Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Going Country

This past weekend we were in Nashville and the #1 destination for me was the Opryland Hotel. Little did I know that since I'd been there 27 years ago, they have added two new atriums. Wow! Did they ever! One is so large, you can take a boat ride in the river and eat at a number of restaurants that are contained on an island. I was amazed. There are 9 acres total under glass in the hotel!
One of the many waterfalls- this one is in the Delta Atrium
One thing that really struck me was the constant sound of water. It was beautiful! As a plant geek, I was in heaven. Unlike a public conservatory the plant selection isn't as diverse, but there were a good number of varieties. If you want to know the name of a plant, you probably won't find it.  I overheard a group discussing a plant that they thought was a coconut. I casually broke in and told them it was a papaya. But, this isn't meant to be a dedicated public conservatory where one goes to solely look at plants. 
On the other hand, this would be the hotel I would want to be in. You can sit on a nice bench and just listen, you can take a boat ride, and get something great to eat all while enjoying the beautiful scenery. You are surrounded with nature inside.  In fact, I could probably live there! 

The Garden Conservatory
The cat walk over the top of the Garden atrium is a whole new way of seeing an atrium. Plants look a lot different looking down on them. I always take pictures looking up at the top of a conservatory. I love the sun shining through the plants. It is definitely a whole new view looking down. The staghorn fern which I wrote about here, is very interesting when you see it from above. This brown area is where the fern gathers its nutrients from the debris that falls into it. Usually, in most conservatories, they are way above your head and this is unable to be seen. 

Looking down into a staghorn fern
The gazebo in the Victorian Garden Conservatory
This hotel opened in November of 1977 and was originally called the Opryland Hotel. In 1984 they expanded the hotel adding the Garden Conservatory, resembling a Victorian Garden with 10,000 plants.  The gazebo at one end of the conservatory definitely evokes a Victorian atmosphere. 
Looking up through the fiddle leaf fig Ficus lyrata
Colorful crotons
In 1988, the Cascades atrium was added including a 3.5 story waterfall.

Cascades atrium 3.5 story waterfall

Cascade Atrium waterfall at the top
The bottom of the waterfall
In 1996 a 4.5 acre expansion was finished, which included the Delta Atrium. This atrium includes a 1/4 mile Delta River which features boat rides. Yes, I said it has boat rides. It also has an island with numerous restaurants and boutiques.

Delta River in the Delta Atrium
As you can see in the picture above this is a very large place. There are people sitting in a restaurant in the middle right side of the picture.

One of the waterfalls in the Delta atrium
This bed of red Anthuriums was gorgeous!
Orchids and Tillandsias are used in abundance
The Delta River with beautiful plants hanging over the water
The rays of the sun made it so beautiful
Planted pillar in the Delta River
In the Delta atrium, even the pillars are planted with gorgeous plants like the Philodendron above.

Beautiful fountain in the Delta Atrium near the Ryman Auditorium entrance
Monstera growing up a pillar in the Garden Conservatory
The Opryland Resort is a gorgeous hotel and a place I could spend a lot of time. If you would like to go see this and not stay there, (which is what we did), the parking is $21. Yes, it was a little steep but to me it was well worth it!
If you would like to see more pictures of the atriums, go to my Pinterest board here.

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