Category Archives: orchids
New York Botanical Garden, ‘The Orchid Show: Natural Heritage’
Now in its 20th year and back in full swing after the COVID 19 pandemic, NYBG is bringing an exceptional presentation for this year’s Orchid Show entitled The Orchid Show: Natural Heritage.
For the 20th annual orchid extravaganza, landscape Artist Lily Kwong exhibits her immersive and dynamic designs. Throughout the exhibit Lily Kwong highlights her Chinese heritage by exploring the physical and psychic healing power of orchids. The exhibit is running from February 18 through April 23, 2023 in the NYBG Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
Guest designer Kwong is featuring beguiling installations of thousands of orchids in the hope of recapturing our ancestral veneration of the land which previous generations often worked to produce food, environmental beauty and health. Lily Kwong’s designs touch the imagination and spirit with ethereal, peaceful landscapes inspired by ancient Chinese garden design and artistic principles and philosophical perspectives.
Understanding the diversity, adaptability and global cultural significance of orchids, Ms. Kwong was inspired to fashion spaces throughout the Garden based on classic paintings of Chinese mountainscapes. The Palms of the World and Reflecting Pool Gallery in the main entrance of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the showcase theater gallery in the interior of the conservatory feature such mountainscapes festooned with orchids and other plantings.
The paintings that influenced Lily Kwong were passed down through her family from Shanghai. The effects created with stones, water features and companion plantings throughout the conservatory display all the variety of orchids imaginable including iconic and popular moth orchids as well as rare specimens.
The mountainscape designs meld ecology, culture, myth and spiritual solace that was present in Kwong’s heritage. The orchids also are representative in Chinese medicinal traditions and are used extensively for herbal teas and remedies. Kwong’s belief and interpretations of nature in the designs reinforce nature’s healing powers and encourage visitors to understand how the natural environment is crucial to our well being and soul’s equilibrium.
Kwong collaborated with NYBG horticulturalists and Exhibitions staff to identify and assemble a gorgeous selection of orchids that are native to Asian countries. The displays are visually dramatic and striking. Also, they are emotionally evocative, inspiring visitors toward inner reflection and serenity in a remembrance that nature’s rhythms and harmonies impact our own survival on this planet.
Kwong is the first woman of color to take on the role of NYBG guest designer of the Orchid Show. She felt an urgency to “celebrate an Asian-centered perspective in the midst of this charged and precarious moment.” Her intention with the entire exhibit is to “offer a bridge of cultural understanding across the valley between us, and act as an invitation to celebrate the diverse lineages that make up our country.”
Kwong’s vision for the exhibit dovetails with the NYBG’s mission. Jennifer Bernstein, Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden stated, “One of our major goals here at this beloved green space in the Bronx is to inspire visitors and learners of all ages to appreciate, respect and care for nature.”
It is no surprise that the annual Orchid Show is one of the most popular of exhibits at the Garden. Jennifer Bernstein highlighted that the orchid exhibition provides an opportunity to feature the most diverse and celebrated of “our unparalleled living plant collections” so that the Garden may “educate the public about NYBG’s plant research and conservation work.”
To be able to share the love of orchids and plants with Kwong (she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University’s Urban Studies program and participated in the Landscape Design program at NYBG-2017) in a collaboration which enhances the Garden’s mission was a pleasure for all who worked on the exhibit.
This was especially so for Kwong, a Los Angeles-based artist who employs her varied talents and knowledge of horticulture, urban design, contemporary art, climate awareness, urban agriculture and wellness to reconnect people with nature through transformative landscape projects and site-specific botanical art installations.
Kwong’s career is particularly well placed for her goal to reconnect people with nature through her artfully designed botanical theater. She has been part of numerous public art initiatives since she began in 2017. These include botanical installations at The Highline, New York; Faena Arts, Miami; Grand Central Terminal, New York; Taipei Night Market, Taiwan; Bal Harbor Shops, Florida to name a few.
As a result accolades have come her way: ARCHMARATHON & Dezeen Awards in 2020 for Glossier Seattle and the World Spa Awards for Shou Sugi Ban House in East Hampton, New York. Kwong was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 (Art & Style) list in 2018. She has been selected to speak at MOCA, The Aspen Ideas Festival, The World Youth Forum, Design Miami and NeueHouse.
When you are sauntering through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory enjoying Kwong’s fabulous designs, also meditate on the importance of this incredible gift to New Yorkers that the Garden brings as a special haven and sanctuary to decompress and relax into nature’s wonders through every season. The Garden comprises a 250-acre landscape which includes a 50-acre, old-growth forest through which the Bronx River and waterfall meanders. It is breathtaking year-round.
And don’t forget to visit the Garden library at the far entrance, the most important botanical and horticultural library in the world. The LuEsther T. Mertz Library houses 11 million archival items spanning ten centuries and forming a historical record of plant species and extinction.
Most importantly, know that the Garden is dedicated to conservation as well as research. It and takes in and restores plants which have been pirated as rare and exotic species for sale, sometimes worth thousands of dollars. The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium (the largest in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens), is home to scientists. These work on-site in various cutting-edge molecular labs and in areas worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.
