Posted by Laura Katherine Smith
Let us start by saying how in awe we are of the work that goes in to creating such undeniable beauty. Knowing what it takes to conceptually design an idea, prepare all the details, bring it to life with perfect execution and then maintain it. And when we say “maintain” in this case it means for a solid two months. Granted, orchids are a tad more resilient that the cut flowers we typically work with, but they still need to be nurtured in all shapes and forms.
We had the pleasure of enjoying a Saturday evening at the world renowned New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, NY for The Orchid Show: Chandeliers, Orchid Evenings. The trek to the 250 acres grounds smack in the middle of the upper borough of NYC was not an easy one from Manhattan, but was well worth the journey! Upon arrival through the grand front gates, we got a bit giddy knowing we were experiencing this gorgeous horticultural escape- after hours- under the evening moon. The viewing takes place in NYBG Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, which is a grand glimpse on the outside to what is expected within.
After being greeted by the ever so kind staff at NYBG, we immersed ourselves among the humid setting surrounded by the year round existing plant life. Touring half of the upper level of the Conservatory, you immediately have to look up to discover the vast spanning Oncidium Orchids dangling above your head, shooting out in all directions and illuminated from colored lighting directly placed throughout the space. Impressive for sure, but nothing immediately shocking to the eye… at least not yet. More just a pleasurable moment walking through mossy caskets of Orchid species resolutely placed.
Much easier to view during the day as the sunlight penetrates through the glass panels of the space, evening calls for a more intimate setting with LED lighting from all angles- and in the case of our Orchid Evening, orchid inspired libations and trendy music streaming throughout. Scores of regular species we are so familiar with, to ones we have never heard of were present in making this show an utter success. Various varieties and even cross bred and hybrids made this all so very impressive.
The moment of impact happened once we experienced about two-thirds of the exhibition, where upon returning upstairs and entering the center of the conservatory, we were greeted by a massive (likely 12′ in diameter) three-tiered Living Orchid Chandelier made up of Phalaenopsis Orchids and mosses. It is pure beauty, in your face… and even more exciting, you can walk underneath it and view from all exterior angles on ground level. The amazement of what can be done with orchids is perhaps infinite, but this display is rather breathtaking and will not be forgotten!! -LKS