WORTH THE DRIVE: Stunning orchids exhibit in full bloom at Franklin Park Conservatory

Credit: Franklin Park Conservatory

Credit: Franklin Park Conservatory

For those waiting impatiently for spring to arrive, Franklin Park Conservatory’s latest exhibit can offer an early taste.

Through Sunday, March 7, Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus will host its annual Orchids exhibition, which features thousands of blooming flowers and lush tropical plants.

“The orchid exhibition opens at a time of year when we are craving color the most,” said Bruce Harkey, the Franklin Park Conservatory president and CEO. “The conservatory is a place to escape muted winter landscapes and surround yourself with bright, warm, tropical scenery. To be around so many flowers in the wintertime is a truly rejuvenating experience.”

The annual exhibition features an estimated 1,650 orchids that represent 15 unique genera. Along with the orchids, large panel mosaics of mosses, preserved flowers, pastel succulent arrangements and other natural materials will heighten the experience. When visitors enter the exhibit, an archway adorned with tillandsia air plants, orchids and live Spanish moss will transport visitors to a warmer, perhaps more tropical, place.

Credit: Franklin Park Conservatory

Credit: Franklin Park Conservatory

Alongside the Orchids exhibit, guests will have a chance to catch a glimpse of a selection of newly repositioned Chihuly glass artwork from the conservatory’s permanent collection.

Two other exhibits will also be on display simultaneously: “Bringing Reverence to Nature: An Exploration of Botanicals in Paper” by Lea Gray, which features sculptures consisting of hundreds of intricate plants made entirely of paper, will be open daily through May 31, and the return of Chihuly Nights can be visited on a handful of evenings through October.

All guests must purchase a ticket and reserve a time to visit the exhibit in advance, which can be done by visiting the Franklin Park Conservatory’s website. General admission for those between the ages of 13 to 59 years of age is $19, while seniors over the age of 60 get in for $16, and children ages 12 years and under get in for $12. There is no charge for conservatory members and children 2 years of age.

While visiting Franklin Park Conservatory, guests are required to wear a facial covering and maintain proper social distancing.


What: Orchids Exhibit

Where: Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus

When: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 7

More info: www.fpconservatory.org/exhibitions/orchids

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