Yesterday I caught a train to the New York Botanical Garden.
Why? Orchids! My editor at Gardenista had asked me to write a story about the new orchid show "Chandeliers" that opens tomorrow (find the story, orchids growing tips and photos here; warning, you may want to buy an orchid, afterwards), and I was lucky to have been part of a preview, before thousands of visitors arrive.
A great advantage of our new Harlem address is its proximity to the Harlem-125th Street Metro-North stop, making a trip to the Bronx as short as 20 minutes, door to door. From Brooklyn it took almost two hours, with a change from subway to train at Grand Central.
The short and simple ride was not without incident. Absorbed in an email I was writing on my phone I missed my stop, and had to backtrack, going sprawling on black ice on the platform in the process. I have very interesting knee-bruise.
But safely at the NYBG I was suddenly in a winter wonderland. No black slush, here, but lawns of white.
And inside the massively ornate Enid A. Haupt Conservatory the damp warmth made me pull off insulating layers, and instantly fogged up every one of my three camera lenses. Momentary panic. It took 10 minutes for them to de-fog.
It was an educating experience and I learned more than I expected (my own experience of orchids has been in the wild, with fynbos and grassland species, not tropicals).
The show is layed out interactively, with very well chosen information displayed. I came away able to ID the orchids on display without flashcards, and the new-found appreciation that some orchids are scented.
Phalaenopsis, the familiar moth orchids, above.
Dendrobiums - cane orchids.
The show opens tomorrow, and runs till April 19th.