Despite my love for Brooklyn, many of you may not be aware that my roots are actually in the Bronx. My parents both grew up in the borough and lived there until moving to New Jersey a few years after they married.
Curiously, my parents rarely traveled back to their childhood homes, and with the exception of a few Yankees games over the years, the Bronx is still a mystery to me. So, I was happy to discover that a local florist organized a group trip to visit the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx’s little Italy on Arthur Avenue this week.
I boarded the coach bus at 8:45 in the morning and we arrived at the Garden about 45 minutes later. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore anything outside of the Orchid Show, but I from what I could see, the gardens are definitely worth exploring and I plan on returning for the upcoming Wild Medicine exhibit next month.
The Orchid Show was held near the entrance of the Garden in the Conservatory. As soon as I stepped into the room, I felt a wave of heat and humidity (curly haired girls, be forewarned) and I was transported to paradise. I wasn’t aware that orchids are a tropical plant (hence my hair frizzing out), but my outfit ended up being very theme appropriate.
There were so many different varieties of orchids in bold and subtle colors alike, but I think the lush greenery was the most impressive part of the show. After speaking with one of the gardeners, Rafael, I was surprised to learn that orchids are the source of vanilla beans, and while the vanilla orchid does bloom, it’s only for 12 hours! Not surprisingly, the NYBG’s vanilla orchid wasn’t in bloom on Wednesday, but Rafael captured a picture of the flower in full bloom (see below).
I’ve been disappointed with garden and flower shows at different venues in the past, but I truly enjoyed this year’s Orchid Show – loved it, in fact. If you live in the area, there are still two weeks left to view these tropical gems, and even a few Orchid Evening cocktail party tickets on Friday and Saturday night.