Built in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens encompasses 15 acres and includes a 14-room Victorian glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park, where it continues a tradition of seasonal flower shows which have delighted millions of guests over more than 125 years. Today, Phipps has expanded its mission and impact and is recognized as an international leader in sustainability and green practices.
Installed in up to nine rooms and several outdoor gardens, new displays each season keep the guest experience fresh and exciting with new and creative themes. Spring Flower Show displays over 69,000 bulbs and creative renewal themes each year; Summer Flower Show incorporates dynamic props, exotic specimens and guest artists related to the season’s theme; Fall Flower Show highlights the iconic chrysanthemum, including single-stems, cascades and spiders; Winter Flower Show and Light Garden enhances a magnificent holiday horticultural display with more than 62,000 square feet of LED-illuminated gardens; Butterfly Forest showcases colorful native pollinators and their favorite blooms; Garden Railroad, a miniature landscape brought to life with tiny plants, features new themes, props, tracks and planting designs each year. Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show pairs two of Phipps’ finest permanent collections, complemented by public educational programs
The Phipps campus also houses some of the most energy-efficient, healthy built environments in the world. Its Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) is the first and only building to achieve four of the highest green building certifications (Living Building Challenge™, LEED® Platinum, SITES™ Platinum and WELL™ Building Platinum). The CSL was joined in 2015 by the Nature Lab at Phipps, a Living Building Petal certified modular sustainable classroom. Phipps’ newest addition — the Exhibit Staging Center (ESC) — repurposes a former public works facility to be net-positive energy and net-zero water, and is expected to achieve Living Building Challenge™ Certification, Platinum WELL Building Certification™ and LEED® Platinum.
Phipps commitment to sustainability and reversing the effects of climate change and environmental denigration through its operations, education programs and interpretives is blazing trails in the public garden industry. Within Phipps, there are three green-roof gardens that feature vegetables, permaculture and sustainable plant recommendations for our climate; rain gardens demonstrate residential water conservation; a Children’s Discovery Garden offers hands-on fun to young explorers, including bird, bee and butterfly gardens and a nature play garden; organic Edible Rooftop garden, with edible wall and hydroponic beds provide produce for events and Café Phipps, and are supported by interpretive signage; free-to-the-public Outdoor Garden and Aquatic Gardens demonstrate climate appropriate combinations of natives and exotics in beautiful designs; and vertical vegetable gardens demonstrate green, healthy living in limited urban spaces.
- Botanical Garden