Inside The New York Botanical Garden
The Orchid Show
Posted in The Orchid Show on February 14 2013, by Matt Newman
Timpani drums and chorus lines may seem a bit dramatic for a flower exhibition–at least up until you see what’s been growing behind the doors of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections! While Tropical Paradise winds down for another year, NYBG horticulturists are already hard at work on our next monumental event, prepping the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory for the arrival of thousands upon thousands of technicolor beauties. For over a decade now, The Orchid Show has defined spring in New York, snapping us out of our winter doldrums and dropping us straight into shorts and sandals. And this year, we’re not missing a beat.
Under the curation of our Vice President of Glasshouses and Exhibitions, Francisca Coelho, The Orchid Show may just be the blockbuster of the year. We’re certainly buzzing with excitement at the thought of it. But maybe you need a small reminder of the myriad colors waiting for you come March.
Posted in The Orchid Show on February 8 2013, by Matt Newman
The climate outside is in a bit of a state, to put things lightly. But a few steps inside our Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections, the sleet and snow give way to nothing short of a tropical oasis. It’s here, among the kaleidoscope of plants housed within, that you’ll find thousands upon thousands of orchids–all waiting to make their way into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. It’s sort of a bubble of pleasantry on an otherwise heinous Friday.
With just a few weeks left of our Tropical Paradise exhibition, there are still myriad opportunities to warm up and shrug off the chill. But we figured that on today of all days, you could use a toasty peek at what’s in store for New York come March 2. We stopped in with Kevin Character and the orchid wizard himself, Marc Hachadourian, to see how The Orchid Show is coming along under the glass.
Posted in The Orchid Show on January 31 2013, by Matt Newman
Sorbet purples flush the vandas, cymbidiums pop with lime-green bursts; nearby, a moth orchid flaunts its wedding whites. On the whole, orchids are a lot like Carnaval, vibrant and loud and rambunctiously elegant. But as one of the largest flowering plant families on Earth, how do you go about honoring the essence of that variety? It’s simple, really: just look to nature!
Now in its second decade, the NYBG has captured New York City’s imagination with its annual Orchid Show, celebrating what can arguably be called the world’s most beloved flower. This year, we keep the tradition steaming ahead with a new exhibition highlighting the sheer spectrum of orchids found the world over, diving–genus by genus–into every color of this iconic beauty.
In the hands of our Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions, Francisca Coelho, the heights of the Orchidaceae family inspire the city’s most magnificent collection of blossoms under one glass roof, each display an homage to nature’s wild palette.
Posted in Gardening Tips, The Orchid Show on April 3 2012, by Sonia Uyterhoeven
Sonia Uyterhoeven is the NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.
Last week we discussed basic orchid care and explored how to assess your home as a suitable place for growing orchids. This week we will grab our wallets and talk about buying an orchid. You may have noticed that orchids are not cheap. Their price has dropped measurably over the past decade due to tissue culture and the ability to produce orchids on a mass scale. But even with all of these advances in propagation techniques, they still command a decent price.
If you are spending between $20 and $50 on an orchid, you will probably want it to last for some time in your home. Following a few simple guidelines will help you ensure that your orchid flourishes. I am frequently asked if it matters where you purchase your orchid since this often influences the price. High-end florists and nurseries will have a better selection with many exotic and unusual varieties. Big box stores will have a limited selection of the standard fare.
Posted in Around the Garden, Darwin's Garden, Gardens and Collections, The Orchid Show on March 29 2012, by Joyce Newman
Joyce H. Newman is a Garden Tour Guide with The New York Botanical Garden.
Of the many thousands of orchids on display during the Orchid Show, the two most requested flowers are the vanilla orchid and what is known as Darwin’s orchid.
The exquisite ivory, star-shaped blossoms of Darwin’s star orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) are famous for their association with Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution.
Posted in The Orchid Show on March 28 2012, by Matt Newman
Every now and again an event comes along during an exhibition like the Orchid Show that eclipses the beauty of the flowers themselves. It’s a statement you might find a bit on the mushy side, but I think you’ll agree that it’s apt. Because when Qu and Wahnzen stepped into the Conservatory a few weeks ago, one of the pair knew very little of the fairytale moment unfolding.
Qu had spent months meticulously planning out his proposal, ever since he got word that his college sweetheart would be in New York for her birthday. “We met while studying at Oxford,” he says. One a philosophy major and the other a chemist in training, their divergent paths might well have left them strangers if not for a serendipitous thread of connection: “We were both members of the Varsity Ballroom Dance team.”
Posted in Gardening Tips, The Orchid Show on March 27 2012, by Sonia Uyterhoeven
Sonia Uyterhoeven is the NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.
For all of those orchid neophytes or orchid wannabes, this article is about giving you some courage. Not enough bravado to go out and buy a vanda or a masdevallia–that would be foolish to start–but hopefully the resolution to take a stab at a moth orchid, a slipper orchid, or dancing ladies.
Let’s start from the beginning, because wise purchases come from planning. Walk around your home and look for the empty spaces that you would like to fill with orchids. What does the light in this area look like? If you are not sure, place your hand 12 inches above the spot and see what kind of shadow is cast on the area. If it is a well-defined shadow, you have bright light; if fuzzy, you have medium light; and a faint shadow signifies low light. If there is no discernible shadow, then it is not the right place to try and grow a plant.
Posted in Around the Garden, Photography, The Orchid Show on March 26 2012, by Matt Newman
The Orchid Show means thousands upon thousands of orchids, curling and spiraling their way across nine separate vertical walls of exotic foliage. It’s a family reunion of sorts in the Conservatory.
Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen
Posted in Photography, The Orchid Show on March 23 2012, by Matt Newman
Judging from our Morning Eye Candy posts, you might think the unconscionably talented Ivo Vermeulen is one of only a few people on NYBG grounds gallivanting about with a camera in tow. He’s certainly prolific enough. But if you follow us from day to day, you’ll come to notice that photography in general is a core interest here at the Garden. There are so many colors, shapes, and fantastical landscapes on these 250 acres to share with the rest of the world, and we’re encouraging anyone and everyone to jump in with their gear of choice–smartphone, fully-fitted Nikon, homemade pinhole or otherwise.
Posted in Around the Garden, The Orchid Show on March 23 2012, by Matt Newman
If the flowering magnolias and budding bottlebrushes around the Garden are any evidence, New York really has shifted gears to full-on spring pleasantry. You know it was satisfying to leave your coat on the hook before work all this week! And with the Orchid Show now settled into its groove and flourishing with its thousands of exotic flowers, this is the time to head up to the Bronx and see what everyone is swooning over. You finally get to start off without the screech of an alarm clock, ditch the briefcase, and leave your uncomfortable shoes near the front door for a couple of days–make the most of it!