Spring Has Come to the Seymour Conservatory

January's special floral exhibit at the W. W. Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma, WA.  Photo: KGlb.

January’s special floral exhibit at the W. W. Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma, WA. Photo: KGlb.

This time of year, nearly everyone’s thoughts turn to spring. (except, of course, all those snow worshipers up on the ski slopes) Unfortunately, I think every groundhog in the Pacific NW popped their heads out of their dens yesterday morning and saw their shadows. And you know what that means. Another 6 weeks of winter!

Can’t wait 6 weeks? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Spring has already come to the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Tacoma, WA.

The Seymour Conservatory has more than 250 individual plant species in its permanent collection. Orchids, bromeliads, ferns, figs, palms, cacti, and a lemon tree with ripened fruit the size of mangoes. But imagine our delight when we discovered that it also features special floral exhibits that change every month!

During a recent visit, we were greeted at the front entrance by a gorgeous display of spring color. A variety of azaleas mixed in with tulips, cyclamen, and miniature daffodils. Just the thing to chase away the winter blahs.

Moving slowly past the blooms, we followed the sound of trickling water until we found the koi pond located nearby. A magnet for adults as well as kids. And as we made our way deeper into the conservatory, we also discovered half a dozen sculptures tucked away among the foliage. The sculptures, created by former conservator Clarence Deming, are a mix of African, Axtec, and Maori artistic styles that blend well with the tropical and sub-tropical plants.

W. W. Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma's historic Wright Park.  Photo: KGilb.

W. W. Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma’s historic Wright Park. Photo: KGilb.

We ended our visit with a stop at the gift shop. The shop stocks a variety of glassware, pottery, potpourri, yard ornaments, and jewelry—many with a botanical theme. Tea-drinkers (like me) will also find a nice selection of teapots, teacups, and tea accessories.

The W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. (closed on Mondays and public holidays) Admission is free, although a $5 donation is strongly urged and greatly appreciated. For a schedule of upcoming floral exhibits and other special events, please check the conservatory’s website.

The Seymour Conservatory is located at 316 South G Street, Tacoma, WA. (in Wright Park) For a map and directions, please check the Garden Visit website. On-site parking is extremely limited, but we had no trouble finding a parking space on the street.

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