A Cleveland Treat: the Rockefeller Greenhouse

December 8th, 2012 Posted in Architecture, East Side, Garden design, University Circle

If you need to recharge your batteries right about now, may we suggest the Rockefeller Greenhouse? How many times have you driven down MLK Blvd., past the Rockefeller Greenhouse sign, and kept going right onto the freeway? Next time, make that turn and visit the Greenhouse, one of Cleveland’s treasures hidden in plain view.

And it is yet another free activity available to us all.

The first of the buildings was built in 1905 on property donated by Cleveland industrialist, John D. Rockefeller. The initial plans were to use the Greenhouse as the plant source for city parks and gardens, but over the years it gradually evolved into the botanical garden that it is today.

The outdoor gardens include the Japanese Garden, the Latin American Garden, the Iris Garden, the Mall (the formal garden with clipped hedges), the Betty Ott Talking Garden and the Peace Garden, where the gazebo (below) sits.

Inside the Greenhouse, you can easily forget the cold, dank weather outside. The beautiful poinsettia display greets you as you walk in the door and continues almost entirely throughout the greenhouses. Besides the gorgeous colors, the Fern garden and its verdant, soft leaves remind us of a lovely walk in the spring. The Cacti and Tropical Showhouses offer amazing textures that demand a healthy respect for their protective spines. And it is heartening to see the blooming orchids in the Orchid Showhouse.

Fern Showhouse


Cacti and Tropical textures


Vanda Divana Pink & Mahogany orchid


Last, but not least, enjoy the Poinsettia Display that just opened up on December 7th. It will be on view through January 4, 2013.

2012 Poinsettia Display


Rockefeller Park Greenhouse

750 E. 88th Street, Cleveland, OH 44108

Phone: 216-664-3103 rockefellergreenhouse.org  

Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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