I’ve been so busy planning for my move into the apartment downstairs with Todd in May and getting back into my editing career that I haven’t had much time to blog lately. But I did squeeze in a trip to the Bronx Botanical Garden, located only one convenient mile from my house. Once there, I saw that the orchid show was in full swing. I had never visited the collection in the past; why pay $25 just to see orchids in the conservatory, I wondered, when the rest of the grounds offered plenty of flowers and exhibits for free? But with the sun shining, the temperature inching toward 80 degrees, and the poem The Orchid Flower by Sam Hamill in my mind, I decided to just pay up and find out what all of the fuss is about—and I don’t regret that decision one bit.
Walking into the conservatory feels like stepping into another world. At once, the sweet scent of dirt and leaves and growth fills your nostrils, and your eyes aren’t sure where to settle because every angle offers new colors and patterns and displays. There, a star-shaped yellow orchid with red streaks like a sunrise. And there, purple with blue veins like a bruise. The backdrop to the displays are rainforest plants, adding even more color and mystery: strange curled fruit and cocoa beans, multicolored ferns and hanging vines. Most of the orchids grow straight out of the trees or from hanging planters; this is how they grow in nature, according to the exhibit, and they suck water from the tree to survive. Most of the orchids displayed are hybrids, some saved from certain death in the wild, and all are breathtakingly beautiful.
Although the conservatory was filled with people, it didn’t feel too crowded. We all flowed through at a similar slow pace, and people glided smoothly around each other as we all stopped to take photos or examine a plant more closely. The rainforest collection led to another exhibit of desert plants, where we saw various cacti, a venus flytrap, and plants that had evolved to look like rocks as a form of camouflage. And the hanging orchid displays continued to amaze us, with Todd and I quickly agreeing that the show was more than worth its price. As we finally found our way out of the conservatory, I couldn’t help but think about my own little garden, and my excitement for its second year just continued to build.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the show. If you’re in the Bronx while this exhibit is going on, I’d highly recommend attending.