Right here in cold, rainy Seattle, beneath Victorian-age glass, is a blooming marvel of a garden. Photographer and gardener Sara Chapman has done a stunning job of showing off Seattle's gem of a conservatory in all seasons.
Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory Blooming Month by Month captures the exotica, desert plants, ferns, oddities, orchids, seasonal displays and the sheer mass of flowers and foliage holding court every day of the year on Capitol Hill in one of the country's last Victorian glass houses. The Bromeliad House alone, shown here in all its creature-like glory, is worth a lengthy visit on any day of the year. And the chance for warmth, a feel of the tropics (palms, anthurium) and the weirdly wonderful succulents in the Cactus house offer a respite from relentless winter. As does this self-published, well-designed and indexed book.
Chapman even makes seasonal bedding out, autumn displays of chrysanthemums and the December show of poinsettias compelling - there's something so appealing about flowers massed beneath protective glass panes...Flowers of Volunteer Park costs $27.95 in hardback and $19.95 for a paperback copy; part of the proceeds will be donated to Friends of the Conservatory that, along with volunteers, keeps this Seattle treasure going in these tough economic times. The book is available on amazon, from Chapman's website, and at the Conservatory's Gift Shop.
Here's a small sample of the plants held lovingly between the pages of this book: