Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Leaf rubbings & cacao

I worked the new docent gig at the Conservatory this past weekend. The old butterfly gallery has been converted into an open area with some seating and loads of different fern species from around the world. My new duties in the fern gallery consisted of inviting visitors, mostly children, to create leaf rubbings from a variety of leaves culled from our plant collection. I made a rubbing as well & choose the Ceylon cinnamon leaf for mine. Sadly, my rubbing did not smell of cinnamon. A certain leaf smelling of citrus, however, was a hit as the lemony aroma made the rubbing smell good & the kids thought that that was pretty cool. Fun was had by all as the kids seemed keen to participate. Some had already done this activity at school and were old hands. Afterward, I encouraged the children to write their names & the plant from which the leaf was derived on their papers. For a final flourish, the rubbings received a Conservatory stamp of approval as well. The stamp was fairly inky, so I learned very quickly not to press down too hard lest folk not be able to read the lettering.

I also had a few cacao pods to show visitors. One was freshly cut and the other one was about a year old. The fresh pod was yellow and still soft to the touch. The older one reminded me of a dried gourd. The seeds inside rattled around when the pod was shaken, so I took to shaking it a lot. :D Each cacao pod contains 30 to 60 seeds (from which chocolate is made). It takes about 600 seeds to produce 2 pounds of chocolate. That's a staggering amount.

After shift, I wandered the galleries & took a few shots--


Walking Iris (technically, not an iris)


Wee bananas

Corpse flower between blooms



8 comments:

  1. Rubbing a scented leaf would add so much to the experience.
    It looks like a delightful spot - though one to be avoided when the corpse flower blooms. I suspect that glass above would hold the scent in too.

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    1. There are little corpse flower-related species planted around that big mama there just out of shot. One just bloomed and perished. The old bloom smells still faintly and it's of dung!

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  2. I have a plant catalog that sells corpse flowers and I don't think so. Not in my garden.

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  3. The exotics conservatory seems lovely. I like to visit the botanical gardens in Cleveland.

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    1. I've had visitors to the Conservatory mention how lovely the Botanical Gardens in Cleveland are.

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  4. You've got a corpse flower? Does that bring people in when it blooms?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it does. The flower last bloomed in the fall & visitors came in droves to view it.

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