This week, our Travel pics series is G for Gardens.
Today’s pic is actually a triptych of images we took at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.
The Conservatory is a botanical garden and greenhouse in Golden Gate Park, the park that stretches for 5km from the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood to the sea.
The park is amazing – it’s actually 20% larger than New York’s Central Park, and has been used for everything from disaster relief accommodation (after the earthquake of 1902) to Love-In Central for the hippies during the ‘Summer of Love” in 1967.
It also has museums including the De Young (built in 2005) and the Academy of Science (rebuilt in 2008, after the destruction of most of its structure in the 1989 earthquake.)
Other features of the park include a herd of bison, up to a thousand coyotes, the National Aids Memorial Grove, a World War One era carousel, a Japanese Tea Garden (originally built in 1894 by an expat Aussie!) and the Conservatory of Flowers.
The greenhouse at the Conservatory is the oldest remaining structure in Golden Gate Park, having been constructed in 1879.
It houses 1700 species of tropical plants – including the Black Bat Flower seen here on the right.
The Tacca Chantrieri is actually a member of the yam family, and comes originally from South East Asia and Southern China.
On the left in today’s picture is a pitcher plant – a carnivorous plant that feeds on foraging and crawling insects – a bit like the larger, more famous, Venus Flytrap.
The backdrop to our picture comes from outside the greenhouse – formal gardens that lay out a carpet of colour on the rolling lawns beside the Conservatory.