Yesterday marked my fifth anniversary of falling in love with orchids, as I attended the New York Botanical Garden’s 11th annual Orchid Show! The first Orchid Show I went to was in 2009 and I was just awestruck, so I celebrate the beginning of my orchid obsession every year by attending a new show.
This year’s show doesn’t have a theme like past shows, but lack of a theme doesn’t mean a lack of beauty. Francisca P. Coelho, Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions at the Garden, designed the Orchid Show, incorporating many of the garden’s Hurricane Sandy-damaged trees.
A couple tips for those of you planning to visit the Orchid Show: 1) Look up as you browse! The garden has a wide variety of orchids in their regular collection, and you can find them attached way up high to tree branches throughout the conservatory. Many of them are in bloom right now, so you’ll be rewarded with little (in some cases, nearly microscopic) treasures by scanning the branches above you. 2) Sniff the flowers! This year’s show seems to have an especially large contingent of fragrant orchids, and there are some really amazing scents everywhere you turn.
And now, for the photo-heavy portion of my Orchid Show post! I took millions (okay, 100+) of photos, and I’ve selected some of my favorites to share here. This year’s show featured some unusual orchids, many of which I’d never even heard of before!
I challenge you to find this next orchid inside one of the conservatory’s 11 rooms…I almost missed it but the colorful blooms caught my eye:
This next orchid was displayed on a tree along with other Vandas, but I couldn’t see its tag. The waxy blooms are much smaller than your typical Vanda, maybe 2-3″ across. Anyone know what they are?
This Stelis was for sale in the garden shop, but I found a specimen (with those teeny tiny blooms—we’re talking maybe 1/8″ in size!) inside the conservatory. There’s challenge #2 for you: find the Stelis in the conservatory!
Of course, the show’s dazzling array includes tons of Phals, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, Paphs, and so much more. You can see all of my Orchid Show 2013 photos in my Flickr photoset.
I refrained from buying an orchid, because the prices in the gift shop are pretty steep. However, I did treat myself to a $6 tree fern plaque, because I have a Phal violacea that I’ve been wanting to mount. I’ve never grown a mounted orchid before, so this will be a fun experiment.