If you haven't already, there is still one weekend left to see The Orchid Show at The New York Botanical Garden - the event runs through this Sunday, April 9th.
I love attending this show every year. Held inside the impressive Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, it is known as the nation’s largest exhibit of its kind. This year, the show's theme is "Thailand". Thailand is home to more than 1200 orchid species, and this remarkable floral display pays tribute to the beauty and history of Thai gardens. Yesterday, I attended The Orchid Lunch, an annual gathering for NYBG's Trustees, Patrons, leadership and Horticulture staff and curators - about 75-guests attended the event in the Garden Terrace Room, a private event space adjacent to the Hudson Garden Grill, NYBG's first full-service dining establishment. Beforehand, I had a chance to walk through The Orchid Show with Marc Hachadourian, Curator of the Orchid Collection - here are more photos of these beautiful specimens, enjoy.
The Orchid Show is held in NYBG’s elegant Conservatory every year. As the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, it is among the grandest indoor spaces in the world.
It poured all day, but the Conservatory looks beautiful in all kinds of weather. Originally constructed in 1902, the steel and glass structure includes a 90-foot tall domed Palm Gallery and 10 attached glasshouse galleries.
Here I am with my dear friend, Memrie Lewis, just inside the Conservatory.
Everyone was greeted by this beautiful display of mixed orchids at the Reflecting Pool of the Conservatory’s Palm Dome. The Thai elephant is an official national symbol of Thailand.
There are tens of thousands of plants to see at the Orchid Show. Orchids thrive in warm temperatures and moderate light.
This is the Seasonal Exhibition Gallery – this year, it features a kaleidoscope of orchids, tropical plants and lanterns overhead.
Marc Hachadourian is the Director of the Nolen Greenhouses and Curator of the Orchid Collection. I always learn something new every time I join his tour.
Most orchid genera are epiphytic, meaning they grow on trees and rocks rather than in soil. Orchid roots need to breathe and therefore cannot live buried in dirt.
People in Northern Thailand traditionally light sky lanterns, khom loi, on special occasions. The lanterns symbolically carry away bad fortune and bring in good luck.
Vanda orchids come in an array of colors. Some are solid in color while others have a beautiful pattern. They typically bloom between spring and fall, but can bloom at any time of year.
Spirit houses are part of traditional Thai gardens – they include small platforms filled with daily offerings such as fruit, flowers, coins and incense – all to keep the “spirits” happy.
This orchid is called x Aliceara Pacific Nova.
This is Oncidium Sweet Sixteen ‘Prepossessing’ Orchidaceae. Oncidiums have long lasting sprays of small, distinct flowers which often have unique color combinations and a pleasant fragrance.
Moth Orchids, Phalaenopsis, are among the most popular for home growers. They are native to southern Asia, the Philippines, New Guinea and tropical Australia.
This is Phalaenopsis I-Hsin ‘Spot Leopard’.
This moth orchid is Phalaenopsis Fuller’s Sunset.
When caring for orchids, be sure the orchid food is formulated for orchids and follow the label instructions. In general, most orchid fertilizers recommend use once a month.
Here I am in front of an orchid-decorated sala, a traditional Thai pavilion used as a meeting place for shade and relaxation.
Many orchids cover the sala in shades of pink and white.
When determine where an orchid is getting enough light, look at its leaf color. Generally speaking, the leaves should be bright green rather than dark green. Dark green indicates too little light while reddish green indicated too much light.
This is Phalaenopsis I-Hsin Sesame Orchidaceae.
This is a corsage orchid – Cymbidium Purple Haze Orchidaceae. Cymbidium orchids are often used in cut flower displays as well as in corsages.
This is Lysudamuloa Red Jewel Orchidaceae – a very unique hybrid with beautiful flowers that emerge twice per year.
Cymbidiums are often called “boat orchids” and have large flowers and a patterned lip.
Paphiopedilum orchids are often called ‘lady slippers’ or ‘slipper orchids’ because of their unique pouch-like flowers. These specimens are easily grown as houseplants. I just love the details of this lady’s slipper.
This is a dancing ladies orchid x Oncostele Wildcat ‘Green Valley’ Orchidaceae.
Orchids are such gorgeous plants – they are a wonderful sign of spring.
After touring The Orchid Show, we walked across to the Garden Terrace Room for The Orchid Lunch. Caroline Balkonis and Heather Gries from NYBG Special Events checked-in all the guests and directed them to their tables.
Gregory Long, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of the New York Botanical Garden, welcomed all the guests to the event.
Marc also addressed the audience.
Here is Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross VP for Horticulture and Living Collections.
This is Hillary Soiefer and Kristen Schleiter, Associate Vice President for Outdoor Gardens & Senior Curator. Kristin worked for me in Westport when our “Living” television show was in production.
Here are Francisca Coelho, Vivian and Edward Merrin VP for Glasshouses and Exhibitions, and David Kohn
Marsha Malinowski, and Maureen Chilton, NYBG Chairman of the Board
Marc and I stopped to pose for this quick photo.
Here are Gregory, Patrick Chassé, and Memrie. We all sat at table-6.
This is Cynthia Yowan, and Catherine Olmsted Kerr.
And here I am with Gregory. Despite the rainy weather, it was another lovely visit to the New York Botanical Garden. I encourage you to see the show.