The Brazilian Carnival season is nearly over at Kew Gardens. It’s the last weekend to see The Orchids Festival 2016. The Princess of Wales Conservatory is filled with a mass of tropical colour from orchids, bromeliads, and other tropical plants that inhabit the varied landscapes of Brazil. Orchids tend to grow slowly in the trees rather than competing with other plants on the ground. The germination to flowering period of some orchids can take up to seven years.
It’s a feast for the senses as I wander through a tunnel of lush green tropical foliage and delicately suspended orchids. Glowing, hanging droplets covered in Tillandsia hang among Brazilian cacti. Above the Brazilian plant and flower colour scene, the conservatory is enveloped with oncidium and bromeliads contained in two enormous “Rainforest Tree” structures. The journey takes me from the Amazon rainforest to the desert of northeastern Brazil.
Elisa Biondi, Display Horticulturalist, who worked on this year’s display, said in a statement: “This year the pond display will be a true explosion of colour – a real carnival. With 2016 being the year of Brazil, we wanted to capture the essence of this incredible country, taking visitors on a journey through its biomes while showing the range of conservation and science work that Kew is doing with South America.”
At the Orchids Festival you can also discover the work of adventurous Victorian plant hunters who journeyed to Brazil to discover and study the extraordinary array of tropical plants of South America. The Orchids Festival 2016 is on until Sunday, March 6th, at the Princess of Wales Conservatory (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, admission included with entry to the Gardens).
For more information visit: www.Kew.org