Blog Archives

‘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

Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG’s 19th Annual Orchid Show, Palm’s of the World Gallery & Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG’s 19th Annual Orchid Show, Palm’s of the World Gallery & Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti)
Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG’s 19th Annual Orchid Show, Palm’s of the World Gallery & Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti)
Jeff Leatham discusses reimagining Kaleidoscope for NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show
Upside down reflection of the main exhibit by Jeff Leatham in the Palm’s of the World Gallery & Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti
Floral detail, upside down reflection of the water, main exhibit by Jeff Leatham in the Palm’s of the World Gallery & Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti

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.

Cymbidiums, moth orchids, dendrobiums, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)

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.”

Showcase Gallery the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Showcase Gallery the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Another view, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, Showcase Gallery, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Detail, Showcase Gallery the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Dendrobiums and moth orchids, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Pansy Orchids, one of the 150,000 orchid hybrids, Rainforest Gallery, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
The Kaleidoscope tunnel carrying the theme of Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Showcase Gallery the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Vanda petals in the reflecting pool of the Showcase gallery, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Moth orchid detail of the orchid tower in the Showcase gallery (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Delightful purple/fuschia moth orchids Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, a pageantry of color (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Wing of the Showcase Gallery leading into the gallery of cool, peace winding down Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Adjoining walkway for a different view, a zen garden of white moth orchids; Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
Members enjoying the peace of the white orchid varieties, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
A different view of moth orchids in a zen garden, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)
A peaceful conclusion to Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, NYBG 19th Annual Orchid Show (Carole Di Tosti)

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/

‘Lotus,’ by Carole Di Tosti, Photos by Gwen Greenthal

Lotuses at the lily pond at New York Botanical Garden 2021 (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal)

In my newly released book of sonnets Light Shifts, there are five featured sections. In ‘God in Nature,’ there are two sonnets about Lotuses, one opening the section, the other closing it. I considered adding pictures, then realized that unless they could be duplicated via Kindle digital (they don’t show well) that the photos would be misrepresented. Photographer Gwen Greenthal’s photos are too lovely to be distorted. When Amazon moves to hard cover and upgrades the technology to include exact facsimiles of photos, I will consider it. To check out Light Shifts, go to my books page: https://caroleditostibooks.com/

A single lotus bud at the lily pond at New York Botanical Garden 2021 (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal)

LOTUS

The fragrance fragile, hints of frankincense.

The buds so creamy, shaded tapering pinks.

The petals seek the sun in recompense.

From watery darkness muddy roots did drink.

Enfolded in the torpid dank and slime

With faith that soon its glorious day will come,

It waits in dormancy then slowly climbs,

In skyward grace to bask in citrine sun.

How many of your kind just stayed below,

Devoid of spark to seek the spiritual light?

How many not ignited by God’s flow

Of love, instead did die in wilted blight?

A miracle each risen Lotus bloom,

A wealth of glorious life born in the gloom.

Gwen Greenthal noted the lotus evolution from bud to seed. Look from right to left or you’ll miss it. (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal),



Lotus preparing to seed, NYBG Lily Pond 2021 (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal)

Lotuses are represented in the literature of most cultures in the world. Their beauty and transience (two-day blooms) retain philosophical symbolism associated with purity, fertility, compassion, transformation, and spiritual enlightenment. Its scientific name is Nelumbo nucifera. It is referred to as Sacred lotus and Indian lotus. Sacred lotus has long been used as a food source and ingredient for traditional herbal remedies. Plant parts contain neuroprotective agents that interact with specific targets to inhibit Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show Tickets on Sale February 3, 2022

Conceptualization sketched by Jeff Leatham (courtesy of NYBG)

The 19th NYBG Orchid Show is burgeoning into a hopeful springtime event two years after the 2020 Orchid Show was halted due to COVID-19. The popular exhibition will be on view from February 26 through May 1, 2022, and I am excited to announce that it is reopening with Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope. The extraordinary exhibit by lifestyle icon and floral designer to the stars will be a reimagining of his glorious, bold, vibrant creations with dazzling, new twists as a celebration of renewal and persistence.

Designer Jeff Leatham (courtesy of NYBG)

Leatham’s creative genius will transform each gallery of the exhibition in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience. Imagine you are immersed in the heart of a botanical kaleidoscope. And if you venture through the galleries at different times during the day from the morning light to the afternoon sun which casts a uniquely different glow on the orchids and foliage, indeed the colors are ever changing, the hues shadowed and dusky as the sun sets. All of the variables of light and shade and the great selection of stunning orchids and their hues are Jeff Leatham’s palette.

Phalaenopsis, commonly known as the Moth Orchid (Carole Di Tosti)

Working with horticulturists from NYBG, including Senior Curator of Orchids Marc Hachadourian, Leatham
selects orchids from NYBG collections as well as from some of the finest growers in the world. Keeping the kaleidoscope theme in mind, Leatham’ orchid towers of orange, yellow and green, the undulating fields of white and overhead plumes of purple combined with artistic embellishments will dazzle visitors as they saunter on walkways of beauty arranged as horticultural pageantry.

Paphiopedilum, Lady Slipper orchid (Carole Di Tosti)

Amazing and unique orchids, one of the largest species of plants in the world, are always represented at the NYBG Orchid Show and this year is no exception. For those more scientifically minded, they may note orchids of seemingly every conceivable shape and provenance, iconic hybrids as well as rare specimens under glass. The configurations and arrangements all are designed by the artistry of the affable and renowned Leatham whose shows are one-of-a-kind amazements. This year’s Orchid Show may have the same name as the 2020 Orchid Show, but Leatham’s exhibit promises to be evocatively different. That is who Jeff Leatham is and movement, grace and forward thinking creations are his brand.

