Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Finding spring in Minnesota at the conservatory April 6, 2018


TO ALL MY WINTER WEARY readers in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and any other place where cold and snow are lingering too long into spring, I offer you a visual respite.



This is for you, as much as for me.





A spot exists in Minnesota where flowers now bloom, the air hangs humid and palm trees rise. The proof lies in the photos I took in February 2017 at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul. I should have gone there this winter, just to take in the greenery, to pretend for an hour or so that I wasn’t in Minnesota.



Since I can’t physically flee to a warm climate of sunshine and seashore, I must mentally and visually escape. I can imagine I’m in Hawaii or Florida or California or some such spot through these photos I took just a little over a year ago inside the Conservatory.





Currently, the Spring Flower Show is in bloom inside the Sunken Garden, differing from the flowers in the photos showcased here. Imagine daffodils, tulips, hyacinths…the perfumed scent and bright hues of spring.



Mostly, imagine that you are in a setting devoid of snow and cold, that winter has vanished and spring arrived.


© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “Finding spring in Minnesota at the conservatory”

  1. I love places like this and could spend hours photographing too. Beautiful captures 🙂 Made my day and put a smile on my face – Thanks – Happy Weekend – Enjoy!!!

  2. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    It is a beautiful place to escape! Although I have to say, I was just up on the North Shore and, cold though it was, it offered wintery beauty (yes, I know it’s technically spring) that made me glad for our cold climate’s artistry. 🙂

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    It’s such a wonderful place to go – – – – but not during spring break.

  4. These photos are breathtaking! It’s nice to have a respite such as this for escape.

  5. Don Says:

    The conservatory sure makes a nice escape from the snow and cold. Great pictures and I suppose the smells inside with all those flowers was interesting too! Humm those that take care of all those plants sure must have some green thumbs, mine on the other hand not so green I can ruin a plastic flower………………..

  6. Jackie Says:

    Beautiful photo’s Audrey, Thanks for sharing a little “spring” with us 🙂

  7. Bella Says:

    My daughter just went there to find spring. She thoughtfully sent me photos to AZ knowing I was missing this annual flower show. which is a visual treat. I was appreciative of the gesture.

  8. Jena Says:

    Thank you thank you! You ‘re right, it really helps to see beauty like this! At least every day the sun feels stronger and warmer! When it’s not hidden by clouds.

  9. chlost Says:

    One of my favorite places! The smell of the dirt, the green, and the sounds of flowing water are so refreshing. It is also so special that there is no fee, just a “suggested donation”, so anyone can enjoy that respite from the everlasting winter.

  10. Rosalie Quale Says:

    A friend and I went yesterday to find a taste of spring. It was beautiful. My favorite was the sunken garden with the strong scent of hyacinth. The tulips and daffodils were quite striking too. It’s been so long since I had been there, it won’t be so long before I go next time. Perhaps we can meet up there this summer with grandkids??

  11. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Beautiful pictures! I picked the perfect time to come check them out too. It’s snowing pretty good now but at least we have power. My parents have been without power for almost 24 hours. I love the pink lily! Lilies are my favorite but the bother my allergies really bad.

  12. mtnfairy Says:

    After surviving the snowiest April on record, I was ready to breathe some of that humid tropical air deep into my lungs!
    Thanks for sharing your pictures, as it’s the next best thing to being here! 😊

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