Brooklyn Orchids

LUSH at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The folks at Brooklyn Botanic Garden were so super kind to comp me a ticket to their “LUSH” party this past Friday, February 10. I was thrilled to be able to go, especially considering I can’t really afford to drop $65 for a night out.  My boyfriend (who did purchase his ticket) and I had a great time!

I’d never been to an event at BBG before. This party was held in their event room, called the Palm House, and it’s really gorgeous when all lit up at night:

Palm House twinkling in the night

The first things we did when we arrived were: 1) pin our complimentary Cymbidium corsages on, 2) grab our cocktail glasses, and 3) get on line for a tour of the orchid nursery. We were really glad we showed up on the early side—about 8:30ish—because the tours were only taking place from 8 to 9:15pm. I would have been so sad if I’d shown up too late for a tour! We were led down candlelit hallways to the Aquatic House, where the garden displays orchids to the public. I’ve been in that room many times but always in daylight; it’s a little eerie at night but in such a beautiful way. I snapped a photo of the amazing Tiger Orchid in the dark (sadly, it’s no longer in bloom):

BBG’s Tiger Orchid at night

A tour guide brought over a Darwin Orchid (Angraecum sequipedale) to illustrate the complexity of the orchid family. She explained that there is one type of moth that had evolved to draw nectar from this orchid’s incredibly long spur—which is something that I’ve written about in the past. It was cool to see one of these orchids in person and to get an up close and personal chance to smell it; it had a really strong, lovely gardenia fragrance that I would love to bottle and wear as a perfume.

Our tour group was then taken back to the behind-the-scenes orchid nursery that is not usually open to the public! We weren’t able to actually go inside it and walk around, because it is so tightly packed with orchids that lots of foot traffic could endanger their safety. But I was able to take photos of the nursery, which is literally filled to the brim with gorgeously green orchids:

Orchid Nursery at night

BBG orchid curator Dave Horak was on hand and was kind enough to answer questions about orchids during these tours. A couple fun facts I learned from him on the tour:

1. The BBG’s oldest orchid dates back to the 1870s. That means that they have an orchid in their collection that is at least 130 years old (look at me and my awesome math skillz)!!

2. In the past 11 years, 4,100 new orchid species have been discovered. Dave said this basically amounts to one new orchid species discovery PER DAY. Holy schnikes!

After the tour we got some yummy cocktails (mine was vodka with apple juice and some other fruit juice…I can’t even remember what) and ice pops from La Newyorkina. I chose a strawberry-flavored popsicle and it tasted so fresh:

Mmm, pops and cocktails

There were a bunch of gorgeous blooming orchids on display in the event space, but my favorite was the Dendrobium spectabile, which I’ve seen photos of and have really admired. I was so excited to see one of these in person! The blooms are completely crazy-looking…and stunning:

Dendrobium spectabile

Here’s me posing in front of the really large Dendrobium specimen:

Me and the Dend spectabile – I had lost my corsage by this point

We also enjoyed some really tasty mini peanut butter cupcakes. The most disappointing thing about the event was that the food ran out REALLY quickly. The only things we got to try were the popsicles and the cupcakes…oh, and a handful of cashews. But I know that for events like this the food tends to get donated, therefore there isn’t usually a ton of it to start with and guests can turn into vultures when they see food coming out.

My full set of photos from Lush can be found here on Flickr. A lot of the pics aren’t that great because it was dark and I haven’t really figured out how to take decent pics in low lighting yet.  🙂

Thank you again to the lovely folks at BBG who invited me to experience this fun event!!

P.S. My blog’s two year anniversary was this past Monday, February 13! Happy Anniversary to me and thank you so much to all my supportive readers out there!

6 thoughts on “LUSH at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  1. Congratulations on the two year “blog-a-versary”! 🙂 Also, it’s awesome of them to have comped you to the event. Behind-the-scenes tours of anything are invariably awesome. I still remember a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium at London Zoo in the 1990s – it was amazing seeing how most of it still ran on really really old tech that looked almost victorian!

    I really want one of those Dendrobium spectabile plants, but it looks like it might be a bit of a monster size-wise?

    1. Thanks!! Yeah, getting a comp ticket made me feel so special. I’ve never been comped a ticket to something like this before. 🙂 The Dend spectabile is definitely a bit of a monster! It was probably 2-3 feet tall!

      1. Darn, that’s going to have to wait until I find more growing space… 🙁 So tempting though! I already have one monster Dendrobium (a moschatum) that has canes about that sort of length – which I didn’t realise. And they seem to get longer every year!

        If you’re looking for a small compact dendrobium that does well mounted (and really likes regular drinks), I can’t recommend /Dendrobium loddigesii/ highly enough! http://orchids-on-a-balcony.blogspot.com/search/label/loddigesii

  2. What beautiful pictures! How cool to get the behind the scenes view point Are you able to go to the International Orchid Show in philadelphia this March? Supposedly it’s the largest in the east coast. I have plans to try and get out, since I haven’t been before.

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