California Travel Log | Conservatory of Flowers

hello, dah-ling

This is the fifth post in my series covering my recent escapades and adventures in California. For more, check out Leslie’s California Travel Log.

Most people have heard the lyrics:

If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Though I completely missed my opportunity to wear a floral headband or some kind of flower accessory in my hair while in the city, I still just could not get that good old hippy song out of my head the day we went to see the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Click here to listen to the song for some awesome background music while you read this post.

We decided to get day passes for the bus to take us to all the places we wanted to go on our one and only full day in San Francisco, and boy did we make use of them! Golden Gate Park was just our first destination after coffee and breakfast at Peet’s down the street from where we spent the night. This is the first post of 5 that will cover our travels in SF that day. (That’s right, we were busy little travelers!)

We walked down the path into the park from our bus stop in search of the conservatory. After a few minutes, we got our first impression of the garden. Outside the majestic-looking greenhouse (that was actually white), was a garden of blooms sprawling across what appeared to be an awkwardly large road median. Go figure. Beauty is often found in unexpected places.

But then I saw a sign and realized it was not just an awkward road median. The long cluster of growing flowers was named “The Dahlia Garden.” Below are the cheery flowers, as promised in my last post!

The Dahlia Garden

Aren’t they lovely? It took us a while to take our eyes off of this, our first find at the Golden Gate Park. The dahlias, in all their colors and varieties, were stunning. Who knew there were so many different kinds? Most of the flowers were in full bloom. Maybe it was just love at first sight, but I have to say I think I enjoyed these the most out of our visit in the park.

After quite some time spent looking and sniffing, we finally walked on into the conservatory.

conservatory of flowers
The Conservatory of Flowers

It was another foggy day as you can see in the picture. But good news – somehow we got into the green house for free. I don’t know if it was a special free day or just that we were early enough to beat the rush, but we saved $8 a piece getting to tour the conservatory for free.

Inside, the air was thick and humid. Imagine looking into a warm little terrarium with moisture beading on the glass walls, then imagine being inside. Leaves and branches everywhere you look – up, down and all around, sometimes hanging down or reaching out and brushing up against you.

The plants were alive and well. Every hue of green could be seen from the brightest chartreuse to the deepest evergreen. On the back of a fern that came to say hello to my face (swat!) were bumpy dots that so closely resembled braille I had to do a double take. Then I took this picture.


As we lingered, the conservatory filled with other visitors and the air became even closer. It was fun seeing families with kids ooh-ing and aww-ing over the flowers. Normally I try to not photograph other people’s’ kids, especially with any intention of posting the picture online, but this sweet little Asian girl in piggy tails was so cute I couldn’t resist, and I justified taking the picture with the excuse that all you can see really is the back of her head.

Looking out into the pond of lily pads

The rest of the pretties…

IMG_6668 IMG_6686 IMG_6678I loved those hanging orchids. My husband once gave me a purple orchid for my birthday (or maybe it was a monthiversary?) the first year we were dating. Of course it didn’t fare well in my dorm room, but the memory still lasts 🙂

Next up will be a post about the de Young Museum, another stop in Golden Gate Park: modern art and a yummy lunch in their cafe.

By the way, if you’re wondering ‘When will Leslie get back to posting about normal stuff again, instead of this never-ending California saga?’ don’t worry. It won’t be long. I may take some liberties as the blog’s author and post about a few of my more regular topics (whatever that means) before getting on with the rest of the California stories. We’ll see. I’ll keep you on your toes whether you like it or not!

Possible future posts from everyday life: scrapbooking, sushi, and moving a piano (maybe).

Your busy blogger,



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