Just in time for the end of this mild but dreary and dull winter, the annual orchid show arrives today at the New York Botanical Garden. If you’re in need of a quick infusion of the tropics — without a jaunt to Brazil or Costa Rica — this is the place.
This year, for the tenth 10th anniversary of its inception, the show is hosting French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc as the guest designer.
Using thousands of live orchids and other plants, he has transformed the Enid Haupt Conservatory, the largest Victorian-style glasshouse in the country, into gorgeous vertical walls of impossibly vivid tropical colors.
(I shot these this morning at the press preview, with my new iphone 4S)
Blanc is well known in the horticultural world for his one-of-a-kind vertical gardens and his signature “green” walls, and you can certainly see — and smell — his artistry on full display here.
Blanc’s living tapestries have been an integral part of more than 150 projects in 20 countries.
“The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens” runs through April 22. It’s the largest exhibition of orchids in the country.
The centerpiece of the show is a 13-by-13-foot cube of orchids, a square of four vertical walls of plants with two doorways and six windows.
(Everybody is a photographer at this show.)
Along with the expected orchids in every shape and size, Blanc mixes in hundreds of lush ferns and exotic tropical plants such as rex begonia vine, zebra basket vine and Krauss’ spike-moss.
You can also take a cell phone audio tour of the show, and if you like what you see, you can buy orchids, including some hard-to-find specimens, to take home at the Shop in the Garden.
This one is called ‘Trick or Treat’ — you can certainly see why:
On weekends, experts will be on hand to offer tips on how to select and care for them. Many varieties of orchids, you may be surprised to learn, are surprisingly easy to take care of as houseplants. What a great way to enjoy a taste of the tropics year-round.
What: “The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens”
Where: Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road, the Bronx.
When: March 3 to April 22; the garden is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays.
Admission: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students with ID, $8 for children ages 2-12, children under 2 and members are free.
Information: 718-817-8700, www.nybg.org
Orchid Evenings: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturdays, plus Friday, April 20. Enjoy music and a cocktail while viewing the show, along with special dinner offers at some nearby Arthur Avenue restaurants. $30, over 21 only.
Orchid Classes: “Capturing the Beauty of Orchids: Photography Workshop,” 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 17, $158. “Orchids in Ice!” Make your own arrangements in a container with faux ice, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 25, $96.