Franklin Park Conservatory – Columbus, OH
If you are ever in Columbus, OH, with a few hours to spare, you might enjoy a visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical gardens.
Although the Columbus Botanical gardens didn’t have a Japanese garden (which is always my favourite area of the gardens), I did manage, by sheer luck, to pay a visit when they had both a Chihuly exhibition and a butterfly exhibition, combining all three within the Pacific Islands section.
If anyone is unfamiliar with the work of Dale Chihuly, he is officially described as an ‘American glass sculptor and entrepreneur’. As you will see from the photos, somewhat of a slight understatement in my book.
Shown here is a typical example of one of Chihuly’s glass sculptures, hanging from the roof of the tropical section, as though it were a new plant-type growth. Or maybe an alien species that you probably wouldn’t want to get too close to in case something shot out and stung you.
Some of the sculptures are in stark contrast to their surroundings, others seem to fit in as though they belonged there.
This sculpture reminds me of the plants in the ‘Day of the Triffids’ (by Michael Moorcock), where alien seeds come down from space in a brightly coloured meteor shower.
Another Chihuly sculpture that is a little more subtle and almost looks as though it belongs within the succulent plants section of the conservatory.
Shown below are some of the butterflies roaming around the Pacific Islands section. I freely admit I have no idea what any of them are called but they look pretty cool darting left and right as you walk through the plants section.
They didn’t have the formal Japanese gardens but they did have a selection of impressive Bonsai trees.
The topiary section had a different slant than what I have previously seen with these Flamingos roaming the compound.
A few more of the remarkable Chihuly sculptures that were ‘growing’ amongst the other plants and rocks in the conservatory.
The ‘flowers’ above are also blown glass by Dale Chihuly. If you get the chance check out his work as it’s understandably exhibited all over the country.