Pillbox

Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' latest display is titled "Orchid and Tropical Bonsai." (credit: Courtesy of Ryan Doran) Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' latest display is titled "Orchid and Tropical Bonsai." (credit: Courtesy of Ryan Doran) Credit: Brandon Hong/ Credit: Brandon Hong/ A decorative fountain surrounded by flowers is part of one of the many exhibits in the current show. (credit: Gabriela Pascuzzi/) A decorative fountain surrounded by flowers is part of one of the many exhibits in the current show. (credit: Gabriela Pascuzzi/)

Phipps Conservatory is a public conservatory and botanical garden right next to Carnegie Mellon that is free for all students. It’s the perfect place to go to when you’re tired of the midterms and gloomy days, and just want a ray of happiness in your life.

Unlike most botanical gardens, Phipps has a constantly changing main exhibition. In November, the new winter flower show will open, featuring all of the holiday season’s events and fun educational programs. Also, Phipps is one of the most “green” and environmentally friendly conservatory and garden sets. Most of the gardens in Phipps are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, and Phipps’ greenhouse production facility is the first greenhouse anywhere to receive a platinum LEED certification.

Besides all the flowers and plants, Phipps has some of the cutest decorations ever. Each small garden has a theme of its own, you can walk into a romantic french styled garden with the moon and stars decorated above, or a fall season themed garden with scarecrows and pumpkins. As it gets closer to holiday season, plenty of Christmas trees are placed and decorated with sparkling lights and various gardens are winter themed with cute snowmen, and snowflakes hanging on the ceiling.

One of the most mesmerizing exhibits is the “Garden Railroad: 200 Years of Pittsburgh”. The garden features miniature models of all the important sites in Pittsburgh, capturing its history over the past 200 years. Here, you can see the H.J. Heinz Factory back in 1869, the Cathedral of Learning, the Duquesne Incline, the renovated 2013 Point Park fountain and even a small model of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that takes us back to childhood.

Maybe because I’m in college, or because I just suffered through a midterm and have two more on the way, I was really inspired by my visit to Phipps. It was colorful. It was vivid. Everything seemed so full of life.

Do you want a nice break, and a quick and easy way to stay happy? Come to Phipps! Pretty colors, warm temperatures and some fantastic smells. Why not?