Creating A Rainforest Under Glass
Ocean Journey’s other living collections:
Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2005) – Creating a living forest under
glass is a massive challenge, but the Tennessee Aquarium now
has three such habitats: the Cove Forest and Delta Swamp galleries
in the River Journey building and the Tropical Cove and Butterfly
Garden in the new Ocean Journey building.
Horticulturists Christine Bock and Charlene Nash covered new
ground in designing, acquiring, planting and learning about
what it takes to plan and plant for a lush tropical environment
four stories above the ground.
any good green thumbs, their work began in an offsite greenhouse
built by Aquarium maintenance staff. With two new landscapes
to plan and plant for, scouting for the large tropical plants
included a trip to Florida nurseries to purchase plants. The
scouting also resulted in an unusual donation from Duke University.
of Duke’s greenhouse plants simply had outgrown their
welcome,” said Bock. “At 15-feet tall, the older
trees were crowding the top of Duke’s 13-foot-high glass
contributions include a 14-foot-tall fishtail palm, a 12-foot
exotic flowering shrub called Bixa, a 15-foot tree with bromeliads
growing in its branches and several additional rare specimens.
large plants give the exhibits age, height and character –
elements that are difficult to create with newly purchased plants,”
Nash said. “Tropical plants are exciting to horticulturists.
They bloom and are colorful year round, and there are so many
the rockwork was completed, soil was placed in the planters
in both the Tropical Cove and the Butterfly garden. The tropical
plants were transported from the greenhouse to their new home
in January. A massive, 1,000-pound palm was added to the exhibit,
as well as a tractor-trailer load of plants from Florida.
developed the landscape blueprint for the new Butterfly Garden.
The exhibit overflows with flowering plants and trees that offer
nectar to hundreds of species of butterflies. She said one of
her favorite areas in the exhibit to design is a display gracing
the waterfall, where she has experimented with orchids.
created the landscape for the Tropical Cove in the expansion.
An arched gateway beckons visitors to an area filled with lush
plants and trees and the enticing sounds of animal life in a
tropical habitat. The 30-foot-high sunlit space includes a shoreline
where visitors touch stingrays and visit with regal hyacinth
Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the
natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child,
ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation
programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium.
Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX
combo tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.50 for children.
Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or
by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks
of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization.
Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium
and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members
enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to
Downloadable images: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp