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Saturday 4 October 2014

Conservatory of Flowers

Back in July the girls and I visited the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park with friends. This was one of those places that we'd been meaning to visit for such a long time but just hadn't ever made it there. We decided to make use of the monthly free entry day (the first Tuesday of every month) and spent an afternoon surrounded by exotic blooms.

The Conservatory of Flowers is currently home to a special exhibition called "Chomp! They Came from the Swamp"; a showcase of amazing carnivorous plants. The exhibition runs for just a few more weeks, finishing up on October 19th so I figured it was about time I shared it with you.

Ava and Lola were pretty excited about seeing all the carnivorous plants. They had seen pictures of Venus fly traps and were quite intrigued but hadn't actually seen them in real life. Nor had they ever seen a giant Venus fly trap!

Ok, so those ones might not be real! The exhibition features four large models of various carnivorous plants as well as over sized flies. These over-sized models give visitors a bug's eye view into the world of carnivorous plants. Ava and Lola certainly look terrified of being eaten!

I'm familiar with pitcher plants and Venus fly traps but I was surprised at just how many other carnivorous plants were on display. Many were variations of the pitcher plant, some hanging while others grew in clusters. The Cobra Plant was pretty interesting looking. It really does resemble a cobra, complete with tongue sticking out!

As you can probably tell from the pictures it was pretty hot and humid in the exhibition area of the conservatory. In fact, it was pretty hot and humid everywhere in the conservatory! To keep the air so humid in the exhibition it "rained" every so often. And by rain I mean that the overhead irrigation system kicked into gear. For the most part this was just a fine mist of water, but there were certain spots where the water fell much heavier. Of course, Ava and Lola were pretty quick to find these spots and ended up leaving pretty much drenched!

Both Ava and Lola were pretty keen to grown their own carnivorous plants after visiting the exhibition. They each bought a Venus fly trap growing kit from the gift store. Fingers crossed we'll have success with the kits and I'll be able to share them soon.

"Chomp! They Came from the Swamp" is on display at Conservatory of Flowers through Sunday October 19th. You can find more information including entry fees and opening times here.

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