View larger image

As your yard, garden and front porch stand bare and frozen, head to the Franklin Park Conservatory for a glimmer of hope. Every time I go back, I realize what a treasure it is to have such a great conservation facility just minutes from Downtown.

[Franklin Park homepage]

If you haven't been back in a few months, you'll see even more glass work by Dale Chihuly, finished rooftop gardens and lots of holiday trimmings. Candlelight Nights will run Dec. 16 and 23 and feature hundreds of votive candles, live musical performances, glassblowing demonstrations and family activities.

If you can't make it, no big deal. It's always good. Here are some photos from my recent visit.

View larger image

As your yard, garden and front porch stand bare and frozen, head to the Franklin Park Conservatory for a glimmer of hope. Every time I go back, I realize what a treasure it is to have such a great conservation facility just minutes from Downtown.

[Franklin Park homepage]

If you haven't been back in a few months, you'll see even more glass work by Dale Chihuly, finished rooftop gardens and lots of holiday trimmings. Candlelight Nights will run Dec. 16 and 23 and feature hundreds of votive candles, live musical performances, glassblowing demonstrations and family activities.

If you can't make it, no big deal. It's always good. Here are some photos from my recent visit.

View larger image Another example of how seamlessly Dale Chihuly's work integrates with the conservatory's plant life. These orbs are nestled in the hallway between the entrance and Palm House.

View larger image A Chihuly centerpiece stands in the middle of the Pacific Island Biome, my favorite of the numerous indoor green spaces.

View larger image The entrance to the Pacific Island Biome features a koi pond, trees, vines, flowers and other plants living in delightful harmony.

View larger image It's always balmy in the Pacific, and an upstairs perch feels like being in the coolest tree house in the world.

View larger image FPC's orchid collection is outstanding. They've got varieties growing throughout many biomes and offer a good number for sale in the gift shop.

View larger image A bench in the Tropical Rainforest Biome is a perfect spot to rest for a spell.

View larger image A view from the Desert Biome, home to cactus, large rocks and tough plants living in dry, sandy soil

View larger image A giant tree made of poinsettias is a holiday highlight.

View larger image Part of the conservatory's ongoing development, rooftop gardens should be a highlight of the space come spring.

View larger image The rooftop additions feature plenty of plants, glass creations and places to look across the outdoor collections.

View larger image No trip is complete without stopping in the historic Palm House, a fancy greenhouse that doubles as a reception space.

View larger image Like most things at Franklin Park, the Palm House lives and changes with the seasons. Right now, lovely red blooms hang from baskets.