Orchids of India – At Kew

Kew Gardens made several appearances here on the blog last year, it’s a stunning botanical resource just a few stops outside central London well worth the attention. Botanicals have been such an influential trend that continues to influence and I am not talking about just gardening. Whether its palm tree prints on wall paper or metal hanging planters doubling as pen pots the influence all comes from plant life.

When I found out about the annual Orchid festival at Kew I knew exactly who I was going to take, my mother the orchid grower of course. She was full of real time practical knowledge to share as we walked around. So after a couple of weeks of bad weather we headed there on a brisk but sunny Thursday afternoon.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory is 10 different computer controlled climate zones all under one roof and the perfect setting for the exotic orchids & culture of India to put on a show. Using both the natural lay of the greenhouse as well as giant floral displays we were introduced to the role orchids play and of course how beautiful they are.

I started in the cacti filled cool and dry entrance that is at both ends of the greenhouse ….

…. and moved in to a muggy rainforest environment, with orchids mixed in to the borders. Growing naturally along tree trunks, gracing the edges of water pools making you feel immersed in their natural habitat.

At key points on the route you discover huge floral sculptures, helping to tell the story of the roles Orchids have in medicine, worship and everyday life. The impact of their bright blooms was amazing and very well curated.

Orchids weren’t the only thing to admire and for someone like me who hadn’t been in that particular structure before, it’s technology and layout was also impressive. I had my camera out permanently on the walk round trying to get close ups of some of the fantastic structures of the plants.

The variety and abundance of Orchids on show was stunning, mirroring vibrant Asian colours, including some very rare varieties potted up behind glass. My favourite had to be the Adiantum Diaphanum ‘Filmy Maidenhair’ – funny name but fabulous deep colour like a deep blush.

On till the 5th March  and included in the price of a day admission ticket to the gardens. So whether you just love plants, or a designer wanting some green inspiration its well worth a visit. Also remember how important it is to support organisations that’s mission is to protect and sustain our wildlife.