We visited the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens to see the Spring flower display– Where the Wild Things Grow. It was our first time inside, though we had driven past many times on the way to the Maryland zoo. The conservatory is inside a gorgeous glass building in Druid Hill Park. It was built in 1888 and is one of the oldest in the nation!
After a long, cold Winter I am enthusiastically embracing Spring. The trees have just started to bud, cherry blossoms are in bloom and daffodils are popping up all over. The kids have been excited to notice these early signs of Spring. My daughter has been talking about planting a garden for weeks. Unfortunately I can’t plant a garden here, but we could go visit one.
Just opening the door, we could smell the floral scent pouring out of the entry room. It was like a hug from a bouquet! Flawlessly arranged beds of tulips, daffodils, lilies, hydrangea, hyacinth and more filled the room with color and life. As we wandered through the different rooms that represented various climates, I was amazed to see so much biodiversity. The indirect natural light is ideal for photos too.
Many of the more tropical plants like the palms and bromeliads were familiar to my husband (from India) and me (from the Texas Gulf Coast). I adored the cactus room and I’ve decided we are going to make room for a little succulent garden on our countertop.
From an “educational” aspect, there’s so much we could do here. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children to compare and contrast varied plant types and identify plants from different regions and countries. Most of the plants are labeled with names and locations. I’m thinking about making a scavenger hunt for our next visit. A unit about plants is penciled in for late April!
Orchids are the most captivating flower I think. I was reminded of an orchid garden I went to years ago in the Canary Islands. I spent such a peaceful (and solo) afternoon there. They are so regal, don’t you think?
The theme for the Spring display is based on the Maurice Sendak book, Where the Wild Things Are and the Conservatory is full of playful surprises from his artwork. This boat was filled with versions of the book translated into numerous languages. The kids loved this cozy, fragrant nook.
The Conservatory isn’t large and it’s easy to manage with kids who are careful about not touching. There’s a suggested donation of $5 per person to enter. They have a small selection of books and gifts, parking is easy, and the bathroom is mom-approved.
Afterward, we played outside. I let baby girl sit on the fresh grass for a bit. It was the first time she had felt grass and she thought it was pretty amazing.
The boy got in a little tree climbing too. (Pretending to be a sloth, as you can see.)
I’m so glad we finally checked out the Rawlings Conservatory. It reminds me of a mini, indoor Duke Gardens, which is great because yeah, I still miss North Carolina.
How are you celebrating the change of the season? Is there any local place that you keep meaning to visit but never do? Go!