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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Anna’s Adventures: my trip to the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Kristene Maxwell
Anna Maxwell in the glasshouse at the Cleveland Botanical Garden during spring break.

During spring break, my mom and I decided to spend some time at the Cleveland Botanical Garden while it was showcasing its orchid display. I was hesitant at first because flowers can only be so interesting, right? I was mistaken and humbled after our visit because I realized that the botanical garden is absolutely beautiful. 

When I first walked in, I was greeted by large hanging baskets filled to the brim with lovely flowers of all different colors and shapes. Although I am unable to identify each plant, seeing them in such wonderful surroundings was breathtaking. 

As we continued through the exhibit, there was a rotunda that showcased the different stages of life that orchids go through, enhancing my understanding of the flowers all around us. It encompassed everything from the very beginning of the life of an orchid and went until the death of the buds. It reminded me of each of our lives, and how, even if we do not realize it, we are all going through different stages that define our lives and how they inevitably end. 

The way that the flowers were arranged enhanced the exhibit as well. The orchids tended to be at the forefront of the arrangements, but other flowers and greenery wonderfully complemented the delicate orchids as well. If you are a gardener, this exhibit gives you many ideas to try growing and displaying your plants in interesting and effective ways. My mom loved this about the displays, and I will not be surprised if we end up with similar plants and arrangements during the season. However, if you are younger, there is a play area that children can go to for planting and coloring flowers while getting some of their energy out on the miniature playground inside the exhibit. There is something for everyone at any age. 

Additionally, all throughout the exhibits, different flowers and moss were covering the edges of the walkways, and art was hung on many of the walls. The pieces were made by two different artists, one being Gunter Schwegler and the other Maria Witmer-Rich. Both artists live in Ohio and paint various pieces that speak to them in their medium. 

The pieces were images of orchids with a unique twist depending on the artist. This artwork added another dimension to the display because life is art and art is life, and they were perfectly intertwined throughout the botanical garden. Also, it is refreshing to see artists being supported and showcased in exhibits that bring in a lot of local people and visitors. The botanical garden is giving artists a great opportunity to get their work out into the world. 

My favorite spot of the exhibit had to be the glasshouse, which is a glass enclosure that includes plants, butterflies and even lizards and other bugs that live within the ecosystem. We even got to meet a turtle that was happily hanging out amongst the greenery. Overall, the glasshouse felt the most like we were outside getting to experience life within its natural habitat. There was a large walkway that oversaw the initial ground floor, which made it feel like I was in a treehouse looking out at nature and its beauty. It was also a wonderful spot for people-watching. 

This orchid exhibit was not what I was expecting, and I ended up enjoying my time at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Especially considering the recent dusting of snow, it was a great experience to get away from the cold and enjoy the spectacular greenery because it is not growing outdoors this time of year. I suggest the botanical garden to anyone who wants to stay out of the cold and enjoy their time in Cleveland with friends, family or alone! There is so much to see and enjoy that you will be able to spend multiple hours admiring flowers and seeing enriching Cleveland art and plant life! 

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is located at 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106 and there is paid admission depending on the length of your visit. Their hours of operation and extra information can be found on their website

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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    Maria Witmer-RichMar 15, 2024 at 9:12 am

    Thanks, Anna, for the shout out to the artists at Orchid Forever! I really enjoyed reading your piece!