Visit a Butterfly Paradise Within Franklin Park Conservatory
Experience Live Butterflies Up Close
The Pacific Garden
Dreamworld of Exotic Butterflies
In a Pacific Rainforest
Entering a lush tropical rain forest, the air heavy with mist, the stream sparkles before me. It runs in a rivulet before becoming lost in the tangle of orchids, glossy green leaves, and the towering overhang of Pacific rainforest trees.
Directly ahead, a stairway leads into the path that curves away from view, so that I notice the richly colored blooms that screen it and stop to gaze at their perfect forms.
Following the turn, a fantastical sight of twisting turrets in yellow, streaked with red, burst upon my eye. A sculpture, made entirely of glass by the most alive imagination, is fully discovered before me. All of a sudden, a cloud of butterflies, all colors, of different sizes, in the most jewel-like shimmering hues, fly around me; and one, most delicate, alights upon my startled hand to bid me welcome.
Have I happened into Paradise?
No, but I am visiting one of the most enchanting exhibits of live butterflies and tropical plantings of the Pacific Island Water Garden inside the Franklin Park Conservatory.
Where am I?
In the middle of the most wonderful experiences for both adults and children, the Conservatory's annual "Blooms and Butterflies" event which lasts from March 10 - September 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.
Who can resist this treat of living artwork flying among the equally entrancing art of Chihuly showcased among the exotic foliage and blooms of the Pacific rain forests? Let's explore this dreamworld butterfly exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory with art and real, live butterflies, among the exotic flowers and plants.
Blooms and Butterflies Captured
About the Exhibit
To enjoy more of these delicate creatures ...find out about them
Newly emerged butterflies are released into the Pacific Island Water Garden at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Conservatory staff member will provide a short talk; this is a great opportunity to find out more facts than you might otherwise pick up from the exhibit itself.
Many species are tropical butterflies,from South America, Africa and the Caribbean, that most of us would not get a chance to see flying through the air. Some I remember seeing are the Paperkite, the Morpho, Orange Julia, and Glasswings. With 100 species represented, it is a field day for butterflies.
100 butterfly species
During the summer months, starting in June, emerging monarchs are released daily at 3 p.m. into the outside pollinators garden area.
Available inside the gift shop and greenhouse are Ohio native Painted Lady caterpillars to take home and observe the metamorphosis first hand. A wonderful way to extend the experience of the world of butterflies.
Learn More About Butterflies
From The Common To The Exotic
...And teach your children well
Facts like this...
Lifecycle of the Lepidoptera has four parts:
- larva (caterpillars)
- pupa (chrysalis)
Butterfly taste receptors are on their feet.
There are between 15,000 and 20,000 different species of butterfly.
Butterflies are insects with four wings.
They range in size from the very small 1/8 inch to almost 12 inches.
Butterflies see red, green, and yellow.
Top butterfly flight speed? 12 miles per hour.
Indoor Rainforest and Glass Sculptures
Pacific Island Water Garden
Where the butterfly exhibition takes place each year
As one of the largest exhibits in the Franklin Park Conservatory, located in Columbus Ohio, the Pacific Island Water Garden is packed with tropical plants.
Franklin Park Conservatory opened Blooms & Butterflies in 1994; it was the first conservatory in the nation to showcase a seasonal butterfly exhibition.
Described as follows,"the Pacific Island biome represents the diverse landscapes found on a volcanically formed island, dotted with tall, canopy covering trees, and flowering plants", this part of the Conservatory is like a forest with all your favorite houseplants in giant size with many water features to enjoy.
This is the perfect place to discover the butterflies of the tropics- full of green foliage, flowers that rival the colorful butterflies and water features that create a little part of a paradise to explore. The art of Chihuly just adds the finishing flourish to a perfectly beautiful garden.
Visit in 2016
Blooms & Butterflies
The exhibit is open MARCH 12–SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
Features In Franklin Park Conservatory
While the Butterfly exhibit is situated within the Pacific Tropical garden, there are other climate zone gardens in the conservatory building as well as a park outside.
A fun giftshop and cafe are also a part of the many parts of this botanical garden.
It is a beautiful venue for weddings, as my daughter's wedding proved. We have pictures of what I felt was the most perfect marriage ceremony I've attended.
My daughter's perfect indoor garden wedding.
One of the fascinating events in the Butterfly exhibition is watching the full grown butterflies emerging from their chrysalis cocoons. Every day they emerge, dry their wings, and become ready to fly within the enclosure of the biodome of the cloud forest.
Make a Butterfly Garden
In your own yard you can make a butterfly destination paradise. Learn how to attract butterflies.
Flitting and Fluttering
Art At The Conservatory
Glass Artist Featured in the Gardens
A little about the artist:
Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. He went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice, later in his career he was honored with a solo exhibition, 'Dale Chihuly objets de verre', at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris. Besides his magnificent contribution to the world of art glass, he has worked as a teacher and mentor to many students of the art. He has also worked as a performance artist.
The Chihuly Resource Center in Franklin Park Conservatory is open during the following hours and by appointment: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The glass works of art by Chihuly are an important part of the Butterfly Exhibit, and indeed, of the entire Conservatory, year-round.
Chihuly Sculptures - Franklin Park Conservatory makes the perfect frame
More To See At Franklin Park
There are permanent installations of Dale Chihuly's glass art, but in 2010 there was a festival of colorful additions. The creative force of the staff at the Conservatory are always bringing something new and fresh for visitors.
There are live glassblowing demonstrations at the Hot Shop.
Although the Live Butterfly Exhibit,Blooms & Butterflies, lasts for only the months March through September, the Chihuly sculpture collection is worth seeing at all seasons.
The Franklin Park Conservatory art glass exhibition is the largest collection of Chihuly glass owned by any conservatory or botanical garden
Another Butterfly Show
Columbus, Ohio does not have a monopoly on these exhibits.
If you live in or visit the Cincinnati area be sure to visit the Krohn's Conservatory 'Butterflies of the World' exhibit for a similar experience.
Visiting Columbus? Flights Further Afield
- Fun Day Trips Around Columbus Ohio
Do you want something fun to do in the Central Ohio area? Are you looking for family fun while in the Columbus area? Here are my top favorite places to visit.
- Gardens of Ohio: Park of Roses
A perfect place for a summer evening stroll, a free concert, or a wedding. The Rose Garden at Whetstone Park is a lovely way to spend time during any season, but especially at the height of the rose bloom in June. This is a park that I have visited o