Phalaenopsis, commonly known as the Moth Orchid (Carole Di Tosti)

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. Magical Orchid Evenings will take place on March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 22, and 23, 2022; 7–10 p.m.

Tickets will be available at https://www.nybg.org/visit/admission/

Vanda orchids (Carole Di Tosti)

At the New York Botanical Garden Shop, visitors of the Orchid Show have the opportunity to select from thousands of top-quality orchids that are available for purchase. Some of these include exotic, hard-to-find specimens for connoisseurs to elegant yet easy-to-grow varieties for beginners, along with orchid products and books.

Phalaenopsis, commonly known as the Moth Orchid (Carole Di Tosti)

Jeff Leatham is the award-winning artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. He has studios at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center. Also, he has a studio at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

His work combines his love for flowers and his passion for design. Using shape, color, and simplicity, his creations are dramatic, bold, unforgettable statements that are always an integral part of the setting. His clients include Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Cher, Oprah Winfrey and others. His publications—Flowers by Jeff Leatham, Flowers by Design, and Jeff Leatham: Visionary Floral Art and Design are best-selling design books worldwide

For more information about The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, visit http://www.nybg.org/event/the-orchid-show/

New York Botanical Garden’s GLOW and The Holiday Train Show® Are Not to be Missed

Coney Island, New York City replicas, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
Coney Island, New York City replicas, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
Grand Central Terminal and NY train station replicas, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

The winter season is in full swing with the NYBG’s 30th Year Milestone Celebration of The Holiday Train Show® (Saturday, November 20, 2021 – Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

The beautiful exhibit which features over 1 mile of train track and a 360 degree surround space in an added gallery is a favorite of New Yorkers. This year’s show features new additions to its collection which now number over 191 miniature structures of New York City and New York State landmarks.

Once again as part of the Train Show on a new combination ticket is the expanded light exhibit GLOW. As the sun sets and the moon rises on select dates, family and friends can wander through the Garden’s festively illuminated landscape and enjoy the 1.5 mile color-and-light extravaganza that begins at 5 pm and ends at 10 p.m.

NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)

Tickets are available for the following dates: Thursday, December 23, Sunday, December 26 – Thursday, December 30. In January, these dates are available: Saturday, January 1, January 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22.

NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)

When you buy your combination ticket for NYBG GLOW and the Holiday Train Show® expect to be dazzled on two fronts. Indoors, you will enjoy the shimmering lights that ethereally pierce through the foliage of lovely plantings and New York replicas of Applied Imagination’s architectural structures perfectly arranged so that a variety of old model trains, trolleys, whimsical streetcars can speed by the miniature iconic New York landmarks.

Leading into the NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
Lining up to enter NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
Belevadere Castle in the Central Park Display, NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
NYBG, The Holiday Train Show®
Edgar Allen Poe cottage in the Bronx, 1 mile from the Garden, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

And along the outer garden pathways, you will be entranced by the beauty of the striking colors projected against the landscape of trees, bushes and buildings forming colorful patterns of light against the shadows. I went on a moonlit night and the effect was spectacular.

For The Holiday Train Show® look for the new additions celebrating the 30th year of the exhibit.

LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

Showcased are the replicas of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, the Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, and the John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, collectively designated a New York City Landmark in 2009. The Allee that leads up to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library is comprised of four rows of distinguished native trees that were planted beginning in 1903 and have grown to a great height.

Laura Busse Dolan, the CEO of Applied Imagination who created the replicas for The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

When I spoke to NYBG staff and Laura Busse Dolan, the CEO of Applied Imagination, she mentioned that the Tulip Tree Allee replica in front of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building are live topiary myrtle trees very ingeniously sculpted to scale.

LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

The Mertz Library is the most important botanical and horticultural library in the world. It houses more than 11 million archival items spanning 10 centuries. In a style reminiscent of a Roman Baroque palace and capped with a green copper dome, architect Robert Gibson designed the striking building in 1901.

Detail of the John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, constructed of live myrtle topiaries, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

The Applied Imagination miniature is constructed with natural materials; the facade is made of horse chestnut bark, representing the structure’s stone blocks. Accented by mahogany pods, cinnamon pods and black walnuts (donated by a patron of NYBG) the replica is a beauty in its own right, worthy of the 900 to 1000 hours for its fabrication.

LuEsther T. Mertz Library in the distance in NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
LuEsther T. Mertz Library in the distance in NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)

A part of the display, The Goldman Fountain of Life is the dramatic composition of mythical figures in front of the Library. American Renaissance sculptor Charles E. Tefft designed the fountain in 1905. It was restored in 2005, 100 years later. Like the real fountain, the replica mirrors the Beaux-Arts sculptures including charging seahorses, a lively nymph and a startled mermaid and merman. These figures are covered in tobacco leaves with grape vine tendrils for their hair. Incredibly, the fountain’s basin is created from large shelf fungus.

Detail, The Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, in front of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

Some interesting facts about the structures featured in this year’s exhibit that you may not know are as follows. The Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill, one of my favorite NYBG buildings dates around 1840 and can be rented out for weddings and other catered affairs. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1966 and a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Applied Imagination’s team used tobacco leaves, cork, alder seeds, grape vine tendrils, and Brazilian and turkey tail fungi to the replica.

Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features prominently on the other side of the display with the LuEsther Mertz Library Building. The Conservatory which is also a New York City Landmark is considered one of the most superb glasshouses of its time. Lord & Burnham Company completed its construction in 1902. Comprised of 11 interconnected galleries that feature different habitats and plant specimens from around the world, the conservatory also features seasonal galleries, presenting annual floral displays and special exhibitions highlighting world renowned artists. The replica finished in 2014 was constructed of birch bark, cinnamon bark curls, wheat husks and acorn caps. The cupola rests on a ring of large pine cone scales and is topped by a mahogany seedpod and lotus seedpod. If you take the time to look closely, you will recognize these plant parts and gain a new appreciation of the genius Applied Imagination manifests in is miniature structures.

NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
Dimming out, NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)

The NYBG The Holiday Train Show® has included the seven bridges around the New York City area. Model trains and trolleys trundle along the tracks along the train trestles. the tallest replica is The Brooklyn Bridge that comes in at 16 feet. Even Hell’s Gate Bridge is included.

There are seven bridges; in NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)

Downtown Wall Street area is one of the favored exhibits that New Yorkers enjoy seeing as the recognize the iconic buildings which include the Woolworth Building, the ferry building, the Oculus and One World Trade Center. The Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty replicas are recognizable globally.

Downtown exhibit, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
The ferries and the ferry building, NYBG The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
Downtown New York City, another view, NYBG, The Holiday Train Show® (Carole Di Tosti)
NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
Leon Levy Center, Gift and Plant shop, NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)
The conservatory in NYBG GLOW (12/23, 26-30, 1, 6-8, 14, 15, 21,22) (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG’s 30th Year Milestone Celebration of The Holiday Train Show® on a combination ticket with GLOW runs from (Thursday December 23, 2021 – Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) For tickets and times (and by now, you should purchase a membership, you know you always wanted to) go to their website by CLICKING HERE.

New York Botanical Garden: Intimate ORCHID Spotlight Replaces Annual Exhibit

Phalaneopsis orchids, NYBG
Phalaneopsis Orchids, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

corsage orchid, NYBG,
Corsage orchid, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

vanda orchids, NYBG
Vanda orchids, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

phalaneopsis orchids, NYBG
Phalaenopsis orchids, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Paphiopedilum, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: ‘Singapore,’ 2019, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

Dancing Lady Orchids, NYBG
Dancing Lady orchids, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG looks forward to the return of its annual Orchid Show in 2022.

Cymbidium Orchids, NYBG
Cymbidium orchids, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

The Spotlight on Orchids runs from Saturday, February 20, through Sunday, April 4, 2021; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phalaenopsis Orchids, NYBG
Phalaenopsis orchids, NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

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.

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature at New York Botanical Garden

Yayoi Kusama pictured with her work (courtesy of the site)

The New York Botanical Garden is presenting its expansive 2021 exhibition, KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature. The internationally celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is being featured for the Spring season since the exhibit was postponed in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibition includes four experiences that will debut at the Garden which is the exclusive venue for KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature. The exhibition will be installed across NYBG’s landscape, in and around the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building. Timed, limited-capacity tickets for the landmark presentation go on sale to the public March 16, 2021, at https://www.nybg.org/event/kusama/

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature
Members-Only Benefits

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature Members-Only Benefits

  • Exclusive Member ticket Pre-Sale, March 11-15
  • Complimentary exhibition and Garden admission – visit again and again, for free!
  • Exclusive Members-Only Preview Day, April 9
  • At the Patron Level, enjoy the best of the exhibition with a dedicated Patron pre-sale beginning March 9, complimentary Infinity Mirrored Room tickets when interior access begins, and special viewing opportunities.
Yayoi Kusama’s dynamic colors and design elements are unique and striking (courtesy of the site)

Experience Yayoi Kusama’s profound connection with nature

Contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular artists in the world, drawing millions to experience her immersive installations.

Exclusively at NYBG, Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with the natural world, beginning with her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery. Her artistic concepts of obliteration, infinity, and eternity are inspired by her intimate engagement with the colors, patterns, and life cycles of plants and flowers.

Portrait of an incredible artist in photography (courtesy of the site)

Explore Kusama’s eternal love for plants

Spectacular installations feature Kusama’s multifaceted art, including monumental floral sculptures that transform NYBG’s 250-acre landmark landscape.

Across the grounds, discover installations that include the artist’s legendary Narcissus Garden (1966/2021) in the Native Plant Garden. Nearby, marvel at Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees (2002/2021), where soaring trees are adorned in vibrant red with white polka dots. The horticultural spectacle across the landscape changes throughout the seasons, with tulips and irises in spring, dahlias and sweetpeas in summer, and pumpkins and chrysanthemums in fall.

In and around the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Kusama’s work comes to life through a seasonal progression of violas, salvias, zinnias, chrysanthemums, and other colorful annuals, while her plant-inspired, polka-dotted sculptures are nestled among meadow grasses, bellflowers, and water lilies, including Hymn of Life—Tulips (2007) in the Conservatory Courtyard Hardy Pool. Her mesmerizing Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity (2017) is on view in the Visitor Center gallery.

In the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, explore paintings, biomorphic collages, sculpture, and works on paper inspired by Kusama’s deep knowledge of nature, and in the adjacent Ross Gallery, enjoy Walking Piece (ca. 1966), a multiscreen digital projection of a performance work from the artist’s collection.

