The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is in the heart of Fort Wayne. For some reason I expected this to be outside of town and we were delighted to find it nestled into the midst of the lovely backdrop of the city with a heartbreaking beautiful church across the street. I traveled to Fort Wayne on this hosted trip with my mom, Lora Disque, and we were able to find a parking place right out front. We were greeted by a beautiful statue of a woman before we even entered the doors.
Inside the lobby is a gift shop where before heading out I found a birthday gift and two Christmas gifts for a friends. I love to shop in museum and attraction gift stores that have such unique and interesting selections. This year I am following a new motto, “if you find it and it is just right, go ahead and buy”!
We headed off to the three indoor gardens that cover over 25,000 square feet and showcase 1,200 plants (over 500 species) and 72 different types of cacti. The first section was a kids discovery section. My favorite part of this was a tree with a face on it. The children playing seemed to be having a great time as we made our way on past heading to the showcase garden. In this area, besides some lovely plants there was a tent with a live butterfly exhibit. This was great fun. The butterflies are literally flying art. One landed on mom and she had to have it removed before we proceeded on. We were checked for hijackers before leaving to ensure we didn’t take a non-native species out of the butterfly habitat.
The tropical gardens and the desert gardens both provided a nice mixture of plant life that is so different from what we see in the Midwest. Years and years ago, I got my minor in Botany and while the knowledge is pretty much gone, my love of plants and flowers lives on. This was a great way to get my “plant fix” for a little while. The Tropical Garden offered orchids and palms thriving in the shadows of a cascading waterfall, and the Desert Garden had a more stark beauty with a huge Saguaro cacti reminding me of the old western movies.
Outside while most of the displays were not open we were able to walk the path and enjoy some shrubs, sculpture and trees during the wonderful April weather we had while traveling.
Downtown Fort Wayne is quite pretty with beautiful architecture and historical buildings easily marked. The Botanical Conservatory added great fun to our trip, I always seek out art and gardens wherever I go!
For more information about this educational stop, log onto http://www.botanicalconservatory.org/the-gardens.