Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I recently spent an afternoon at the New York Botanical Garden experiencing the special exhibit: "The Orchid Show: Cuba in Flower".  NYBG is a nice place to visit anytime but the annual Orchid Show is always on my calendar. At the close of a particularly harsh winter it is a particularly treasured event.

As you approach the magnificent Haupt Conservatory, with all its gleaming glass, you know you're about to step into an altered reality.  As you enter you are immediately smacked in the face with slightly moist warm air and then you get your first tease of the show you will eventually stumble into.  At once you are welcomed by a tranquil pond filled with architectural details bathed in sunlight and bursting with color.  

At once I was hit with a craving for daiquiris, tostones and Musica Mambo!  I don't know why I hadn't thought to make a corresponding playlist for my iPod.

"Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.
luther burbank

When you leave the first area you have to walk though the permanent exhibits as you make your way to the special exhibition.  This is normally a lovely walk, full of rich greenery and dotted with flowers, but on this visit it goes unnoticed.  There are throngs of visitors all being drawn to the orchids like zombies in a B movie.  

After you walk though the Dessert Region with all it's sparse cacti and succulents you begin to enter the fantastic.  The last of the permanent exhibits is a 15 foot hight white gardenia in full blossom.  The perfume is unmistakable from twenty feet away.  

As you open the four-door passageway all you see are orchids.  Color is everywhere.  So many orchids you feel like Dorothy in the Poppy Patch.  It is immediately intoxicating.  This is only the the beginning.  

Some of the orchids appear to have faces.  Others look like insects.  Still others merely look angelic.

As you leave this exhibition hall you enter another passageway only this one is entirely orchids.  There are some green plants and palms evocative of Cuba which are used as props.

When you leave the exhibit you have completed a full loop and spill back out to the entrance lobby where you began your journey.  There are benches so you can sit and stare and process what you've experienced before being thrust back to the real world outside.

The show is running through April 11, 2010.  I strongly urge you to visit.  The adult admission is $20.00.  There is a great cafeteria down the path from the Conservatory.  Soon the Spring flowers will be in bloom so you can explore the grounds.  

Visit: for full information

*please note all photographs are taken by me, remain my sole property and may only be used with advance permission and proper credit.


  1. Absolutely beautiful!!

  2. Cheryl DeLaVallierreMarch 10, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Made me feel like I was there an have now saved myself $20. :))) Thank you for snapping the pictures, you are right, some do look like they have faces and others insects. I think that is do in part to your expert camera abilities. Fabulous. Thanks for sharing, as always!!

  3. Man oh man are you ever doing a great job.You've actually created an environment.

  4. My daughter Meredith and I plan to visit when we go to the Rose Hill campus of Fordham next week.