NYBG Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc
Photographs of this year's New York Botanical Garden orchid show, created by famous French vertical garden designer Patrick Blanc. Amazing colors in the middle of the dreary winter!
The New York Botanical Garden's 10th annual orchid show is designed by the famous vertical garden designer Patrick Blanc. The show is open from March 3 to April 22, 2012 and during the month of March, nycgo.com is offering a two-for-one ticket deal to the show.
We've put together some photographs from the press preview/member day on Friday, March 2, 2012.
Here, the orchid show opens with an 8' x 16' wall planted with Psychopsis 'Kalihi' or butterfly orchid, ferns, and other foliage.
The orchid show's designer, Patrick Blanc, stands with Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections at the New York Botanical Garden.
The centerpiece of the orchid show is a 13'-x-13' cube of orchids that Forrest describes as being a nod to the experience of suddenly coming across one of Blanc's walls in the middle of an urban environment.
Blanc refers to the cube as a "cave," and described his influences as nature itself—he sees the cube as a man-made version of caves in Borneo or Malaysia, where orchids grow on vertical walls naturally.
The show's preview was packed with NYBG members and reporters and no one could resist taking photographs of the orchids in full bloom.
Inside the cube are images and drawings of Blanc's work around the world.
Orchids are everywhere—not just on vertical gardens, but also on trees and on the ground, including these cane orchids (Dendrobium).
Forrest said that when the New York Botanical Garden first asked Blanc to design the orchid show, he said, "Will the orchids need to be in flower?" Blanc's emphasis on texture and foliage is shown on all of his walls at the orchid show, with many different types of tropical plants mixed in with the orchids.
An archway with two sides of orchid and tropical plant-covered walls serves as the doorway between the room with the cube and the last room of the exhibit, which has three living walls designed by Blanc.
Flowers are not traditionally the focal point of Blanc's work, though this is actually the second vertical garden he has designed with orchids; the first was in Taipei, Taiwan.
Blanc, in a talk that he gave later in the afternoon, explained that he has been reluctant to use orchids for more permanent exhibits, because their life cycle includes periods of dormancy, creating brown patches in a wall. However, for temporary exhibits like this one, he can use his vertical gardens to showcase flowering species, like orchids.
Blanc emphasized that he seeks out plants that grow vertically or diagonally naturally and never uses plants that only grow horizontally. Here, a close-up of the orchids on the archway that jut out from a background of moss.
Blanc was inspired by the tropical plant collections of the New York Botanical Garden, as well as his own travels around the world, and he incorporated many non-orchid plants into his installations.
Underneath the orchids, you can see pink quill, or Tillandsia cyanea, a bromeliad, planted on the wall.
The mix of textures on this wall include Juncus effusus, the cascading plant on the far left, as well as pansy orchids (Miltonia and Miltoniopsis), which are named for Lord Fitzwilliam Milton, a 19th-century British orchid expert.
A close-up of the pansy orchids.
Lady orchids (Oncidium) in shades of yellow, orange, and rust decorate one of the three walls in the final room of the exhibit. Blanc tries to only work with plants that can grow without soil, such as Oncidium, which are epiphytes, plants that get their moisture and nutrients from the air.
Orchids are everywhere at the show, growing around poles and trees.
These dancing lady orchids are ready for their close-up. On the right are xOncidesa Gower Ramsey 'Hilo Dream.'
Here, classic white moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) grow underneath Showy Medinilla (Medinilla magnifica), the beautiful, dangling pink blossoms.
A close up of the moth orchids and the Showy Medinilla.
A closer look at some of the vines on the walls.
Phalaenopsis orchids in a variety of shades are planted throughout the exhibit.
Nun's cap orchids (Phaius) are so named because their flowers resemble a nun's veil. These were among the first Chinese orchids introduced to England. Unlike some other orchids, they grow in the ground, not on trees or walls.