The Conservatory is the “Jewel of the Garden.” This 11,000 square-foot complex houses exotic and unusual plants from around the world in its permanent collection and features beautiful seasonal displays.
Crowned by a 63-foot-tall dome, the Conservatory includes a central Palm House housing our palm and cycad collection; the semi-tropical East Wing features tropical plants, including our orchid collection; our cacti and succulent collection is on display in the West Wing; and the North Wing hosts changing themed displays full of seasonal color and interest including model trains and a holiday tree during Dominion GardenFest of Lights and special exhibitions such as Butterflies LIVE!.
The Conservatory was built through the generous donations of Nancy and Bruce Gottwald; Libby and Floyd Gottwald; and the Gottwald Foundation. The Conservatory was finished in 2003 and dedicated to the memory of their mother, Anne Cobb Gottwald.
The Orchid Wing is lush and lovely with more than 200 blooming orchids spread throughout the display. In addition, it highlights interesting tropical plants and a cascading waterfall feature.
The West Wing of the Conservatory is a display wing with lots of interest and color. It changes out seasonally around a cottage garden theme, with a real thatched cottage as the centerpiece.
Ornamental Grass Garden
The Ornamental Grass Garden replaced approximately 9,000 square-feet of traditional turfgrass with attractive, low maintenance native grasses. This garden showcases sustainable best-practices in one of the most prominent sites at the Garden. Once established, native grasses gardens require little-to-no watering and will reduce stormwater runoff by encouraging infiltration of rain water into the local water table. These grasses also provide valuable habitat and food for insects, birds and larger animals, encouraging a more robust local ecosystem.
Water Lily Pools
Flanking the front entrance of the Conservatory, the Water Lily Pools house a seasonal display of aquatic plants, both native and exotic, while the hardy and non-hardy water lilies steal the show.
Step into the Conservatory and step into another world. The Central Palm House greets guests with stunning seasonal displays year-round.