Brookside Gardens has plenty to see for butterfly lovers and nature lovers alike with the "Wings of Fancy" exhibit, which will remain open until September 17.

For a nature lover like myself, Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County is a place that all Marylanders and native Washingtonians can enjoy. There's plenty to see at Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens that has been open since April and will run until September 17, 2017. This Wings of Fancy Exhibit features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. The Montgomery Parks website notes that some of these brilliant butterflies come from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia. Visitors to this exhibit can learn about the metamorphosis of caterpillars into beautiful butterflies and the important role butterflies contribute to earth’s ecosystem. [caption id="attachment_3568" align="aligncenter" width="688"]Wings of Fancy Entrance To Wings of Fancy Exhibit at Brookside Gardens.[/caption] The entrance to Brookside Gardens on Glenallen Ave is easily accessible and within walking distance from Glenmont Metro stop, right off of the Red Line. See map and schedule for Glenmont Metro here. The exhibit is not free, but you can buy tickets in advance or buying them in-person at the Brookside Garden Gift Shop. The tickets are relatively affordable: $8 for ages 13 and over, $5 for ages 3-12, and free for children two and younger.
Built in 1969 as a way to show off plants that can grow and also be purchased, the Brookside Nature Conservatory and Arboretum celebrated its 40th anniversary with the Montgomery County Park Service back in 2009. There is a lot of history to Brookside gardens, and especially when it comes to impressing Marylanders and Montgomery County resident alike with the abundance of plants, trees and insect life on display, all year round. There are many trails and pavement paths to enjoy unique plants and other sites at the gardens, but no pets are allowed. As much as we love our pets and like to take dogs for walks, this is not the place to do so. For the casual nature observer, or, in this case, visitor to Brookside Gardens, there is a list of rules not to break at Brookside Gardens:
  • No pets
  • No bare feet
  • No loud music playing (headphones for listening to music on own device is allowed)
  • No tripods inside the conservatories
  • No walking in the flower beds
  • No food, drink, or picnicking
  • No fishing
  • No removing any plant material or wildlife
  • No athletic or recreation equipment
The ponds (with little turtles I have spotted swimming in) and other waterways at the gardens may look appealing for the potential fisherman or pond swimmer, but there’s no need to break the rules. More importantly, specific laws relating to Montgomery Parks in the State of Maryland apply in this case.

Other events happening at Brookside Gardens

With fall rapidly approaching, Brookside Gardens has great seasonal events like the Garden of Lights that begins in late November and continues through the first couple of days of the New Year. I enjoyed this seasonal event in 2016, so I can say that it can be a beautiful spectacle of lights and themes, just dress accordingly. Depending on the specific event going on at Brookside Gardens and the type of season, it can be a place for the whole family to enjoy, year round. As for visitors hours, Brookside Gardens is open from sunrise to sunset. The Visitors Center (includes the Gift Shop) is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the Conservatories (includes the Wings of Fancy Exhibit) are open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens or other events and attractions, please see their website. What are other great places in Maryland and Montgomery County are there to enjoy nature indoors and outdoors? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

How to know if you eat too much protein.