Sunday, February 20, 2011

neverending winter

Just when we thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel ( it was 50 degrees three days ago with a little bit of melting) we are now awaiting the arrival of a huge storm that is expected to dump another 13" of snow and last through to sometime on Monday. This is the time of this very long season- we've been snow covered for about 4 months- that I am desperate for greenery and color. Thank goodness for the Como Conservatory in St. Paul and the orchid show at the Arboretum. We always hit both in February.
The Conservatory is about 100 years old and is located on the grounds of the Como Park Zoo. I've been coming here since I was little- at least 50 years. I remember when there was a huge tropical plant inside the front entrance labeled a "man eating" plant. I have no idea what it was but to a kid it was both scary and intriguing. I kept expecting it to reach out a tendril and grab an inattentive kid Addams family style. I always stepped lively coming in the door.
The ferns and palms lend such a tropical feel- warm, humid and with that wonderful scent of damp earth. It is hard to believe how cold and snowy it is just outside the glass.

Scattered throughout are lilies and orchids- little pockets of color. The lilies smell divine.

It can be so peaceful just sitting and listening to the trickling and bubbling water. We try to go during the week so we almost have the place to ourselves.
One area in the new section has varieties of tropical birds flying around. Warmth, greenery and birdsong- the perfect antidote to winter.

All these patterns and leaf shapes are inspirations for applique work.
And the colors and patterns in the orchids remind me of my batik fabrics.
All these orchids are in the orchid show at the Arboretum.
I can't believe the variety and the intensity of the color in some of them.

Well, the wind and snow has started now. Here's to at least another month of Winter!


fabriquefantastique said...

Oh come on, Debra, you should know by now. But, it is aggravating to read all those blogs banging on about the wee snowdrops, or the daffodils popping up...grrr.

Lululiz said...

Thats just heavenly, what a relief to see such luscious greenery and those beautiful splashes of colour. I do hope that you don't get too much snow, you poor thing, you must be getting somewhat fed up with it all by now. x

WindandHoney said...

So sorry about the snow. I'll kindly not tell you that I've had my windows open in my studio for 4 days now. But where I live, it could still snow in March and even in April. So, that doesn't really mean anything!

*jean* said...

i'm going there on wed this week! LOVE the very favorite place...

Threads of Inspiration said...

I loved coming upon your post. Last winter I lived nearer St Paul and made several trips to the Conservatory just to soak in the green. Since I'm a bit farther away now I had to go to the one open greenhouse and do it on a mini-scale. I love the Conservatory and always have, since I was a little girl.