Phipps Conservatory’s Fall Flower Show – 125 Years of Wonder

Last Updated on by Jeremy

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Phipps Conservatory is known for being one of the largest botanical gardens in the region, and also for their seasonal flower shows that are truly events not to be missed.

For the fall 2018 flower show, Phipps went all out to celebrate their 125th anniversary. The theme for this show is 125 Years of Wonder, and brings a historical element (namely photos from different time periods) in addition to the beautiful flower displays you come to expect from the shows.

As with all of our show reviews, we're not going to share every room in the Conservatory (you'll have to visit yourself to see them all!). Instead, we're going to feature a few of our favorite rooms from the show to highlight a cross-section of the displays!

The Palm Court

The Palm Court at Phipps Conservatory

The Palm Court is one of the focal points of any flower show, and the Fall Flower Show is no different.

After entering the room, you'll instantly feel like you are transported back into the early days of Phipps with its vintage decorations, portrait of Mr. Phipps, and historical photography dating back to the earliest days of the botanical gardens.

One part about this particular room that is worth noting further is that in 2018 the glass panes in the ceiling were completely replaced, and many ornamental features were added to bring the court back to its original glory (plus a few new ones like LED lights for a modern element).

The restored Palm Court at Phipps

So while you are appreciating the Palm Court for its flowers on the inside, be sure to look up both inside and out of the conservatory to really get a full appreciation for the changes! (For more on the palm court restoration, click here.)

The East Room

The East Room takes on a bit of a throwback to one of the many nursery rhyme displays at Phipps, and features Humpty Dumpty right before he is about to experience a really great fall.

The reason this one is a throwback is because Phipps has had a variant of this display several times throughout its history, including in 1960 and again in 1967 (see those on Instagram here), and in seeing them all it is hard to not get an appreciation for how far Phipps has come over the last 125 years!

The Serpentine Room

House of Horrorticulture in the Serpentine Room

The Serpentine Room is always a favorite in any given flower show, as the shape of the room lends itself for an immersive experience with the exhibits (as opposed to the East Room above which you can only appreciate from a distance).

For this year's Fall Flower Show, Phipps got into the Halloween spirit with the House of Horrorticulture, paying homage to zombie lore and the 50th anniversary of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Gravestones and zombies are out to get you here, and is a playful way of looking back at one of the region's most iconic horror films.

Halloween horrors at Phipps

When perusing the room, be sure to keep an eye out for the photo of George Romero with his own corpse flower (“Romero”) from a recent bloom!

The Victoria Room

Vintage Phipps Photos

The Victoria Room is one that we often overlook in our reviews of the flower shows as, while it is a stunning room in its own right, it often doesn't stick out to us as being a favorite.

For 125 Years of Wonder, however, this one is not to be missed.

The reason for this is because the circular nature of the room allows for many historical photos to be visible nestled between the flowers. As most of the photos are well over 70 years old, it is one of the best rooms for getting a glimpse into the past in the entire conservatory- so be sure to spend some time appreciating all the photos as you go!

While there are many more surprises and design to talk about for the 125 Years of Wonder flower show, we really don't want to giveaway all the secrets here. You'll just have to head over to Phipps to check it all out before the show is over to see for yourself!

Phipps Conservatory is located at 1 Schenley Drive and the Fall Flower Show is running through November 4th, 2018. We were guests of Phipps for the flower show at their 125th anniversary gala (click the previous link to read our review of the gala). As always, all opinions are our own.

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