16 February 2017 By Tash Ellens
At the beginning of February, we were invited to an exclusive evening at Kew Garden's 22nd Orchid Festival. We followed the illuminated path into The Princess of Wales conservatory which was full of exotic orchids used to create giant floral displays, decorative rickshaws and animals shaped from beautiful tropical foliage. The event is a vibrant splash of colours and a true celebration of Indian culture.
There were over 12,500 orchids on display, with several dating back to the 1770's and 197 species listed on the IUCN 'Red List'. The display takes huge dedication and commitment from many of the team at Kew, it also involved hard work from volunteers and donations including McBean's orchids, who donated large cymbidiums which we saw in the Northern Atrium of the conservatory.
We perused the display whilst savouring Indian-inspired canapés and enjoying company from the horticultural industry. Our favourite feature had to be the peacock - also known as the Indian peafowl - it's impressive size and detailing was enhanced by the use of orchids and tropical foliage.
This annual festival runs from 4th February to the 5th March and offers a variety of activities and sessions to get involved with. You will learn about beautiful orchid species grown across India, experience Indian-inspired cuisine in the Orangery restaurant and celebrate cultural traditions. We recommend you visit before it finishes, see more details at Kew's website.