onthresholds_old post card of conservatory

The Palm House at the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens in Baltimore City sits just off Druid Hill Park Lane, not far from the Maryland Zoo (many people believe it to be the old Reptile House, which it is not and never was, but it is a very common mistake). It is, and always has been, a gorgeous Victorian glass house filled with tropical plants and palm trees that reach high toward the ceiling where you can see the sky. It opened to the public in 1888 and is still going strong today. In addition to the Palm House there are three botanic greenhouses—the Mediterranean, the Tropical, and the Desert, where you will find plants from all over the world beautifully maintained and displayed, as well as the enchanting Orchid Room.

onthresholds_palm house_1I have been honored to serve as a Greeter at the gardens for over a year now, and have seen first hand the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers in what truly is a kind of secret garden—a lovely place to spend some time alone or with friends and family—learning or lingering, or a little bit of both. (It is the kind of place where a question about the Vanilla orchid turns into a lively discussion about baking and hiccups and toddlers and moving to Europe and anything else that happens to come up with anyone who happens to come along and join in).

There is so much more to say, but I will save that for another post (or perhaps a little series). For now, the warm weather is here and the outside gardens need to be planted.

So, this Thursday, May 25th is Community Gardening Day. Volunteers help plant and mulch the outside garden beds from 9-12 and lunch is served afterwards. We would love to see you there. You can sign up to help here!


onthresholds_orchid room

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