Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens has made itself a year-round attraction with the addition of its new conservatory. The 20,000-square foot facility allows visitors the opportunity to see more than 300 plants and flowers.
The conservatory opened in October. The three-tiered structure has a greenhouse look. Milwaukee’s botanical garden has three domes. It’s a great tourist attraction. I wasn’t sure if I’d like Lauritzen’s look, but it works. Once you start walking through the conservatory, you are amazed at the layout.
The conservatory has a 20-foot incline from the main floor to the third section. The conservatory has a walkway which takes people to the Oak woodlands trail that stands above the gardens. We’ve walked it before, but having the paved walkway to the entrance helps.
The conservatory has vegetation from temperate and tropical climates. The first floor has the temperate plants. The middle level has tropical plants. The third level is available for special events or temporary attractions.
We started our visit in the temperate zone. Plants and flowers here are common in southern states, such as the Carolinas and Georgia.
The conservatory has a couple of water features. One is a 10-foot waterfall that sits between the two climate zones.
The waterfall flows into a pond with lilies. I loved the reflection of the building’s plants and glass (my youngest daughter will tell you that my “thing” is reflections when it comes to photography).
The flowers in the temperate zone are beautiful. You can spend a few hours inside checking out the flowers alone.
The tropical zone brought back some memories of my 2011 business trip to Manila, Philippines. Palm trees and ferns are abundant in the conservatory, just like in the Philippines. The tropical zone is truly magnificent.
The Marge Daughtery Conservatory is named in memory of the wife of the late Robert Daugherty. Mr. Daughtery was the founder of Valmont Industries in Valley, Nebraska. Valmont is a world leader in agriculture sprinkler systems.
The conservatory is the largest project in the 18-year history of the gardens.
In addition to the conservatory, Lauritzen Gardens maintain their outdoor floral and plant attractions, including the Rose Garden.
Lauritzen will host its second Legos temporary exhibit beginning Jan. 17th. Nature Connects 2 will have 12 items on display utilizing 30,000 Legos bricks. The exhibit runs through April 26th. The exhibit will feature creatures, such as a Monarch butterfly, eagle, praying mantis and a family of ducks.
The last exhibit featured a buffalo and its calf, a humming bird, a bee, as well as a lawnmower.
Lauritzen always offers some great temporary exhibits, which are housed in the visitors center. Now, the conservatory gives an additional attraction for people to visit. We recommend checking it out.
For more information on the conservatory and Lauritzen Gardens, please visit the website at www.lauritzengardens.org.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Lauritzen Gardens for the complimentary tickets. However, all opinions and views are ours.