The Conservatory Chronicles
Issue 100
March 2016
Please help us welcome Matthew Stephens as the Director of the Conservatory
Matthew Stephens com es to San Francisco from New York City where he was  Director of Tree Planting.  He worked at New York City Parks for nine years where he led MillionTrees, an initiative to plant one million trees throughout all of New York City.  While in New York he worked to increase the overall efficiency of the tree planting program, implemented a platinum level customer service program, and led the development of the Parks' innovative tree growing program.  During Matthew's tenure at NYC Parks he also started a nonprofit and successfully raised millions of dollars for urban forestry work throughout New York City.  Matthew received a BS in Horticulture from Illinois State University and a MS in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware in the Longwood Graduate Program.  Matthew's passion for horticulture stems from a sweaty Saturday chore as a child, mowing the grass in Illinois where he grew up.  This weekly chore ignited a passion for plants, and being outdoors that led to his education and career.  Matthew comes to San Francisco with the love of his life, Allison.  They were recently married before moving to San Francisco, and are both excited to start exploring the plants, culture, food and hills of San Francisco!

Save the Date... 
Gala Under Glass
Thursday, May 5, 2016
You are invited to celebrate Cinco de Mayo as the Conservatory unveils the newest special exhibit:  
The Wild Bunch: Succulents, Cacti & Fat Plants.

Experience a magical evening "under glass" at the Conservatory of Flowers annual gala supporting the important, ongoing preservation of this historic Victorian greenhouse in Golden Gate Park.

Closing Weekend Celebration for
Garden Railway: 1915 Pan-Pacific!

April 10th is the last day to experience Garden Railway: 1915 


Don't miss the centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, recreated in our miniature garden railway exhibit.


Explore replicas of buildings featured in the historic exhibit, listen to sounds of the time period and learn about the fair that announced San Francisco's return from the devastating 1906 earthquake.  


The last day for the exhibit is Sunday, April 10. Don't let the garden railway leave the station without you!


Learn about the closing ceremonies for the 1915 World's Fair with Laura Ackley 
Saturday, April 9, 2016, 10:30am - 1pm  
Laura Ackley, Architectural Historian and Author of San Francisco's Jewel City, will share the riveting details of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition's Closing Day festivities and answer questions regarding what happened to the 635-acres of fairgrounds.

Please join us on April 9th at 10:30 am as we say goodbye to Garden Railway: 1915 Pan Pacific and learn more about the last days of the World's Fair that inspired our exhibit.

Click here to register

Books will be available for purchase and Laura will be happy to autograph.

Coming soon:
The Wild Bunch: Succulents, Cacti & Fat Plants
As the Garden Railway rolls toward its final destination, we are preparing to welcome the darlings of the plant world, succulents. 
Euphorbia lactea "Variegata" also known as white ghost, and Europhorbia tirucalli, commonly called pencil cactus are both succulents and are currently located in the Potted Plants Gallery.

Explore hundreds of varieties, learn about their history and adaptations to harsh, dry climates and how to cultivate them in your own garden.


Under the Spell of Succulents with Jeff Moore 
  Monday, May 16, 2016, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Jeff Moore has owned and operated Solano Succulents for more than 20 years. He will share how he transitioned from a casual succulent collector to a grower, nurseryman and designer. Among his most popular landscape designs are his "undersea" themes which he has created for
Sea World, the San Diego County Fair, and the Philadelphia Flower Show.

You will be treated to some spectacular photos of rare and unusual succulents as well as his unique designs.  There will also be time for a Q & A before the evening is over.

Jeff will be selling and signing his book after the presentation.

Become a Member today!
Enjoy free admission every day, all year long with a membership at the Melanie in Lowlands Conservatory of Flowers.

Your membership includes discounts for most of our programs.

The reciprocal admission program offered though the American Horticultural Association entitles you to special admission privileges and discounts at 300 gardens throughout North America and is included with your conservatory membership.


What's in Bloom...
The Calabash tree (Crescentia cujetenative0) is native to Central and South America, the West Indies, and extreme southern Florida where it is often grown as an ornamental. The tree produces large fruits with hard shells that are often hollowed out and used as bowls, cups, and other water containers.

The tree may flower and fruit at any time of year. The calabash tree's flowers have five petals fused in a funnel shape.

The Conservatory's Calabash, located in the Lowland Tropics just outside the door leading to the Potted Plants Gallery, is loaded with buds. Study the ones growing at eye level, directly off the trunk of the tree, a growth habit known as cauliflorous. Then look up into the canopy and discover more buds along each branch. The blooms are delicate and shaped like bells. Hopefully you'll catch a fully open bloom on a day you visit!
Check out our What's in Bloom page to see what else is blooming!