Deadly Gardens and Virtual Carnivores

One of the things I love most about writing is research. Some of the the most fascinating subjects I stumble upon become life-long hobbies.

For instance, while writing my current book, I found a whole world of dangerous plant enthusiasts. Who knew? This one is going to be a problem for my pocketbook.

While searching for a cool secret meeting locale in San Francisco for a chapter I'm writing, I found a gem. Since the story takes place in a futuristic San Francisco, I wanted to use a known place which would conceivably still be around in the near future. The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers is a place you can go and visit, and I can envision it being there a hundred years from now. It is filled with rare and endangered flowers you can see up close. If you can't go, do the virtual tour which I took and loved. The exhibit features an array of unusual plants like the Nepenthes pitcher plant in the photo above. There are also giant lily pads that can hold the weight of a small child!

One of the coolest things about the conservatory is that they offer live streams of rare plant events like the blooming of the corpse flower, Terra the Titan, (live now) or a psychedelic Night Bloom which is an annual favorite in the winter with fractal and neon light installations. So beautiful!

The building itself is quite astonishing. Opening in 1879, it is the oldest wood & glass structure in the western hemisphere. I was excited to hear of a such a cool place right here in my very own California. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until the quarantine is over to check it out.

To say I'm hooked on visiting as many botanical gardens as possible is an understatement. I may not have anymore surface space in my house for more plants, but that will not stop me from drooling over new ones.

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