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AMES, Iowa  —  If you have driven to Iowa State University in the last year you’ve probably noticed the construction going on outside Reiman Gardens and Jack Trice Stadium.

“We are embarking on a big new garden space,” Reiman Gardens Assistant Director Aaron Steil said. “That space will include a large 42-foot tower, a huge reflecting pool with a big water feature, new restrooms.”

It will have been a two-year project but the Reiman Gardens new four-acre site hopes to open by the end of 2019.

But for now, ditch the winter coat and step inside the conservatory for this weekend’s Orchid Fest.

“It just becomes a nice oasis, especially this time of year,” Steil said.

On Saturday and Sunday vendors at Reiman Gardens are selling orchids.

“They’re just so colorful and fragrant and long lasting, some of the more popular orchids like the moth orchid can sometimes be in bloom for up to four months,” Steil said.

And inside a 2,500 square foot glass house, there are 400 other reasons to visit Reiman Gardens in the winter.

“The butterflies are flying around, so you get some good interaction. Not a lot of people, so you get to enjoy the place a lot of times on your own,” Reiman Gardens Butterfly Wing Assistant Anita Westphal said.

“Most of what we have in here, especially this time of the year, is from outside of the United States so most of them are tropical species,” Westphal said.

General admission rates are $9, members and current Iowa State University students get in free, discounted rates for seniors and children.