Terrace & The Grove.

Experience the climate & plant life of the desert in the middle of Ohio in the Desert Biome in the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Experience the climate & plant life of the desert in the middle of Ohio in the Desert Biome. You will find cacti & succulents of all varieties thriving here.

In addition to the Desert, you can also experience the climate & flora of a rainforest, a Himalayan Mountain, & a Pacific Island all within the Conservatory's main building.

Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

The Butterflies.

From about mid March to mid September each year, the Pacific Island Water Garden becomes home to thousands of freely flying butterflies during the Blooms & Butterflies event


From about mid March to mid September each year, the Pacific Island Water Garden becomes home to thousands of freely flying butterflies during the Blooms & Butterflies event at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Before entering the water garden, you can get an up close look of butterflies emerging from their cocoons. These newly emerged butterflies are released in the water garden at 1pm & 3pm daily. Patrons of the conservatory are encouraged to stop in during these times to witness the butterfly release.

From about mid March to mid September each year, the Pacific Island Water Garden becomes home to thousands of freely flying butterflies during the Blooms & Butterflies event at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Once inside the water garden, prepare yourself to experience something truly magical! As you walk through the gardens, you will see thousands of brightly colored butterflies fluttering around you or resting on a nectar bloom for a little snack. You may even be lucky enough to catch one of them posing perfectly on a piece of Chihuly artwork like this little guy pictured above. ;)


From about mid March to mid September each year, the Pacific Island Water Garden becomes home to thousands of freely flying butterflies during the Blooms & Butterflies event at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Just a a little FYI- you are not too late to catch Blooms & Butterflies for 2017! In fact, this exhibition goes on through the end of this week (September 17th). If you happen to be in the Columbus area this week & you haven't experienced this amazing exhibit yet, get to the Conservatory within the next few days. I promise you that you won't regret it! :)
But no worries if you can't make it this year. Blooms & Butterflies will be back at the Conservatory in spring of 2018.

The Chihuly.

The only thing I love more than those magical butterflies at Franklin Park Conservatory is their amazing collection of Chihuly glass artwork. In fact, I first fell in love with Chihuly's work during my first ever visit to the conservatory back in 2010. This collection of colorful glass sculptures first came to the conservatory as a temporary art exhibit in 2003. Due to the popularity of the exhibit (& the record-breaking attendance numbers), the Friends of the Conservatory decided to purchase most of the pieces in the exhibition making the Chihuly collection a permanent exhibit at the conservatory.


You can find various sculptures & artwork displays from Chihuly all throughout the conservatory, the botanical gardens, & the showhouse at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

You can find various sculptures & artwork displays from Chihuly all throughout the conservatory, the botanical gardens, & the showhouse. The one pictured above can be found towering in the middle of the Pacific Island Water Garden.

You can find various sculptures & artwork displays from Chihuly all throughout the conservatory, the botanical gardens, & the showhouse at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

You must look up in order to take in this Chihuly glass sculpture display.  I will let you all discover this one for yourself during your visit to the conservatory, but I will give you one little hint- it is located in the Himalayan Mountain Biome.

You can find various sculptures & artwork displays from Chihuly all throughout the conservatory, the botanical gardens, & the showhouse at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

And no Chihuly art exhibition would be complete without one of his famous glass sculpture chandeliers. 
Of course, this is just a very small taste of the Chihuly collection that the conservatory currently houses. If you happen to be a fan of Chihuly's work, then the conservatory's extensive collection of his glass artwork is reason enough to plan a visit soon.

Other Notable Exhibitions.

The Bonsai Display is currently being showcased at the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse & an outdoor courtyard at the conservatory. Many of these trees are hundreds of years old. In fact, we saw one that was over 400 years old! The bonsai trees will be on display until November 12th of this year.

The Bonsai Display is currently being showcased now through November 12th at the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse & an outdoor courtyard at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

From now until October 29th, you can experience the wonder of horticultural living sculptures during the Topiaries at the Conservatory: Wild Wonders exhibit
From now until October 29th, you can experience the wonder of horticultural living sculptures during the Topiaries at the Conservatory: Wild Wonders exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Placed throughout the conservatory's biomes & outdoor courtyards, these living topiaries are bringing awareness to the various breeds of endangered animals in the world. 

Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Have you visited Franklin Park Conservatory before?
What is your favorite exhibition there?

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