If your February 2020 agenda is looking a little bleak, Kew’s 25th annual Orchid Festival is a sure-fire way to brighten it up. This year, the festival is themed around Indonesia, comprising of spectacularly colourful displays celebrating the country’s awe-inspiring wildlife and plant diversity, which includes an incredible 4,000 species of orchid…
Visitors will peruse through the Princess of Wales Conservatory, discovering an immersive, orchid-esque paradise, enriching all the senses. Each orchid display will constitute a different outlook of Indoesian culture, demonstrating the sheer variety of botanical beauty and wildlife the Aisan country has to offer.
From life-size animals adorned with tropical flowers, to an erupting volcano intricately constructed with orchids – a nod to Indonesia’s 100-plus active volcanoes – and an extraordinary archway formed of hundreds of carnivorous pitcher plants, the festival promises to inspire and enthrall. As well as these exciting displays, visitors can also participate in Kew’s Indonesian-influenced programme of events (after hours, and throughout half term) which includes music, dance, food, and captivating discussions with some of Kew’s leading orchid experts.
What’s more, the festival will also demonstrate Kew’s innovative work with its Indonesian counterparts to explore, support and protect the country’s wildlife and landscape. It was in fact only last year that Kew scientist, André Schuiteman discovered the Bulbophyllum adolinae, a never-before-seen orchid founded in Indonesia.
The Ambassador of Indonesia to the UK, H. E. Rizal Sukma, said: ‘Through the Orchid festival, I hope that visitors can have a wonderful journey experiencing the magnificent Indonesia. As well as its flora, Indonesia is rich in biodiversity, wildlife, nature and culture which will be beautifully displayed in this festival.’
Conservatories manager at Kew, Scott Taylor said: ‘Indonesia encompasses a myriad of cultures and societies across its thousands of islands, making it an utterly unique theme for this year’s orchid festival. The Princess of Wales Conservatory will be transformed by awe-inspiring orchid displays that will showcase the country’s biodiversity and Kew’s work in the country to help protect, conserve and study its plants.’
8 February – 8 March 2020. Standard tickets start from £12.50 when you book online; this includes entry to the festival as well as the gardens, but visitors must book a timed slot online in advance. kew.org Orchids After Hours will run on 13, 14, 26, 27 February and 5, 6 March 2020, 6.30pm – 10pm. Tickets must be bought online; kew.org.