Stop and Smell the Orchids
Step into a Tropical Paradise at the New York Botanical Garden's Annual Orchid Show
Winter may be stubbornly lingering in New York City, but spring has already arrived at the New York Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden's highly-anticipated annual orchid show, which features hundreds of brilliant blooms, spectacular displays, and informative and fun-filled events, is a great way to escape the cold and get a taste of spring.
"A lot of people are just looking for a great escape," explains Karen Daubmann, Head of Exhibitions at the New York Botanical Garden. "Maybe they can't take a vacation and they're looking for an escape within the city. They can come inside the tropical observatory. It's warm and balmy--a nice way to spend the day."
2017's Orchid Show: Thailand marks the 15th edition of this popular annual event. As Daubmann explains, the choice to focus on Thailand's history and culture as organizing principles of the exhibit was an easy one. "We like to do a different theme each year--the show visits something different about the orchid world," she says. "Orchids are a big part of Thailand's culture. The country is home to over 1,200 native species of orchid."
To that end, the Botanic Garden will hold a wide range of educational opportunities and fun celebrations, including orchid care demonstrations, expert Q&As, film screenings, Thai dance performances, and the popular Orchid Evenings. "The Orchid Evenings are great," Daubmann says. "You can see the orchids and have a cocktail. It's a great romantic date night, a girls' night out, or what-have-you."
The show's central draw, however, remains the orchids themselves. "Orchids are notoriously difficult to grow," Daubmann says. "They're incredibly flashy and extravagant, so people really do want to come out and see them." These incredible flowers come in a dazzling array of colors and an almost infinite range of forms. "There are orchids as small as your hand and others that are enormous," Daubmann says. "There are orchids that grow up in trees, on rocks, on the ground--they come in vastly different sizes and colors, but they all have the same parts."
Visitors can take advantage of the signage throughout the exhibit and the audio tour to learn fascinating information about these breathtaking flowers, but the experience can be as light or as substantive as desired. "You see the orchids in a landscape," Daubmann says. "It's an active experience. People can walk through the conservatory and take a closer look at the things that interest them. You really can go at your own pace."
The orchid show is an incredible opportunity to see some of the world's rarest and most beautiful tropical flowers. "It's the perfect time of year for the Orchid Show," Daubmann explains. "Orchids are incredibly colorful, so it's a wonderful thing to see while it's so snowy and dreary and gray outside."
Orchid Show: Thailand runs February 18 - April 9, 2017, at the New York Botanical Garden.
-- Photos courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden
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