Phipps Conservatory – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

side view of Phipps Conservatory

Our family had the pleasure of visiting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recently to visit with family. It is fun to visit a location as a tourist, as you can really delve into what is on offer. We visited a few places that I would highly recommend to you!

display of flowers

one of the first flower displays at the start of the tour

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is one such place which we highly recommend. The history of the conservatory goes back to the glasshouse, which was built by philanthropist Henry W. Phipps as a gift for the people of Pittsburgh in 1893. Their brochure says that they “strive to demonstrate the important and innate connection between people, plants, health, beauty, and the planet.” Following our visit, I think my daughter and I would agree that they are right on the money.

my daughter was all smiles among the flowers

My daughter is 15, and I have to say that she is usually agreeable to joining me to see gardens (well, most of the time!). I wasn’t really sure how much she would enjoy this visit. But we went through the entire conservatory, each of us pointing out something interesting to the other with lots of “oohs” and “ahs”! There were beautiful artworks by American glass sculptors Dale Chihuly and Jason Gamrath featured throughout the displays, which we particularly liked. Truly, we both thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

These “Cattails” were created by Dale Chihuly for his first exhibit at Phipps in 2007.

blown glass display

“Seven Paint Brushes” glass art display by Dale Chihuly

I still surprise myself with how much I enjoy learning about plants and seeing them in their best state.  I find myself shouting out the names of plants when I see them. You do that, too, right? No? Just me?

blown glass display

These beautiful pieces are Jason Gamrath’s signature blue pitcher plants and reside in the Fern Room.

Jason Gamrath’s signature blue pitcher plants up close

blown glass flowers

These are oversized orchid blooms by Jason Gamrath and provide a colorful complement to the Butterflies in the Butterfly Forest.

There are a lot of pictures. It was difficult deciding which ones to leave out! I hope you’ll enjoy our little tour of Phipps Conservatory. It is well worth a visit, any time of year!

In peace,

glass light hanging with cactus plants

This glass work by Dale Chihuly was created specifically for this spot in the Desert Room.  What a gorgeous sun it is!

we had a lovely sunny day that wasn’t too hot in the glass houses

room after room with beautiful blooms!

the ordinary looking extraordinary!

Dwarf Fothergilla – Fothergilla gardenii (southeastern US)

Doublefile Viburnum – Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Shasta’

Doublefile Viburnum – Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Shasta’    (one of my favorites!)

I loved the glass art! This Celadon and Royal Purple Gilded Fiori piece is at the center of the Tropical Fruit and Spice Room.

floral artwork

child statue in garden

“Joyous Boy” also known as the “Teddy Bear Statue” was sculpted in 1923 by Geneva Mercer.

“Joyous Boy” also known as the “Teddy Bear Statue” by Geneva Mercer. Too cute!

Lot of things for kids (big and small) in the Discovery Garden!

having fun in the Discovery Garden

This is an Albutilon pictum, also knowns as a flowering maple. It was quite tall and the flowers were above our heads. (Thank you to Cheryl M. for giving me the plant’s name on my Mom in the Garden facebook page!)

These are referred to as “The longfellows” which are whimsical glass figures created by Hans Godo Fräbel, residing in the Orchid Room.Aren’t they neat?

“The Longfellows” by Hans Godo Fräbel

just a few of the many beautiful orchids

There were rainbows of colors throughout!

A full view of the oversized orchid blooms by Jason Gamrath. I’ll take a set of those, please.

lovely pink dogwood tree and Japanese maple

growing willow is on my “going to try this one of these days” list…

a very pretty Rain Chain

Japanese Stewartia – Stewartia pseudocamellia – Japan (isn’t that bark pretty?)

if only I could get my veggies to look this good!

joyous color!


this piece is amazing! (see photo below for more details)

This is the Goldenrod, Teal and Citron Chandelier created by Dale Chihuly which hangs from the glass-domed entrance of the Welcome Center.

The End! 🙂




6 thoughts on “Phipps Conservatory – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  1. Dana, I really enjoyed the tour of the conservatory and gardens. I’ve seen a number of sculptures from Dale Chihuly, they are just beautiful. I haven’t seen any from Jason Gamrath, they as wonderful as well.

    • Hi Karen, I’m so glad you enjoyed the tour! How lucky I was to be able to see those beautiful artworks, which has now introduced me to the artistry of Dale Chihuly and Jason Gamrath. As always, thanks for stopping by and your lovely comment! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Discovering a ‘gem’ while on vacation! (the Chihuly collection presented by Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida) | Mom in the Garden

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