Current Exhibitions

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how this summer’s exhibitions—Topiaries at the Conservatory: Wild Wonders, GlassHouse, and the Bonsai Display—were designed, created and displayed throughout the Conservatory.



Blooms & Butterflies

March 11–September 17, 2017
Hundreds of colorful butterflies fly freely in the Pacific Island Water Garden, a tropical haven filled with bright nectar blooms. Patrons can visit at any time to see a diverse array of butterflies soaring overhead or basking on nearby plant life.


Daily Butterfly Releases
For an even closer encounter with the butterflies, drop in on a Butterfly Release! At 1 and 3pm daily, a trained butterfly ambassador releases newly emerged butterflies into the biome during 15-minute educational presentations.

In Botanica Gift Shop
The butterfly metamorphosis can be experienced at home, too, with native Painted Lady caterpillars available in Botanica Gift Shop. Once they have emerged, Painted Lady butterflies can be released outdoors to continue their life cycle.


Topiaries at the Conservatory: Wild Wonders

May 20–October 29, 2017
Topiaries at the Conservatory: Wild Wonders celebrates the art of living sculpture. Focusing on endangered animals, horticulturists planted, designed and sculpted several topiary installations to be placed throughout the Conservatory’s courtyards and biomes. As guests walk through the Conservatory exploring the different regions of the world, they will encounter native, sculpted animals along the way.

In the Cardinal Health Gallery
GlassHouse: Photo Flora Form

May 20–September 17, 2017
This photography exhibition by CCAD students, alumni and faculty explores the manipulation of nature through lighting, perspective and design techniques. Using the Conservatory’s lush foliage and diverse plant collections as a catalyst to create new works, artists share their unique interpretation of man’s ability to appropriate the natural world.


Bonsai Display

June 3–November 12, 2017
The Conservatory’s tropical bonsai collection is showcased within a serene, Japanese-inspired garden in the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse.  This year, Wabi-Sabi—the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature—serves as the underlying theme for the show. Additional hardy bonsai trees are on display in an outdoor courtyard.