Yayoi Kusama’s exclusive presentation will be at NYBG from Saturday, April 10 – Sunday, October 31, 2021 (courtesy of the site)

See new monumental and immersive works

New monumental sculptures Dancing Pumpkin (2020) and I Want to Fly to the Universe (2020) make their debut in the NYBG landscape. They join the artist’s first-ever obliteration greenhouse, Flower Obsession (2017/2021).

Patron pre-sale begins March 9, 10 a.m. ET
Member and Corporate Member pre-sale begins March 11, 10 a.m. ET
Public tickets on sale: March 16, 10 a.m. ET

FOR TICKETS GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINK

https://www.nybg.org/event/kusama/

New York Botanical Garden 21st Annual Winter Lecture Series

'NYBG Glow,' NYBG
NYBG Glow at NYBG (Carole Di Tosti)

GARDENS OF MEANING

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">The 21st annual NYGB comprehensive lecture series features non-traditional perspectives that illuminate and delve into the gardening experience.The 21st annual NYGB comprehensive lecture series features non-traditional perspectives that illuminate and delve into the gardening experience.

NYBG Glow, NYBG
‘NYBG Glow,’ NYBG, gazebo (Carole Di Tosti)
<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong> The lecture series is being held online. It begins on Thursdays, January 28, February 25, and March 25, 2021, from 11 a.m.</strong> to <strong>12 a.m</strong>. The lecture series is being held online. It begins on Thursdays, January 28, February 25, and March 25, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

NYBG Fall plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

The lecture series highlights speakers who approach the garden from unique perspectives—healing, inclusiveness, and music. These experts add new comprehension to our notions of calming our psyches to create lovely spaces and promote an extraordinary gardening experience.

NYBG Waterfall, late summer (Carole Di Tosti)

Speakers includeSue Stuart-Smith, Leslie Bennett and Larry Weaner.

NYBG herb garden late summer (Carole Di Tosti)

Sue Stuart-Smith is a distinguished psychiatrist and avid gardener. She believes that gardens may interact with us in ways that can sustain our innermost selves.On Thursday, January 28 online from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sue Stuart-Smith is presenting The Well-Gardened Mind.

NYBG late summer (Carole Di Tosti)

Leslie Bennett is the founder of the Black Sanctuary Gardens project. The Black Sanctuary Gardens Project creates gardens of refuge and beauty in collaboration with Black women and communities. On Thursday, February 25 online from 11 am. to 12 pm. Leslie Bennett is presenting Gardens of Sanctuary.

NYBG daffodils in the Spring (courtesy NYBG)

Larry Weaner is a landscape designer and composer. He believes that designing a garden and composing music are linked by a freedom of expression within formal constraint. On Thursday, March 25th online from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Larry Weaner is presenting Music Composition and Landscape Design.

NYBG Glow
NYBG Glow (Carole Di Tosti)

You may register online for each lecture at NYBG.ORG, or call 718.817.8720. Each lecture IS $15/$18 (Garden Member/Non-Member) The series: $39/$49 (Garden Member/Non-Member.

New York Botanical Garden: Haupt Conservatory Open With Limited Capacity

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NYBG seasonal plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

NYB, Levon Levy Center

NYB, Levon Levy Visitor’s Center-Entrance (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYB, Levon Levy Visitor’s Center (Carole Di Tosti)

In times of trouble, the New York Botanical Garden has been a place of asylum and peace for many.

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New York Botanical Garden (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG

New York Botanical Garden (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG 2020

New York Botanical Garden snapdragons (Carole Di Tosti)

The 250 acres of various gardens, the serene walks, the waterfall, old growth forest, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, greenhouses, Stone Mill, ponds and Zen water designs (the Native Plant Garden, one of my favorites) provide  places to contemplate, restore, clear one’s mind and rejuvenate from the noise and chaos of our culture.

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NYBG, Thain Family Forest walk (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Waterfall in the Bronx River (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG Bronx River flowing by the Stone Mill (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG, Native Plant Garden

New York Botanical Garden, Native Plant Garden and water features (courtesy of the Garden)

In keeping with our steadfast and wise Governor Cuomo’s phased approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYBG has reopened carefully since July. They’ve accomplished this with timed-entrances, hand sanitizer stations everywhere and close monitoring of members and visitors along one-direction paths to provide 6 feet social distancing.

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New York Botanical Garden (Carole Di Tosti)

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New York Botanical Garden hydrangeas (Carole Di Tosti)

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New York Botanical Garden, Dahlia, “Mystic Spirit” (Carole Di Tosti)

The bathrooms are meticulously disinfected as is the cafe which provides drinks and outdoor dining as does the Hudson Garden Grill. There is no indoor dining anywhere and the Hudson Garden Grill provides a few salads, wine, beer, cold drinks and snacks. You can sit at one of the tables under an umbrella and enjoy a light lunch viewing the beautiful pine trees, plantings and the seasonal gardens in the distance without fear of crowds, all tables separated from each other six feet or more.

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New York Botanical Garden (Carole Di Tosti)

Above all, one must visit the Garden with a mask. If one has symptoms of COVID: temperature, dry cough, body aches, digestive problems, difficulty breathing-94 oxygen level as tested by an oximeter, unusual rashes not typical of characteristic allergies, eczema, etc., in addition to cold-like flu symptoms) stay home, rest and recuperate. COVID requires not infecting others and taking care of oneself. The disease is deadly and social responsibility is an imperative when an infectious disease is easily spread in public. The Garden is a respite, but quarantine, rest, liquids, Elderberry, UMCKA and what the doctor prescribes is the only respite for COVID to avoid getting worse and having to be hospitalized.

NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Palms of the World gallery (Carole Di Tosti)

I visited on Friday, September 25th at the last minute and found 10:30 A..M. available to visit Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and then go for a walk on the grounds. With a membership, one has free entrance to the Conservatory and parking passes are given.

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NYBG Seasonal plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Clematis (Carole Di Tosti

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings (Carole Di Tosti

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings, hibiscus (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings, Hibiscus (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings, Clematis (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings, Hibiscus (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Seasonal Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, snapdragons (Carole Di Tosti)

The above pictures are what is happening around the Garden if you just plan to lift your spirits with a walk and not get involved in any other activities or go into the conservatory. The pictures below are the conservatory environs.

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NYBG, fountain, interior Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, interior Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, fountain (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, fountain, flowering spider plant (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, fountain gallery, floral detail (Carole Di Tosti)

If you’ve run out of parking passes as I did, parking for members is discounted at $10.00 and that is well worth it. The visual beauty and healthfulness of the plants and gorgeous landscape with lovely, coordinated plantings is better than a sedative for one’s emotional state.

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, walkway (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, walkway (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, walkway (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, walkway (Carole Di Tosti)

The Garden staff are preparing for the Kiku exhibit which takes place in the fall every year and coincides with fall activities like Pumpkin Weekend which they are already preparing. Both take place in October.

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Kiku Exhibit preparation (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Kiku Exhibit preparation (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, reflecting pool (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, reflecting pool, another perspective (Carole Di Tosti)

The Conservatory is monitored by following the path through all of the galleries in the Conservatory, from the Rainforest plantings, through the Desert plantings and the exhibition galleries.

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NYBG, outside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Lotus and Water Lily Pond (Carole Di Tosti)

One can also step outside to visit the Lotus and Water Lily Pond where one will see water plants, Lotus and a variety of Water Lilies.

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conervatory, Lily Pond (Carole Di Tosti)

Swimming amidst the plants are coy of various sizes. One old gentleman looks to be a few decades old and has grown to a renowned size.

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Courtyard Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

There is also a frog whom I heard on a few visits to the Lotus and Water Lily Ponds hanging out in the vegetation. Two Lily Ponds are in the Courtyard in the center of the environs of the conservatory.

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NYBG, Lotus and Water Lilly Pond (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Courtyard Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Courtyard Plantings, Lotus and Water Lily Ponds Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Courtyard Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Courtyard Plantings (Carole Di Tosti)

And there are frogs in the swampland and wild plants area of the Garden. I have heard them in the area of the Native Plant Garden.

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NYBG, Native Plant Garden Water features (Carole Di Tosti)

I have also seen hummingbirds and cardinals in that area. The birds are as beautiful as the flowers that line the water features.

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NYBG, Native Plant Garden (Carole Di Tosti)

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NYBG, Native Plant Garden wildflowers attracting hummingbirds and nesting cardinals (Carole Di Tosti)

You will need a timed ticket to enter the Garden even if you do not go into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. If you are a NYC resident, your entrance fee is discounted. If you go on Wednesdays, you may visit the Garden for free. Members may enter the grounds and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory for free.

For information and tickets go to the NYBG website. https://www.nybg.org/visit/admission/?keyword=NYCResidentZIPCheck

Sign up for the newsletter to keep apprised of the activities happening in the next weeks and discover whether there will be a Holiday Train Show with limited access and reserved tickets.

New York Botanical Garden is Reopening The Outdoor Gardens and Collections to the General Public July 28

NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

Today, The New York Botanical Garden announced its schedule to reopen the outdoor gardens and collections of its 250-acre site to the general public on Tuesday, 28 July. The process has been a gradual one as New York City achieves New York Forward’s Phase Four which is projected to begin 20 July. The Garden’s reopening plan is mindful of protocols that pertain to businesses and cultural institutions. It follows CDC guidelines regarding protecting visitors from COVID-19 transmission. The Garden’s protocols involve safety measures that encompass State and City requirements and OSHA requirements.

NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Sunflower, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

As a part of Appreciation Week July 21-26 the New York Botanical Garden is welcoming Garden Members and Bronx Healthcare Heroes from the eight public and private hospitals in the borough. Also included are Bronx Neighbors with “first access” and complimentary tickets for free admission. This reopening including “Appreciation Week” is contingent upon Governor Cuomo designating New York City as fulfilling the requirements for the Phase Four opening.

NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

All visitors, including Members, must purchase or reserve timed-entry tickets in advance. All visitors must be wearing masks.

APPRECIATION WEEK REOPENING is from July 21, Tuesday – July 26, Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.  GET TICKETS BY CLICKING HERE

Perennial Garden, NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Perennial Garden, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

Through its Appreciation Week initiative, the Garden acknowledges its gratitude and recognizes the dedication, strength, and resilience of Bronx frontline health care workers and residents. These are the workers that residents remember daily around 7:00 pm with cheers, shouts and a clamor of pots and pans for their great sacrifice to help patients through the terrible journey of overcoming this virus which is still not understood. Complimentary admission for those groups will continue through September 13.

