Tropical paradise at Kew Gardens

banner-orchids_4Visitors to the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens will have the opportunity to chase away the winter blues at the 22nd Orchids festival next February with an Indian celebration of vibrant colours inside this tropical paradise.

This is the first themed orchid festival around India and as well as the usual visual displays, sounds of India will surround the senses as visitors enter the steamy glasshouse. From the tones of milkmen’s bicycle bells and newspaper boys to the playful voices of school children, temple bells and muezzin calls, the Indian street will be brought to life.

side-je_kew_4735A giant Indian flag will be created from Vanda, Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Paphiopedilum orchids, setting a backdrop against which visitors can admire giant animal figures including an elephant, peacock and tiger.

Phalaenopsis drops will hang delicately from the ceiling, while a beautifully embellished traditional Indian marriage swing sways amongst the Vandas, with sari material adding an extra splash of colour. A pond display explodes with intense hues in a larger than life floral arrangement marrying together tradition and modern culture.

Elisa Biondi, Princess of Wales Conservatory supervisor, RBG Kew, explains that the 2017 Orchids festival is going to be something really special and different: “It will immerse visitors in the sights, senses and sounds of India’s exotic and vibrant culture creating an explosion of unique and colourful beauty,” she says.

The festival will highlight the significance of plants in all walks of life, from the spiritual and medicinal to the textiles and cuisine, all the while showing the importance of plant diversity and Kew’s work to protect, conserve and study plants.

During the festival there is the opportunity for tours and hands-on sessions as well as numerous activities during half-term.

The 2017 festival runs from the 4th February until the 5th March. There are also a number of Kew Late nights during the festival. For tickets and information please link via http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/orchids\

Photo credits: ©RBG, Kew

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