13 Mar Orchid Mania!
The New York Botanical Garden has just opened their annual orchid display show: Orchidelerium. It’s absolutely stunning, with a heady mix of common varieties co-mingling with the most exotic. The show takes place in the landmark Glasshouse which takes one back to the Victorian botanists studying flora from around the world in their conservatories.
Words cannot really do justice to the dizzying visuals of color, shape, and size. There are hundreds of species everywhere you turn. Blending effortlessly into the plants that are part of the Garden’s permanent collections, the orchids take a star turn and seem to sprout from every nook and cranny. They even hang from ceilings with droopy roots anchoring them in the air—soil-less and yet in full bloom. It is a spectacular arrangement and transports you to a fantastical world.
There is also a lot of historical information about orchids and their travels. In the 18th and 19th centuries, orchid hunters searched far and wide for specimens to send back to their home countries, carting around glass and wood to construct terrariums which would hold the precious plants in a perfectly humid and controlled environment. These crude but effective terrariums would then be put on ships, reaching their final destinations as much as eight months later. Thus these beautiful plants were further studied and shared throughout the world.
An extra treat to your visit should include a stop at the Hudson Garden Grill, featuring inspired New American cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients from Hudson Valley producers. Having lunch there is a lovely culinary experience. Not only is the food impeccable but the restaurant is surrounded by beautiful views onto the lawns and trees of the grounds.
Orchidelerium runs through April 17. Learn more at New York Botanical Garden.