Phipps Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show – Gardens of Sound and Motion

Posted By Jeremy in Events


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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland is one of the pride and jewels of Pittsburgh. Each season the conservatory unveils a new show that features impressive artistic displays as well as unique seasonal flowers that will have you coming back time and time again.

The Summer Flower Show in 2018 is themed “Gardens of Sound and Motion” and adds in a few sensory elements beyond just the visuals of the beautiful flowers!

As with previous shows, we do not like to give everything away in our reviews. Instead, we're only featuring a select few of our favorite rooms and are leaving the rest for you to enjoy on your visit!

The Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden at Phipps

The Sunken Garden is one of our favorite rooms in any flower show as it takes on a life of its own no matter the exhibit.

For the 2018 summer show the room had a display of an array of beautiful blue flowers along with a sound and motion feature developed by Lyman Whitaker that uses the power of wind to illustrate motion throughout the exhibit- adding a nice touch that cannot be conveyed within photos alone.

Japanese Courtyard Garden

Japanese Garden at Phipps

The Japanese Courtyard is always a summer favorite at Phipps as the warming temperatures means the bonsai plants look their best.

This one is tucked away and is often bypassed by most visitors, meaning if you are lucky you can spend a few quiet moments here sitting out in the summer sun, reflecting at the koi pond, and gazing at the beautifully manicured bonsai trees- just as it should be.

The Butterfly Forest in the Stove Room

Phipps Butterfly Room

Summer also marks the return of the butterflies to the Stove Room at Phipps, and we always love how this room is transformed with their arrival.

During our 2018 visit we were also able to get great lighting for many of the flowers in this room- something we've struggled with during many of our visits (pro tip- go right when they open for the best lighting!).

The Serpentine Room

Serpentine Room at Phipps

We say it time and time again, but our favorite exhibits at Phipps are almost always in the Serpentine Room, and the 2018 Summer Flower Show is perhaps the best one yet.

This room has its own color theme, just like the previous rooms, and the sections of the room slowly change from purple to orange to yellow. The exhibit on display are large, green forest giants that slowly rise from the Earth and are something that takes on a personality of its own depending on the angle you view them from.

Phipps Summer Flower Show 2018

As an added perk, the “sound” aspect of this room was created by Carnegie Mellon students and dozens of micro computers are hidden within the room to truly make the experience an emersive one- so be sure to take a closer look everywhere you go, you never know what will happen!

The Broderie Room

Phipps Broderie Room

Continuing on with the solid color theme is the Broderie Room, featuring red flowers like scarlet sage and bat faced cuphea.

This room is always bold and stunning during any flower show, but the intense red colors really helped convey a bold theme that leaves a lasting impression!

The Summer Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory runs through September 30, 2018. We'd like to thank Phipps Conservatory for inviting us to check out the Summer Flower Show! As always, all opinions are our own.

After visiting the Phipps Summer Flower Show, be sure to take a walk around Schenley Park!

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1 Comment

  1. I think my favorite is the Serpentine room it looks amazing.

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