Cincinnati, OH: Krohn Conservatory + An Apothecary Soul Garden Exhibit

It looks like we're in for several rainy days here in Cincinnati. Rain and clouds make me go a little stir crazy, so yesterday to brighten up my spirits I visited the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park. Now through August 19th, their show is "An Apothecary Soul Garden", highlighting some herbal and medicinal plants in the garden as well as a neat rendition of a rustic apothecary shop. I wandered through all the garden spaces over the span of a couple of hours, but you could go faster or slower depending on your desires. Admission to the conservatory is $4 per adult and $2 per child; there is a $1 off coupon on their website for this show, and there are also membership options if you think you'll visit frequently. There is a small free parking lot behind the conservatory (approximately 20 cars), and there are other free parking areas throughout Eden Park if this one is full.

Krohn is well known for their butterfly show that happens every spring. When the show is not in session, though, you can still find butterflies throughout the exterior gardens. There are a dozen or more blue butterfly houses set up throughout the garden as well. I saw several butterflies in just a few minutes of walking around outside.

The path leading from the parking lot to the front door (around the side; you can't get in via the parking lot, unfortunately) is lined with beautiful flowers and other plants.

Once inside the Art Deco building, you have your choice of paths to take. The office directly to your right is the visitor's center (worth stopping by for picking up more paper coupons, checking out fliers for events throughout various Cincinnati Parks, or asking questions of the friendly staff) and the one directly to your left is the gift shop with a variety of botanical-themed gifts. Proceed through this area and choose between left to the fern exhibit, straight to the palm house and waterfall, or right to the showroom (where the changing exhibits are), desert room, orchid house, and bonsai display.

I went left to the ferns...

...and basically felt like I was in my own secret garden for a little while (some people came through after a few minutes, but I mostly had it to myself on this Wednesday early afternoon).

Some tips to get the most out of a botanical visit: always make sure to look UP at conservatories, greenhouses, or other botanical gardens! Lots of cool things happen near the light source, like flowers. If able, take your time and really look at all the plants - at your own eye level, at the eye level of other people you're with if they are of a different height (like kids), up, down, around the plants in front, and go through the exhibit in both directions. You'll see different things from all these angles.

From the ferns and its secret garden feel, I went to the palm area, which immediately transported me somewhere tropical.

The best part of the palm exhibit is the 20 foot waterfall at the back. There is a bench here where I sat and watched the water for a little while, just enjoying the sound and smell. I had it nearly to myself.

The path to the right, shown in the photo above, goes through a tunnel behind the falls, and circles back to the bridge. The photo above is the view from where I sat on the bench.

Another reason to move slowly and look up - a considerable number of the plants had fruit!

From the palms, I moved into the showroom, which is housing "An Apothecary Soul Garden" now through Sunday. (So if you're interested, go check it out this weekend!)

A dozen or so highlighted plants are found throughout the exhibit, showcasing their benefits and uses. A disclaimer at the beginning of the garden lets you know to not use anything as a replacement for medical advice.


There is a small rustic "apothecary" set up in the middle of the exhibit, with vials of various herbs, as well as a binder with a plant map, recipes, and the information on the signs throughout the room. This was a nice touch if you wanted to scan any of these pages with your phone or camera.

There's also a moss garden in this room.

From the showroom, you will loop through the desert, orchid, and bonsai areas. You can start either through the bonsai (to the left) or the desert (to the right). I went toward the desert first, but stopped first at the outdoor bonsai exhibit which is through a door to the left once you head toward the desert. This is not covered, so it wouldn't be much fun in the rain, but before the rain yesterday it was one of the most relaxing areas of the conservatory. There is a small water feature in the back right and a bench to sit on to enjoy the view.

Bonsais are just really cool.

After enjoying the bonsai trees for a little while, I made my way back inside to the desert room. I always enjoy these exhibits because of how surprisingly green they are, despite being a room full of desert plants.

The desert room leads you into the orchid house.

The orchid house also contains the carnivorous plants. This exhibit always reminds me that I need to get some pitcher plants for our house!

Passing through the last doorway leads you into the indoor section of bonsai trees. It's not as relaxing as the outdoor area, but still nice to see should it be raining outside.

I'd definitely recommend the Krohn Conservatory if you want to get some nature exposure and be inside at the same time. (I'm also looking forward to exploring more of Eden Park, when the weather cooperates a bit more.) I enjoyed the apothecary show and will likely be visiting the other shows later this year as well. The next show, called "At Home in the Garden", starts Sept 1. You can see the full show schedule here as well as the full calendar of events.

Quick Facts:
WhatKrohn Conservatory (located inside Eden Park)
Parking: Free, small lot behind building; other free parking available throughout Eden Park
Admission Cost: $4 adults, $2 children ($1 off coupon here)
Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.
Date I Visited: Wednesday, Aug 15th, around 1-3pm. This show runs till Sunday, Aug 19th.

Cincinnati, OH: Krohn Conservatory + An Apothecary Soul Garden Exhibit Cincinnati, OH: Krohn Conservatory + An Apothecary Soul Garden Exhibit Reviewed by Maria on 4:31:00 PM Rating: 5


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