Orchids and Cherry Blossoms Dress Up The Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory ©Meryl Pearlstein
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You’d better hurry if you want to see the 19th annual Orchid Show at The Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden. The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope ends its colorful run on May 1.

The mirror ©Meryl Pearlstein

But now it’s even better than ever because you’re in time to see the daffodils, tulips and cherry blossoms blooming throughout the magnificent park.

Cherry blossoms at NYBG ©Meryl Pearlstein

This is a show that attracts visitors from all over the world thanks to its artistic and educational appeal. The NYBG’s gift shop continues the experience with books, gardening information, and a wide range of orchids for sale from “beginner” easy-to-grow varieties to more demanding “diva” types. (For non-flower items, you can also order online).

Learning about orchids ©Meryl Pearlstein

Jeff Leatham returns to the New York Botanical Garden after his Kaleidoscope show was cut short in 2020. As he notes, even if you caught part of the 2020 experience, the orchid extravaganza is different each time. Reflecting his many years of experience as artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and floral designer to the stars (think Oprah and the Dalai Lama), Kaleidoscope evinces Leatham’s evolving view of colors that twist and turn. Establishing the theme at the beginning of the exhibit, orchids reflect off a multi-dimensional mirrored sculpture creating a kaleidoscopic effect as you move around it.

Orchids above and below ©Meryl Pearlstein

Look up and down as you walk through the halls of orchids and the psychedelic tunnel – your journey is a non-stop burst of color. The arches and rooms in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are decorated with thousands of orchids, some dangling overhead, some forming dramatic towers, and others lined politely along the garden edges. Micro orchids, rare orchids, slipper orchids and species of all colors fill the glass building, with cherry blossoms visible outside.

Orchids and cherry blossoms ©Meryl Pearlstein

Returning this year as well, the NYBG’s after-dark program “Orchid Evenings” adds a special dimension to the delicate blooms indoors. Cocktails, stage performances by Princess Lockerooo and Harold O’Neal, and refreshments from the Bronx Night Market create a festive party from 7pm-10pm on April 26, 22 and 23. You must be 21 to attend the evening showings and a reservation to enter the Conservatory is required.

Hanging orchids ©Meryl Pearlstein

Plan your timing so you can explore the gardens outdoors by day, enjoy the orchids in their indoor setting as dusk falls, and then indulge in the outdoor fun that will have you smiling until late. You can also reserve an early-evening table at the Hudson Garden Grill on Saturdays (last reservation is at 5:30pm).

Purple exotics ©Meryl Pearlstein
Pink exotics ©Meryl Pearlstein

If you miss the show or wish to learn more about orchids, the Botanical Garden is offering an online class on May 11 that will teach you all about orchids. Register here.

Slipper orchids ©Meryl Pearlstein

The tunnel ©Meryl Pearlstein

Tickets can be purchased online for all orchid programs and for day entry to the garden.


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