On May 16th I went with a couple of my friends to Brookside Gardens for the very first time. I have to say that the experience was amazing, and I look forward to returning there. I would love to explore some of their many gardens more, but we went specifically for their “Wings of Fancy” Butterfly Exhibit.
For $6 for adults and $4 for children age 3-12, a family can go visit the butterfly exhibit for a day. Frequent Flyer Passes are also available for those who know they want to keep returning to the exhibit located in Wheaton, Maryland. This exhibit is wonderful and runs from May 1-September 19 from 10 am-4 pm daily.
There is a variety of butterflys in the exhibit at the conservatory include some from North America, Costa Rica, and Asia. A photographer has many opportunities to get some great photos of these beautiful creatures. The exhibit has several caterpillars and chrysalides to show the visitors the life cycles of the butterflies, but most of the eggs, caterpillars, or chrysalides are not in picturesque backgrounds but in man-made displays. A photographer has to be patient with the butterflies, needs to hunt out the more natural looking backdrops, and be respectful of the other visitors to the exhibit. If patient, they will be rewarded with some great photos of these beautiful creatures!
We spent several hours moving around the exhibit and we each loved our time there! This is a common place for school field trips when school is in session and guidelines can be found at the website. From a distance we were able to see the Japanese Style Garden but there was a wedding taking place there, there is also an aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Children’s Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden, and a Woodland
Walk. We did walk through the Rose Garden which offers benches and multiple varieties of roses to photograph or enjoy. There is also 2 conservatories on the ground that visitors can enjoy, all for free.
I highly recommend the Brookside Gardens for any photographer to get great flower shots, but the butterfly exhibit was wonderful, too. Timing could be everything and the greenhouse is often about 10 degrees warmer then outside according to the website. I know it was warmer the day we went and going outside to a few of the flower gardens felt nice. This is a place to bring children to teach them about these wonderful creatures and to just sit and enjoy the beauty oneself. The flower gardens are beautiful, too for anyone who wants a free exhibit in Montgomery County to explore. More of my photos from my day at Brookside Gardens can be found on my Flickr Page.