Seasonal Walk, NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Seasonal Walk, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

New Yorkers will be coming from all the boroughs to seek respite and renewal at NYBG. They have gone through a hellacious time (characterized by Governor Cuomo) these past months sacrificing under quarantine. Together, all New Yorkers were united, disciplined, smart, tough and loving as they confronted an unprecedented crises in their lifetimes and brought the highest COVID infection rate in the world to one of the lowest in the nation.

Home Gardening Center, NYBG,New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Home Gardening Center, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

The Garden is the place to be in July. It is one of the most gorgeous, historic and extensive botanical gardens in the world. Not only is it an urban oasis, it is a cultural, living artifact which has become a moral imperative, a haven for every season, and a New York City treasure anchored in the Bronx. Currently the Garden landscape features vibrant daylilies, hydrangeas, water lilies, and lotuses among its one million plants. Walking paths and trails crisscross the Garden providing opportunities for discovery through encounters with nature.

Thain Family Forest, NYBG, NYBG,New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Thain Family Forest, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

FOR YOUR SAFETY

The Garden has a TIMED ENTRY.  FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED.  There is SOCIAL DISTANCING.

There is CONTINUAL CLEANING AND DISINFECTINGThere are DAILY STAFF HEALTH CHECKS.

Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week

New York Botanical Garden, Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

Know Before You Go

  • Reduced Garden capacity and amenities. For the safety of visitors and staff, NYBG closed indoor spaces and any collections where social distancing is not possible. Water fountains and bottle refill stations are deactivated. Please bring your own water, or purchase water at the Pine Tree Café.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices. Garden staff are sanitizing surfaces such as tables, handrails, and door handles regularly.
  • Sanitization stations. Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the Garden. All visitors and staff must practice proper hand washing procedures.
  • 250 acres to explore. Enjoy seasonal highlights in the Chilton Azalea Garden, Native Plant Garden, Perennial Garden, Conservatory Courtyards, Rockefeller Rose Garden, and most other outdoor collections and trails. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoe

Lotus and Water Lilies, NYBG, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week, Public Opening 28 July

New York Botanical Garden, Water Lilies and Lotus, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

  • Grab-and-go food service only. Limited food and refreshments are offered for carry-out at the Pine Tree Café. Outdoor seating is available.
  • NYBG Shop is open. The Garden has adjusted shopping and checkout processes to provide the safest possible experience.
  • Mobility considerations. Wheelchair loans and the Tram Tour are suspended. If you require a mobility device, we ask that you bring your own.

 NYBG, Water Lilies and Lotus Pond, New York Forward Phase Four, Governor Cuomo, Appreciation Week, Public Opening 28 July

New York Botanical Garden, Water Lilies and Lotus Pond, Reopening New York Forward Phase Four (NYGB)

An inherent risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) exists in any public space where people are present. People visiting The New York Botanical Garden do so at their own risk as to such exposure as well as other risks inherent to outdoor public spaces. We will continue to monitor state and city guidelines to inform the Garden’s operations.

For more information about the NYBG and the 28th JULY PUBLIC OPENING, CLICK HERE.

 

New York Botanical Garden ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ A Shimmering Display of Vibrant Color

The 17th Annual Orchid Show, The Orchid Show: Singapore, NYBG, #plantlove, #orchidshownybg

Vandas at the NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore’ (Carole Di Tosti)

The doldrums of winter signify their passing with the arrival of the annual NYBG Orchid Show, whose splendid displays of orchids bring their cheer, and lift our spirits. For this 17th year of The Orchid Show: Singapore, the Garden selected an appropriate theme to go along with its year long festival of #plantlove by celebrating a city which prizes the creation of green spaces so that its populace can commune with nature, meditate and spiritually regenerate surrounded by wondrous botanical beauty.

NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Botanic Gardens, NYBG, NYBG 17th Annual Orchid Show

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore’ Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

Singapore is a city-state at the tip of the Malay peninsula between Malaysia and Indonesia in Southeast Asia. It comprises one main island and dozens of tiny ones in an area around the size of New York City. It is a nation whose forward-thinking ideas and ambition for speed-of-light progress moved it from a third-world country to first world status in one generation, thanks to its brilliant Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The Prime Minister conceived of his island nation and its multicultural population as a lush urban oasis. He realized his dream with greening projects and innovations that included nature preserves, glorious parks, and spaces and places for the populace to relax in natural environs.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Supertree replica inspired from ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Singapore, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ another view of the Supertree replica inspired from ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ (Carole Di Tosti)

From this burgeoning vision, the nation has made it an imperative to recognize the importance of plants, nature and tropical gardens so that the city has become a veritable  “City in a Garden.” Every new building, every new development must include plants and green places by law. Over the years Singapore has remained true to Prime Minister Yew’s conception so that today, it is recognized as the city with the greatest percentage of tree canopy cover anywhere in the world. And how it creates this tree canopy is absolutely gobsmacking. The orchids make it especially so..

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ detail, Supertree replica inspired from ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Singapore (Carole Di Tosti)

Singapore has one of the greatest and oldest orchid cultures in the world and is home to 220 distinct orchid species. The only nation that doesn’t have a wild plant species as the national flower, Singapore’s national flower is a hybrid orchid indicating how important hybrids are to their culture and economy.

Vanda 'Miss Joaquim' hybrid orchid, Singapore National Flower, NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ hybrid orchid, Singapore National Flower, NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (courtesy of NYBG)

The hybrid Vanda Miss Joaquim which produces striking purple-pink and flame-orange blooms throughout the year is named for its creator Agnes Joaquim (1854-1899) who was a member of Singapore’s small American community. Agnes Joaquim entered her orchid in Singapore’s annual Flower Show in 1899 which garnered a first prize as the rarest orchid. Subsequently, in 1981, Miss Joaquim was selected to represent Singapore as the national flower. Their choice of a hybrid honors the storied history of Singapore’s venerable orchid cultivation, and the multicultural and religious blend of its citizens.

