Volunteer Park, Seattle
With many plant species from around the world, and one of the few places that are registered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the purpose of taking in plants confiscated from smugglers, there is quite a variety here - only some of which are on public display.
The plants with the cages around them are the carnivorous plants.
You will definitely want to visit this place in the spring, when many of the plants are in bloom. The facility is much less spectacular during the rest of the year.
The building was modeled after London's Crystal Palace, and constructed in 1912. Only one small part of the original building remains, however, after extensive restoration and rebuilding projects.
One of the trellaces has been decorated with a chiming artwork called "Over 'lyre", of which I have a short video in operation.
I don't suggest making a trip out of your way to come see the conservatory, unless you are particularly interested in exotic plants. However, if you come to Volunteer Park (and on a clear day you should because the view from here, especially from the water tower deck, is wonderful) or visit the Asian American Art Museum, then it would certainly be worthwhile to also come over here and see what is in bloom, since there is no admission charge.
Entrance to the conservatory is free of charge, and it is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Volunteer Park is located in the north end of Capital Hill. It is a mid size park with lots of open lawn spaces as well as walking trails. The Seattle Asian Art Musuem is located here, guarded by two stone camels. There are great views of downtown Seattle from the park and from a lookout tower that I was too lazy to climb that day! An arboretum is located on the north end of the park and has differnet types of plants in different rooms. A great picnic spot for a warm summer evening.
One of many public parks designed by the Olmstead Brothers in the early 1900's, Volunteer Park includes:
* Volunteer Park Conservatory
* Seattle Asian Art Museum
* Band stand
* Childrens play area
* Picnic tables
* Tennis courts
* Trails & paths
* Wading pool
* Views of the Puget Sound, Olympic Penninsula, Cascade Mountains and downtown
* Water tower with Olmsted Exhibit (located at the south entrance to the park)
The water tower is a large brick silo, with stairs going up, in a spiral fashion, along the inside walls. When you get to the top there is an interesting display of the Olmstead parks and a wonderful lookout.
The Black Sun, a sculpture by Noguchi, is just outside the Asian Art Museum, and it a cool photo opp, as you can position yourself so you can see the Space Needle in the distance through the center of the ring.
If you're the gardening type, you'll no doubt be impressed by the flora not only in the park, but especially in the Conservatory. This spring one of those giant plants that smells like a rotting dead body was in bloom in The Conservatory. Don't worry - the smell didn't stick around.
In Volunteer park is a great glass conservatory with a wide variety of plants including many flowering plants and a cactus room. It's free admision and a fun place to visit year round. While there you can visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Volunteer Park Water Tower, Louisa Boren Park and lookout, and Bruce Lee's Gravestone, all within walking distance.
In Volunteer Park there is an old water tower that has interior stairs to the top. From the top there are great panoramic views in all directions. It gives you a great sense of the Seattle layout. While there you can visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Louisa Boren Park and lookout, and Bruce Lee's Gravestone, all within walking distance.