The (MacMillan) Bloedel Conservatory

MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory exterior

Over the last year or two, I’ve visited the Bloedel Conservatory* (formerly known as the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory[–UPDATE: please see the comments]) several times, but today, in the company of my Penelope and young Telemachus, I was finally able to take a number of pictures I genuinely liked of the flowers and plants. The building, of course, is something of a modern heritage building, and is shown above; the interior is shown below:

MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

Once inside the Bloedel Conservatory, one is struck by the humidity and the sheer density of the living beings teeming within. There is a lush density of various leaves and flowers everywhere; one particularly photogenic portion is shown below:

Lush density of various leaves and flowers in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory pic 2

I quite liked many different leaves in the place, including the beautifully-contrasting colours of the plant shown below:

Beautiful contrasting leaves in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

I’ve always thought that a certain kind of pink and purple just naturally go together; evidently, Mother Nature thinks so, too:

Pink and purple blossoms in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

I’m not sure quite what to say about the furry pink things hanging from the branches in the next photograph, except that I had no idea that there was so much diversity of life on our planet:

Pink furry things hanging on plant in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

I quite liked the purple flowers below…

Purple flowers in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

…and was even more charmed by the swirling design of these yellow petals:

Swirling yellow flowers in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

These red flowers with a white stem tipped in yellow (some of the others had entirely yellow stems) have always fascinated me:

Red flower with white and yellow stem in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

Today, happily, was also my day for birds. After coming away on previous visits with only blurry birds, I managed this time to get three good photographs of three exquisite birds. The smallest one is shown below:

Small green and red bird in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

The most gorgeous multi-coloured bird I’ve ever seen allowed itself to be photographed today, finally:

Gorgeous multi-coloured bird in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

Meanwhile, I made friends with an equally gorgeous parrot who was decked out by Mother Nature in shades of grey, with red tail feathers:

Grey parrot with red tail in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

Finally, after leaving the Bloedel Conservatory, I went to the little stone fence and stood on it and took the following picture towards the north from the City of Vancouver’s highest point (Queen Elizabeth Park, the home of the Bloedel Conservatory):

View towards the north from Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park

All in all, the Bloedel Conservatory is a testament to the tremendous ecological diversity of our planet, to the unexpected beauty found around us, and to the power of the community to save a special space from being closed. I’m pleased that the Parks Board, which had voted to close the Conservatory some time ago, was able to keep it open after a generous and wealthy donor and the entire community came together to keep it open. For my part, I feel the inspirational and transformational value of these kinds of spaces, with all their wealth of living beings, is beyond measuring in mere dollars and cents. It is the enjoyment of gardens like these that help to make us not only happy, but also human.

*Brief webliography:

Official Bloedel Conservatory webpage
Friends of the Bloedel
Wikipedia entry on the Bloedel