I’m pretty enamored by greenhouses. There’s something special about the patterned glass panels, the steel beams, and the rounded rivets that delicately frame each magnificent structure. They’re both a time warp of Victorian curiosities and a dense slice of nature in the midst of a busy city. And whether they’re full to the brim of exotic orchids (like San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers), or tiny, decrepit things full of spiders (like one I visited in the south of France a few summers ago), I must go inside! They are my church. Full of nature, they are solemn and peaceful, with high, arched roofs that bring me closer to something sacred.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time searching for great greenhouses to visit, and some of the most spectacular ones are in Europe (see here). During America’s Gilded Age of wealthy industry barons, there were also some incredible private greenhouses that contained the world’s most diverse specimens. Today, many of them have been destroyed by fire or neglect, but there’s still a few majestic relics left that I hope to visit someday.
So, last month, when we visited Paris’s Natural History Museum, I, of course, had to tour the conservatories! Though it was the height of winter and cold, we enjoyed a little wander inside these delightful hothouses. Enjoy some of the photos from our visit!
And then it was off to the small annex on desert plants!
The beautiful Jardin des Plantes is a wild jungle in the middle of Paris, but for this Jane, there can never be enough plants. Thanks for coming along with me!
The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle is home to the Jardin des Plantes. For more information, or to plan a visit, check out their website here! Do you love greenhouses too? Share your favorites with me in the comments below – I’m always looking for some great travel suggestions! And though most of what I’m wearing is sold out, I put together a collection of similar clothes and accessories you might like below. <3