Cultivators enjoy creating new orchid hybrids the total of which now numbers in the many thousands globally. Horticulturists have hybridized orchids in Singapore since the 19th century because the species naturally flourishes in the wet, tropical climate. Visiting Singapore one notices the daily orchid pageant as gorgeous varieties cling to trees and populate the gardens, parks and greens spaces. Each year growers export millions of stalks for the international flower market

This historical attention to plants and the gradual veneration of orchids began in 1859 when a group of horticulturists and agriculturists established the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Botanists at the Gardens experimented with utilitarian plants like the rubber tree which became a vital agricultural crop turned into a product used in industrial manufacturing. They began their serious experimentation and cultivation of orchids in 1928, developing groundbreaking techniques for propagation which helped to establish Singapore’s prodigious orchid cultivation industry. The Botanic Gardens have propagated and developed more than 630 hybrids. The National Orchid Garden displays thousands of orchids. Many of them have been created there. Also, they display more than 1000 species from around the world.

17th Annual NYBG Orchid Show, Vanda orchid hybrids, Miss Joaquim, NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Vandas ‘Miss Joaquim’ hybrid orchids, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore’ Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (courtesy of the NYBG)

Paying homage to Singapore’s appreciation and love of plants, the NYBG fashioned its floral spectacular with features represented in two botanical gardens in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Botanic Gardens. Walking down the familiar paths in the NYBG Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool, to reach the Central Rotunda at the opposite end of  the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, one sees a panoply of orchids festooning simulations of the architectural elements found in Singapore’s famed gardens which the NYBG developed in partnership with them to create The Orchid Show: Singapore.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Supertree replica inspired from Singapore’s ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ NYBG Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Gardens by the Bay is a 250 acre public space in Singapore’s downtown area which opened in 2012 and is Singapore’s largest tourist attraction. The acreage comprises multiple gardens, futuristic glasshouses and a grove of Supertrees, Singapore’s paean to art, nature and technology. These Supertrees exemplify biomimicry in their design and engineering, modeled after natural forms and processes. The NYBG was inspired to create its own dynamic trees in celebration of Singapore’s amazing artistic/technological/horticultural sculptures, whose towering, 160 feet tall vertical gardens are unlike any other structure in the world. They are unparalleled for their utility and purpose which is to mimic the functions of trees using modern technology.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Dendrobiums, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore, Supertrees, NYBG

Phalaenopsis,NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ detail Supertree replica inspired from ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Singapore, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

Cascading ribbons of rainbow colors of,Vandas, Oncidiums, Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums and other plant varieties flow down from these massive, tree giants that are embedded with photovoltaic cells that harvest solar energy. Their wide canopies provide shade and a habitat for epiphytes like orchids and other plants which grow on trees high in the air rather than in soil.  Supertrees collect and distribute rainwater and are fitted with solar panels that sustainably power dramatic light displays as real trees harvest the sun’s energy for photosynthesis. These Supertrees especially showcase that Singapore’s heart is in the right place with environmentally sustainable horticulture.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Supertree replica inspired from ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Singapore, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Supertree replica inspired from Singapore’s ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Palms of the World Gallery (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ upside down view, Supertree replica inspired from Singapore’s ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Supertree replica inspired from Singapore’s ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti)

Two gorgeous Supertree models are in The Orchid Show: Singapore, at either end of the conservatory. In the central showcase of the Rotunda, you will see fabulous orchid theater: every shape, color and major species of orchid hybrid reaches upward toward the lattice dome of the greenhouse in a breathtaking tower. The second marvelous Supertree replica is in the Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool. Look into the waters of the pool to see the mirror of the tall tree massed with white orchids which are interspersed with lovely fillers of ferns and colorful bromeliads. The NYBG’s eye popping orchid architectures are 18 feet tall and symbolize Singapore’s incredible structures found throughout the “City in a Garden” and featured spectacularly in the Supertree grove of The Gardens by the Bay.

Arhes of Singapore Botanic Gardens' National Orchid Garden, NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore, City in a Garden, Singpore

Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore’ (courtesy of NYBG)

The other architectural element you will find in The Orchid Show: Singapore is inspired by the magnificent Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden. In Singapore, the arches are radiantly festooned in the stunning yellow Singapore dancing lady hybrid (Oncidium Gloldiana). And these grow grow year-round. The replication of this design feature in the NYBG walkway stuns. On first glance in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory sauntering on the path to either Supertree Showcase, one understands immediately why the NYBG was inspired to include both architectural elements from Singapore in this year’s orchid show.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Detail, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Members Day, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Detail, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Detail, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

Following the passage from one Supertree to the other, you will move through five glorious arches clothed with hundreds of vibrant fuschias, blues, yellows, pinks, purples, golds of the various Vandas, Oncidiums, Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums. The sheer number and abundance create breathtaking bowers along a stirring fantastical path which enthralls BECAUSE it is treasured living botanical art.  The archway’s profusion of exotic, shimmering beauty and the effects of the flowing Spanish moss, dangling blooms and beckoning orchid faces recall a pleasure garden paradise.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Detail, Oncidium, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Detail, Oncidium, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

If one can’t be a snowbird in February, then happily visit the NYBG a number of times in the next months until 28th of April to luxuriate in the tropics and allow your senses to revel in the exotic sights, smells and music, especially during Orchid Evenings (March 16, 23, 30; April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 from 7-10 pm with entry times at 7, 7:30 and 8:00 pm.)

