Diane Rafats, a horticulturalist with the Marjorie McNeeley Conservatory at the Como Zoo, plucked dead leaves and flowers and groomed a hardy water lilly in the ponds outside the facility Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in St. Paul, MN.
The Ordway Gardens, a new wing of the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, will open April 19.
The $2.8 million building and landscape addition will feature the conservatory's bonsai collection and Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden as a year-round experience, Como managers said last week.
The Ordway Gardens will include 2,267 square feet of glass-enclosed interpretative exhibit and display space, as well as a 2,850-square-foot outdoor terrace. The pavilion and terrace will provide year-round views into the Japanese Garden.
"This project is going to have a very big impact with our visitors," zoo and conservatory director Michelle Furrer said. "The Japanese Garden has been one of our best kept secrets, and many of our day-to-day guests may never have seen it, or else they have no idea the extent of our bonsai collection. This new wing will immerse visitors in both collections in a way that's very exciting."