Natural Heritage: 2023 Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden
The orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden is an annual rite of passage for many New Yorkers, and something I look forward to every single year. The 2023 orchid show is called Natural Heritage, and it has been designed by Lily Kwong. As NYBG’s website explains, the show is a “meditative and captivating design inspired by her (Kwong’s) ancestral connections to the natural world”.
The show started on February 18, 2023. I could not wait to see it, and made my way to the Bronx the day after it opened, and it was breathtaking despite what seemed like every single person in New York descending on NYBG for it. From the moment you step in, the show is a stunning display of thousands of orchids, including rare and exotic varieties, displayed in a way that amplifies the incredible diversity of orchid species found in different ecosystems. Lily Kwong’s curation is a testament to the importance of preserving natural habitats and the incredible diversity of orchid species found around the world.
The Natural Heritage exhibit is inspired by Chinese scroll paintings that fascinated Lily Kwong while growing up, and leads visitors on a journey through several distinct sections, each showcasing different orchid species and their natural habitats. Orchids were set within the diverse landscapes of Madagascar, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and other regions, each with their unique orchid species. The moss covered stones felt like the kind of mountains one would encounter out in the open, except these were covered with absolutely stunning orchids all over.
Each orchid was absolutely stunning on its own, as much as it was as part of the exhibit.
In addition to the orchid displays, the show also has talks and workshops, and plenty of opportunities to inform and educate visitors about orchids. This included the healing power of orchids in tradiitonal and folk medicinal practices in Asia. There were also tables with orchid experts that were available for visitor questions on the day that I visited.
There was also a Poetry Path inspired by the Orchid Pavilion Gathering, or the Lanting Gathering, which is one of the most famous events in Chinese literary history. There were poems tucked away in corners all over the orchid show along this Poetry Path.
There was also this walkway which reminded me of the Gates exhibit in Central Park many years ago.
Here is a short video compilation from the orchid show:
The Orchid Show is an annual event at the New York Botanical Garden, and this year’s Natural Heritage exhibit is a very thought-provoking display that makes for a must do if you can visit the NYBG before the show closes on April 23, 2023.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Orchid Show at NYBG:
Where is the annual Orchid Show in New York?
The annual orchid show is at the New York Botanical Garden every year, usually from February – April.
The Orchid Show “Natural Heritage” by Lily Kwong will take place at the New York Botanical Garden located at 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10458 from February 18 to April 23, 2023.
What is the 2023 Orchid Show “Natural Heritage” by Lily Kwong?
The 2023 Orchid Show “Natural Heritage” by Lily Kwong is an exhibition of thousands of orchids from around the world that has been inspired by Chinese landscapes, and curated to showcase the importance of preserving natural habitats and the diversity of orchid species found in different ecosystems.
What are the exhibit’s hours of operation?
The exhibit is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, with last entry at 5:30 pm. The exhibit is closed on Mondays, except for April 10. NYBG also offers Orchid Nights from 7 – 10pm on March 18 and 25, and April 1, 8, 15 and 22.
How can I purchase tickets for the NYBG Orchid Show?
Tickets can be purchased online through the New York Botanical Garden’s website or in person at the Garden’s box office. Tickets are required to enter the exhibit, and visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to ensure availability. They are no longer timed as I got tickets for the day this year and could choose when to visit.
Are there any special events or activities associated with the Orchid Show?
Yes, there are a variety of events and activities associated with the Orchid Show, including talks and workshops. Visitors can learn about the history and cultural significance of orchids and the conservation efforts being made to protect them, and talk to orchid experts.
Is the Orchid Show accessible for visitors with disabilities?
Yes, the exhibit is accessible for visitors with disabilities, including wheelchair access and accessible restrooms. NYBG has wheelchairs that are available to borrow on a first come first served basis. Detailed accessibility details are available on their website.
Is photography allowed in the exhibit?
Yes, photography is allowed in the exhibit for personal, non-commercial use. All NYBG policies for taking photographs must be followed.
How do I get to the New York Botanical Garden?
The New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx, New York. It is easily accessible by car, subway, and bus. Visitors can take the B, D, or 4 train to Bedford Park Boulevard Station, which is just a 20-minute walk from the Garden, or you can take the 2 train to Allerton Ave. station. You can also take a Metro North train to the Botanical Garden stop, which is a 20 minute ride from Grand Central. There are also several bus routes that stop near the Garden.
Are there any options for food and drink at the New York Botanical Garden?
Yes, there are several options for food and drink at the Garden, including the Hudson Garden Grill and the Pine Tree Café. Visitors can also bring their own food and have a picnic in designated areas. Reservations are strongly recommended for the Hudson Garden Grill, I have never been able to get a table without a reservation here.
Is there parking available at the New York Botanical Garden?
Yes, there is on-site parking available at the Garden for a fee.
Can I bring my pet to the New York Botanical Garden?
No, with the exception of service animals, pets are not allowed in the Garden.
Is there a dress code for visiting the New York Botanical Garden?
No, there is no formal dress code for visiting the Garden. Visitors are encouraged to dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather and for walking around the grounds.
How long does it take to view the Orchid Show?
The amount of time it takes to view the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden can vary depending on your pace and level of interest. I would plan 1-2 hours exploring the exhibit, though you can spend as much – or as little – time as you wish.
Is there a tram at the NYBG? Does it cost extra?
Yes, the New York Botanical Garden offers a tram tour that takes visitors around the 250-acre garden, providing an overview of the different landscapes and collections. The tram tour is a great way to get an overview of the Garden and its various collections, with the ability to hop on and off at various stops throughout the grounds. The cost of the tram tour is included in the All Garden Pass.