CEO NYBG Carrie Rebora Barratt and Marc Hachadourian, NYBG 'Orchid Show: Singapore,' Press Day, Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool, NYBG

CEO NYBG Carrie Rebora Barratt and Marc Hachadourian, Orhid Curator, NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Press Day, Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool (Carole Di Tosti)

Kudos to Marc Hachadourian (The curator of NYBG’s Orchid Show: Singapore, Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and a staunch CITES advocate to preserve rare orchids and rescue them at NYBG) who oversees the orchid collections for the show.

And equal praise goes Christian Primeau (Manager of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory). Christian Primeau a few years ago mentioned that he likes the Paphiopedilums (Lady’s Slippers) and I noted their placement in key areas featured on rocks near reflecting pools, recalling their natural habitats. Marc and Christian collaborate to come up with the orchid selections to display most effectively in the architectural elements so that the exhibits will remain fresh and gorgeous. They and the entire staff work assiduously to get the show up and running after the Holiday Train Show is struck.  The beds must be graded and prepared for the orchid plantings. Then comes the staff to complete the design and color coordinated exhibits in keeping with the current show’s theme. And having spoken to each of these experts over the years (see my previous posts on Blogcritics and Youtube) their #plantlove obviously has manifested in this extraordinary exhibit.

As has Karen Daubmann’s #plantlove (Associate Vice-President for Exhibitions and Public Engagement). Her extensive collaboration with Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Botanic Gardens to help make The Orchid Show: Singapore a success is apparent from the moment you enter the Palms of the World Gallery and Reflecting Pool. Karen mentioned that she had spent a bit of time in Singapore and attested to its forward innovations and emphasis in recognition of the vitality of plants, orchids, flowers everywhere you go in the “City in a Garden.”

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Daning Lady Orchids, Oncidium, NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore (Carole Di Tosti)

A few last points follow here about the NYBG Orchid Show: Singapore. Along your journey through the various galleries of the conservatory, make sure to watch out for the sign indicating the Vanilla Orchid. Yes, vanilla comes from an orchid. And stop by to view the amazing variety of rare orchids (delicate, lovely) in their glass case which houses some of the Garden’s rescued orchids. Since 1990 the Garden has been a designated CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Plant Rescue Center.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

Paphiopedilum (Lady’s Slipper) NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore’ (Carole Di Tosti)

The Garden preserves and rehabilitates orchids that have been rescued from poachers around the world (Brazil, Thailand, Peru, India, etc.) who exploit rare orchids from their native habitats and sell them. Because such rare orchids can bring a substantial price for the right buyer, poachers are constantly on the lookout, especially if they have an unethical collector at the ready. Coupled with their low growth densities in the wild and other threats to the species (deforestation, habitat destruction, climate change) wild orchids are among the most endangered plants in the world.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ Supertree replica inspired from ‘Gardens by the Bay,’ Singapore, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

Words cannot easily define the wonder and hope that has been realized from Yew’s dream of an oasis. It is that wonder which now resides until April 28th at the New York Botanical Garden. That the Garden has extolled Yew’s vision of “The City in a Garden” vision and honored it this year with The Orchid Show: Singapore cannot be underestimated nor underappreciated. It must be understood for its symbolism, especially now that many of the institutions that have been created to preserve and protect our nation and its environs, parks, preserves, green spaces are being threatened by those in power obsessed with a different form of greenery. Though most Americans are abjectly opposed to the rapacity for the accumulation of profits in industries that are unsustainable and run counter to our planet’s well being, De-regulation in the wrong direction is happening in the US.

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore, 17th Annual Orchid Show, NYBG, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Singapore

NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ replica of Arches of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ National Orchid Garden, walkway gallery Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (Carole Di Tosti)

In light of this potential threat and the threat of Global Warming, Singapore shines an incredible light of hope in innovation,  and faith that where “there’s a will, there’s a way” to create sustainable, fabulous green spaces to uplift and regenerate the citizens of a nation. Thanks to the NYBG, its scientists, botanists, researchers, horticulturists, staff and volunteers, all #plantlovers who constantly remind us of what we must not lose, the beauty of our planet whose flora and fauna are sacred and integral to ourselves.

Awkwafina, razy Rich Asians, NYBG Orhid Show: Singapore, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Vanda Awkwafina hybrid, named by NYBG after celebrity Awkwafina (star of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and’ Ocean’s 8,’ displayed at NYBG ‘Orchid Show: Singapore,’ (Carole Di Tosti)

The Orchid Show: Singapore has excellent activities that reflect the culture of Singapore in its music and dance during the daytime and especially during Orchid Evenings. Again, there will be the Bronx Night Market Pop-up featuring Barbecue, Vegan, Fried Chicken, Empanadas and other offerings to enjoy while listening to DJ’s perform and watching dancers freestyle. And if you are sick and tired of killing your orchids because you over-water them, you need to attend a few “Orchid Care Demonstrations” in the Conservatory’s GreenSchool on a Saturday or Sunday between 2:30-3:30 pm. Let an expert help you save your plants.

The Orchid Show: Singapore runs until 28th of April. For select programming, membership, children’s activities and more CLICK HERE.

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