The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium is now on view through April 17. Admire thousands orchids from across the globe as you follow the story of the intrepid orchid hunters and passionate collectors who pursued these flowers.
This weekend is the grand opening of The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium! This year’s exhibition brings visitors through the thrilling history of “orchidelirium”—the Victorian-era orchid craze that led high-profile orchid collectors to spend astronomical sums accumulating rare specimens of these flowers from across the globe. Intrepid explorers met this demand with ever more daring and dangerous orchid-hunting expeditions. Pass through thousands of orchids in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and follow the story, while understanding more about NYBG’s ongoing role as a leading orchid conservator, rehabilitating orchids still being seized by customs at international borders in this day and age.
Chelsea’s powerhouse Gagosian Gallery is not the most likely place you’d find pressed herbarium specimens.
But that’s exactly what you’ll see there as part of the gallery’s current show by multidisciplinary artist Taryn Simon.
In “Paperwork and the Will of Capital,” Simon recreates and photographs the elaborate centerpieces that sat between powerful men as they signed agreements designed to change the world. Preparing the exhibition, Simon worked with Daniel Atha, NYBG botanist and Conservation Program Manager, and Sheranza Alli, NYBG Senior Museum Preparator and Herbarium Aid, who teach a Plant Collection and Preservation Workshop at the Garden.
Surface View retrieves images from archival sources, which are then digitally remastered, retaining their unique character yet achieving the finest image quality, and then prints them onto a range of home decor. From hand-drawn botanical studies to aged seed packets and incredible insect illustrations, customers select the specifications and a size to perfectly suit any space. Bursting with vibrant floral imagery, this collection can be transformed into beautiful artworks and unique interior decorations by using the Surface View website to experiment with rescaling and cropping the imagery to create a thoroughly contemporary feel.
As winter enters its final weeks—and not a moment too soon!—the earliest blooms of the year are beginning to appear on NYBG’s landmark grounds. Kristin Schleiter, our own AVP for Outdoor Gardens and Senior Curator, gives an overview of the unique and intrepid first flowers of this season, including fragrant snow drops and witch-hazel, in this new video.
Beyond the tropical color of The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium, there is still plenty of seasonal beauty to appreciate throughout the 250-acre landscape surrounding the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. View the video below, and join us in eager anticipation of much-awaited spring and many more blossoms to come!
Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.
Martin starts The Indestructible Houseplant with an accessible yet lyrical introduction that welcomes the “window-sill gardener wannabes,” telling them that this book is for them. Martin promises to help readers overcome obstacles—cost, time, light/environment—and develop their own “lush and verdant” interior paradises. Martin writes about her home gardening environment and then moves into practical guidelines for understanding limitations of indoor space, including selecting and placing containers. Here, too, her prose is crisp, accessible, and practical; Martin even includes a section about her selection process for plants to profile, addressing the omission of some historic houseplant favorites, such as flowering maples, Abutilon cultivars.