Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Voodoo Lily is Blooming! Yes, it kind of stinks!

When we came in to water the plants in this small greenhouse this morning, there was the familiar smell of dead mice lingering in the air! It is not that we have dead mice in the greenhouses --gross-but we do occasionally have a blooming Amorphophallus Konjac at this time of year and that is it's tell tale smell! This plant has a great inflorescence (a grouping of flowers) that smells stinky to us but possibly lovely to it's pollinators.

Some of you may remember another stinky plant that we had bloom here at the Conservatory in 2011? Yep! It was the Corpse Flower, Amorphophallus titanum, the cousin of the Voodoo Lily.

Come and see this fun plant in the Conservatory's North Garden.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Orange Is The New Red in the Sunken Garden!

The Holiday Flower Show tradition began in 1925 and continues to be the most anticipated and visited flower attraction at the Conservatory today. It is a visual sensation to behold featuring hundreds of poinsettias. Orange is the new red in the 2014 Holiday Show and will feature a new Poinsettia called Autumn Leaves, a beautiful mix of yellow and pink bracts.  The show will be complimented with the following Poinsettia cultivars:  Orange Spice, Maren, Marco Polo, Premium Apricot, and Sparkling Punch  to give the show more orange, pinks, cinnamon and apricot colors. The two toned yellow Coleus Wild Lime will accent the poinsettias.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Bat Flower Is Blooming!

Come check out the Bat Flower or Tacca chantrieri in the Palm Dome! Known for its black color, this flower can grow up to 12 inches across and has long 'whiskers' that can go grow as long as 28 inches!

 The Bat Flower is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and southern China.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Beautiful Fall Colors in the Japanese Garden!

With the unseasonably warm weather we've been having, the Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden is open later than usual and is offering breathtaking views!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Addition in the North Garden!

We have a new addition to the North Garden, a Ma'afala Breadfruit Tree! We believe we are the northernmost Conservatory to feature this variety of Breadfruit Tree!

With this addition the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii receives a net licensing fee and, in turn, gives half of that fee to the Samoan government where the plant originated. Como is helping people halfway around the world through conservation!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Come See Our 2014 AAS Display Garden Landscape Design!

For the third year in a row Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is participating in the All-American Garden Landscape Design Contest! The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory received a third place award in 2012 and we are hoping that our 2014 garden display will once again be recognized.

Our display is located in front of the Visitor Center and surround the "Welcome" sign.

Some of the flowers displayed include:

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
Salvia 'Summer Jewel Red'
Zinnia 'Double Zahara Fire'
Zinnia "Profusion Double Hot Cherry'

What is an AAS Display Garden?

An AAS Display Garden provides the public an opportunity to view the newest AAS winners in an attractive well-maintained setting. Additionally, Display Gardens can provide educational programs about the AAS trialing and award process during "open house" or "field day" events during their peak growing seasons. If they choose, Display Gardens can participate in a Landscape Design contest using AAS Winners.

A typical Display Garden is a public botanic garden or arboretum, a municipality, a garden retailer, a university garden and many others.

The network of nearly 200 dedicated AAS gardens includes 55 locations that have served for 25 years or longer. The earliest AAS Display Garden, Norseco, Inc. of Quebec Canada became an AAS garden in 1962.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 American Garden Award Gardens are in Full Bloom!

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory has planted all of the entries in the 2014 American Garden Award program and they are ready for viewing and voting. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is one of thirty-two prestigious public gardens participating in the nation’s only flower popularity contest, the American Garden Award. This is a unique opportunity for the public to view, choose and vote on a specific flower that they think has the most appealing garden characteristics. Each of the four “contestants” listed below is now planted in our garden and vying for your vote.

Contestants for this year's award can be found in front of the Visitor Center.

As of this month, fewer than 100 votes separate the top three contenders so your vote can make an impact.

Join in the fun by voting in one of three ways:
1)      By visiting our garden, viewing the flowers, then texting the code found on garden signage to a given polling number
2)      By using postage-paid voting ballots located at the garden.
3)      By going to www.americangardenaward.com and clicking on the voting button

The four entries are:

Celosia Arrabona Red
Cuphea Sirracha Violet F1
Foxglove Digiplexis™ Illumination® Flame
Petunia Sanguna® Radiant Blue

Voting will remain open until September 30 and winners will be announced in October. In the meantime, these flowers, as well as some of the past American Garden Award winners are available at your garden center. Ask for them by name! The 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 winners can be viewed at www.americangardenaward.com

Follow American Garden Award on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the voting results!

The American Garden Award program is administered by the All-America Selections®  Display Garden program. AGA entries have not been trialed nor awarded a winner status by the AAS® Trial Judges.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Chipotle Edible Garden is Now Open!

Celebrate The Incredible & Edible with Chipotle at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory this Summer!

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is serving up scrumptious garden fun for the fourth year in a row in the Chipotle Edible Garden, which opened Friday, June 13.

The Chipotle Edible Garden will feature an array of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. All plants are grown from seed and every plant in the garden has at least one edible part. It is an exhibit for visitors of all ages, designed to teach about planting and preparing foods that can be grown at home. The Como Zoo gardening staff hopes the exhibit will offer visitors an appreciation for how easy it is to grow a large variety of plants in Minnesota.

The exhibit opened Friday, June 13 and run through September 29. Trained staff and volunteers will be onsite from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. to answer guests’ questions. At 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily, the Conservatory gardening staff will give gardener talks about growing techniques, ways to harvest and prepare food from your garden, natural pest control, and creative edible landscape design. The garden display covers more than 8,000 square feet and is south of the Visitor Center.

In 2013, Chipotle Edible Garden staff harvested 972.5 lbs. of produce for the Saint Paul Recreation Centers’ various cooking classes and summer programs, and 231.2 lbs. that were fed to Como Zoo animals. The goal for 2014 is to exceed last year’s harvest, which totaled 1518 lbs. Some of the more interesting plants grown in the garden this year include purple cauliflower, “Small Wonder” spaghetti squash, Luffa gourds, Chinese cabbage and eight different varieties of cucumbers.

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere.

Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and Responsibly Raised™ with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,650 restaurants including six ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates one Pizzeria Locale. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Check out this video from a previous year’s Edible Garden