Conservatory Tropicals At Rancho Soledad
Whenever I go inside a conservatory structure I desperately want one of my very own. Entering a conservatory, you immediately enter a completely different climate--an instant tropical interlude without the tedium and discomfort of travel. The plants inside conservatories have a perfection they are unable to achieve outdoors, due to the controlled conditions and protection from wind, temperature fluctuation, and insects.
During our visit to Rancho Soledad nursery, we spent time inside their large tropical palm house. Inside, it was at least twenty degrees warmer and twice as humid as it was outside. They had some interesting rare palms, including this Verschaffeltia splendida, the Seychelles Stilt Palm:
Pretty weird at the base...
Pretty normally palm-like up top:
Another palm, with bright pink stems. (Sorry, I did not see an identification tag):
There were stunning tropical bromeliads as well:
But the most enjoyable part was simply the atmosphere and environment of the building itself, with its dimmed light, and warm humid air rich with oyxgen, a verdant lushness we never experience outdoors in Southern California. Though it may probably be unbearable on a hot summer day, in mid-December the place was a delight. I expected Tarzan to swing down from the canopy at any moment.