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

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Lush on February 10 at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Dave Horak, BBG Orchid Curator with a lovely orchid. Photo by Elizabeth Peters

Attention all Brooklyn orchid lovers-slash-party people! On Friday, February 10, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is throwing what sounds like an incredibly fun bash called Lush. The party is being held in the BBG Palm House and will include the following:

  • Live music from boogaloo band Spanglish Fly (I actually have no idea what “boogaloo” style music is, but I imagine it’s festive)
  • Tunes spun by WFMU’s Mr. Fine Wine and DJ Turmix
  • Open bar with fragrant fruit juices and cocktails
  • Mexican fruit ice pops from La Newyorkina
  • Empanaditas from Purple Yam
  • Latin-inspired confections from Tumbador Chocolate
  • Mexican munchies from Chavela’s (I’ve eaten there and the food is delish!)
  • Tropical fruit bites from Peeled Snacks
  • Custom cut leaf silhouettes by artist Aaron Birk (this in particular sounds really cool and I’m curious to see the end result!)

But the most exciting part? I’ll let the event’s press release speak for itself:

“BBG curator Dave Horak will bring guests behind the scenes of BBG’s orchid collection, introducing some of the world’s most remarkable tropical specimens in BBG’s care. Guests will also have a special chance to see the orchid nursery, usually unavailable for public viewing, and learn about the critical conservation of tropical orchids.”

Dave Horak, BBG Orchid Curator. Photo by Elizabeth Peters

The events runs from 8pm to midnight and tickets are $65 a pop. I’m going to try to swing it, though being mostly unemployed makes it a hard for me to spend $65 for an evening out. The party does sound like it will be well worth it, though. Anyone out there planning to go?

Correction: I originally stated that tickets are $75, but they are in fact $65 apiece.

BBG’s Blooming Tiger Orchid Makes it to the Press

Tiger Orchid at BBG

Today I noticed an article on Gothamist about the Tiger Orchid in bloom at the BBG. And then I went over to the BBG’s Garden News Blog and saw their post about it, along with some really nice photos of this monster orchid’s blooms. Their photographer snapped closeups of these giant flowers, which I failed to get during my visit last week.

According to the Gothamist article, the Grammatophyllum Speciosum gains 100 pounds when it is in bloom! Impressive. Now that was a bit of information that I didn’t know.

I think I’ve earned to the right to be smug and say that I was the first to blog about the BBG’s Tiger Orchid blooming. Just saying.  🙂

But seriously, go see the orchid. I know I’ve said this before. It’s really quite a sight to behold, and there are some other really beautiful orchids to be seen in the Aquatic House while you’re there visiting the Tiger. As I mentioned, winter weekday admission is free, and the Aquatic House (and the entire Conservatory in general) is a wonderful respite from grossy, chilly winter weather.

Edited to add: Commenter Stefano pointed out a gratuitous article about the orchid from today’s online Brooklyn Paper, too. Orchid growing isn’t like baseball or cycling, folks.

Grammatophyllum Speciosum Blooming at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Other Wonderful Things

I had forgotten about Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s free winter weekday admission until I saw Brokelyn’s post about it earlier this week. So I made plans to go with my also-marginally-employed friend on Friday morning (random aside: we planned to meet at 11am on 11.11.11!). I’ve been in the mood to go see some orchids, and I was also thinking about how the Grammatophyllum speciosum (AKA the Tiger Orchid) was probably due to bloom soonish. You may remember that I featured this plant as an Orchid of the Week quite awhile back; it’s believed to be the largest type of orchid in the world!

When we got to the Aquatic House at the BBG, we marveled at some lovely Vandas for awhile before I realized that the Tiger Orchid was already in bloom!! This plant is a truly stunning monster:

The amazing Grammatophyllum speciosum in bloom

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Orchid of the Week: Grammatophyllum speciosum

Last week’s featured orchid is one of the smaller orchid plants found around the world. This week I’ve chosen what is thought to be the biggest type of orchid in the world: Grammatophyllum speciosum. This one has a number of nicknames, including Giant Orchid, Tiger Orchid, Sugar Cane Orchid, and Queen of the Orchids. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a Grammatophyllum speciosum in their orchid collection, and it is no joke. Seriously, this plant is MONSTROUS:

Tiger Orchid at the BBG

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To Do This Weekend: Sakura Matsuri at BBG

Photo credit: kilgub on Flickr

Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Sakura Matsuri (aka Cherry Blossom Festival) is this weekend and you can bet that I’ll be there! The weather is supposed to be gorgeous all weekend, which gets me even more excited because it’s been wet, cold, and windy all week.

I went to the festival for the first time last year and loved it. Already this year the cherry blossom trees are past their peak bloom, but I’m sure it will still be a beautiful visit.

The festival is Saturday, May 1 from 10:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday, May 2 from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. BBG members and children under 12 get in free.

One thing to note is that the 2/3 trains aren’t in service this weekend, but you can still get to the garden by taking the 4/5 train to the Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stop. Gotta love the MTA…especially on weekends.

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