Ayla Hendrickson – Water Theme in Conservatory

large leaf of a tropical plant leaf with spines on it+

In keeping with Reiman Gardens’ 2017 theme of water, the Hughes Conservatory brings the beach to the all too continental Ames. Suspended from the ceiling of the Conservatory is an impressive, giant sculpture of a jelly fish. As part of the Washed Ashore exhibition, the jellyfish is constructed from trash scavenged from beaches, in order to raise awareness of the pollution ravaging the world’s oceans. Multiple, smaller Washed Ashore jelly fish also line the main hallway leading into the Conservatory, and are suspended low not to touch visitors but as an invitation to rattle their tentacles!

The water theme even extends to the plants of the Conservatory, where the surfer lingo of “totally tubular” has been interpreted with the display of tubular flowers such as the bright red Flamingo Flowers (otherwise known as anthurium). For most of the summer, three large turtles with shells embedded with succulents have also featured in the central bed of the Conservatory. This is about to change very soon, as the horticulture crew has been hard at work preparing for the coming “Cardinal Wave!” After the 13th, be sure to stop by and admire this new, colorful installation.