Holiday Flower Show in St. Paul's Como Park

About 60,000 people will visit the Holiday Flower Show in St. Paul's Como Park. The show, which runs through January 18, 2010, at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, "brings a wash of indoor color to contrast with the outdoor snowscape," which as you know is particularly snowy right now. Of course, the poinsettia is the star of the show and it comes in more colors than you could imagine, like peppermint twist, cinnamon stick, and even eggnog.

Located right in our backyard, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is a gem of the Midwest even if you might not realize it. Not many cities have been able to maintain buildings such as this. Despite several calamities in its 95-year history, it has survived. It is a rare cultural attraction that draws crowds even in Minnesota's coldest months.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory was first opened in 1915. The conservatory today contains more than 10,000 plants in its permanent collection. Holiday flower shows began at the conservatory about 1925. The combination of special flower shows and the conservatory's "permanant" collection draws nearly 1.9 million visitors each year.

Additionally, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory's history is now featured in a new book, "Jewel of Como," that details the undertaking to create a "botanical temple" to rival those found in cities like New York and San Francisco.

"The building has traveled a long road from dazzling to derelict and back again," the authors wrote. "Annual flower shows entertain and delight, fountains spout and trickle, and the scent of rosemary and jasmine wafts through the air. All who come find comfort in a warm place on a chilly day. Today, Como Park's jewel shines brighter than ever."

Sounds heavenly, doesn't it? There are three more weeks to view the Holiday Flower Show, then the displays will be taken down and new ones will be put up for the Winter Flower Show, which will begin on January 30, 2010.

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