Reminders! On select evenings during The Orchid Show: Natural Heritage, adults 21 and over can enjoy the exhibition’s “Orchid Nights,” with music cash bars and food available for purchase. To learn more about The Orchid Show go to the NYBG website for tickets and other information about NYBG. https://www.nybg.org/
‘Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope’: Orchid Show 2022, New York Botanical Garden’s Spectacular Horticultural Theater
Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope Runs February 26 – May 1, 2022
Lifestyle icon and floral designer to the stars (Oprah Winfrey, Cher, Dolly Parton, etc.), has returned for an encore presentation to the New York Botanical Garden after the show which he created in 2020 had to be curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic safety procedures and quarantine throughout the nation. But Leathem has reimagined the imagery of Kaleidoscope and once again the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and its various galleries are shimmering in a pageantry of color-rich orchids of every shape, size and variety. If you love orchids, this is a show to see for its gorgeous delights.
Lifestyle icon and floral designer to the stars (Oprah Winfrey, Cher, etc.), has returned for an encore presentation to the New York Botanical Garden after the show which he created in 2020 had to be curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic safety procedures and quarantine throughout the nation. But Leathem has reimagined the imagery of Kaleidoscope and once again the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and its various galleries are shimmering in a pageantry of color-rich orchids of every shape, size and variety.
Jeff Leatham said, “I am thrilled to bring Kaleidoscope back to the New York Botanical Garden in 2022. Much like when you look into a Kaleidoscope, the view is never the same.”
Kaleidoscopic, with rich, multi-various hues, orchids compose the largest family of plants in the world. They number from 28,000-30,000 natural species and from 150,000 hybrids. Botanists and horticulturalists are constantly coming up with new derivations inspired to craft hybrids. And these they sometimes name them for individuals and celebrities. Jeff Leatham has a hybrid Vanda named after him and Awkwafina (comedic rapper and award winning actress) has her own orchid named after her zaniness. These orchids were featured in previous orchid shows at NYBG in 2019 and 2020.
Orchids were assembled from the finest growers in the world in January and early February as the NYBG beds were graded and prepared for the 2022 Orchid Show. Leatham worked with horticulturalists from NYBG and Marc Hachadourian, the Senior Curator of Orchids who advised what orchids would last longest for various displays and what could be replaced to keep the displays looking fresh until May 1st when the show closes. The plantings and design took two weeks.
Jeff Leatham’s work is a meld of his love for flowers and his passion for design. His displays are dramatic, vibrant and memorable. He integrates his arrangements seamlessly with his settings. Jeff has produced striking displays in Paris for two decades. In 2014 he was knighted with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor for artists and others who have made a significant contribution to French culture.
On select Fridays and Saturdays in March and April, adults 21 and over can experience the exhibition at night with music, cash bars and food available for purchase ORCHID EVENINGS WILL TAKE PLACE: MARCH 26, APRIL 2, 9, 16, 22, AND 23, 2022; 7-10 p.m.
At NYBG Shop, Orchid Show visitors can purchase Jeff Leatham’s publications: Flowers by Jeff Leatham, Flowers by Design, and Jeff Leatham: Visionary Floral Art and Design. These are best-selling design books globally.
For more information about the 19th Annual Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope visit https://www.nybg.org/event/the-orchid-show/
New York Botanical Garden: Intimate ORCHID Spotlight Replaces Annual Exhibit
As a result of the pandemic, the New York Botanical Garden has changed its approach regarding its annual orchid exhibition. In keeping with safety and security for New Yorkers, Garden members and guests, the annual Orchid Show will return in 2022. As a replacement, the Garden is focusing on a personal and close-up view of orchids without the fanfare, showiness and crowds.
This year unusual orchids and other plants from NYBG’s permanent collections will be displayed in select galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on February 20–April 4, 2021.
Continuing with reduced indoor capacity, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is forgoing its traditional orchid exhibition presenting a limited Spotlight on Orchids and other permanent plant collections in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. A visit to select galleries of the Conservatory will reveal displays of orchids in brilliant white and striking colors set against the foliage of aroids, ferns, and bromeliads. The plantings highlight how the orchids might be found in nature as they blend seamlessly with their surroundings.
The approach brings attention to orchids in their habitats and emphasizes investigation of orchids as one of the largest of plant families in their their variety with differences in their shape, size and color to attract pollinators. Orchids thrive on every continent except Antarctica and can be found even the desert gallery of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
As visitors walk through the various galleries, they will be able to view and explore unique orchids from NYBG’s renowned collections from around the world. The Garden is known for its rare orchids. Don’t forget to take a long, lingering look at the glass case between the galleries where many of the Garden’s rare and small orchids enjoy their special, controlled environment. Also, check out the artful floral creations. These are fashioned by Botanical Garden horticulturists. The creations combine expressive orchids from the popular Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) to lady slippers (Paphiopedilum) with rocks, tree trunks, vines, and other found materials.
NYBG looks forward to the return of its annual Orchid Show in 2022.
The Spotlight on Orchids runs from Saturday, February 20, through Sunday, April 4, 2021; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets for Spotlight on Orchids is open to all visitors with the purchase of an advance, timed Garden Pass + Conservatory ticket, which includes access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and outdoor gardens and collections. Click on http://nybg.org/visit for more information or tickets.