The Coast News Group

Botanic Garden opens greenhouse for rare tropical plants

ENCINITAS — This holiday season, San Diego Botanic Garden will unveil its newest visitor attraction – the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory.

This 30-foot-high, glass-enclosed, 8,232-square-foot structure is adjacent to the Hamilton Children’s Garden. Inside is a 5,292-square-foot, multi-purpose area consisting of plant displays, hanging plant chandeliers, floating plant islands, and a 15-foot Living Wall. Also inside is another 3,291-square-foot space housing classrooms and meeting rooms, with a catering kitchen, an office and restroom facilities.

Adjacent to this new addition is a 3,512-square-foot outdoor amphitheater that can seat 265 people. Both the conservatory and amphitheater will be for indoor/outdoor entertainment, education programs, weddings, corporate retreats and special events of all kinds.

The garden’s annual holiday event for the community, Botanic Wonderland, will be held throughout December. All through the month, visitors of all ages can enjoy the treasure trove of unusual plants that can only grow in this incredible new space against the backdrop of amazing holiday lights and horticultural displays.

The Conservatory was designed by Green House Works of Kansas City and Daneen Powell Atelier and domusstudio, of San Diego. It consists of a one-of-a-kind steel frame with glass panels made by Deforche, a Belgian company with expertise in the quality construction of botanical conservatories.

The Conservatory contains a state of the art climate-controlled, reverse-osmosis fog system and boiler radiant heated floor, to help foster growth of the tropical plants it houses. It also contains specialized roll-up doors, roof vents, fans and ceiling shades all connected to an automated control system for optimal plant care.

The Dickinson Family Education Conservatory is designed to serve as a community meeting space where people of all ages can connect with plants and nature, fulfilling the mission of the Garden. Named after the charitable organization that pledged the initial $1M challenge grant for its creation, The Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation, this new education and events space will enhance the mission of the Garden “To inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature,” said Ari Novy, president and CEO of San Diego Botanic Garden.