Consistently recognized as a “blockbuster” winter flower show for its elaborate and kaleidoscopic displays of orchids, the New York Botanical Garden’s annual exhibition this season offers a new theme, design, and experience, all created by a new designer. The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern, which runs February 28 through April 12, takes visitors on a stroll through a contemporary Brazilian garden. It’s a can’t miss showcase for garden lovers, modern art enthusiasts, and those in need of a flower fix or one-day tropical getaway to brighten winter blues.
The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern in the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features thousands of brilliantly colored orchids in a contemporary Brazilian garden designed by award-winning Miami-based landscape architect Raymond Jungles. He drew on his years of learning from renowned Brazilian artist and landscape architect the late Roberto Burle Marx to bring the creation to life in the Botanical Garden’s glasshouse. The Orchid Show features a massive original work of art by Burle Marx and landscape design elements inspired by him. Rich complementary programs, including an opening weekend schedule highlighting Brazilian food and culture, are also on tap to make a visit to the Botanical Garden over the six weeks of the show an immersive orchid and Brazilian experience.
The Burle Marx mosaic (circa 1991) of 1,325 painted ceramic tiles measuring 17 feet high and 8 feet wide exhibited in the reflecting pool under the 90-foot dome of the Palms of the Americas Gallery—which houses the largest collection of New World palm trees under glass—is a showstopper. One of many of Burle Marx’s works in Raymond Jungles’ possession, it was previously displayed at the Sala Mendoza Gallery in Caracas, Venezuela.
The most concentrated display of orchids is in the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries. In a blending of abstract and living art, Raymond Jungles has designed dramatic orchid chandeliers, vibrantly color-blocked living orchid walls, epiphytic orchid sculptures, and signature Burle Marx cubist planters for placement with bromeliads, staghorn ferns, philodendrons, and other native Brazilian plants around pools, fountains, stone benches, and walkways.
Raymond Jungles’ design of The Orchid Show was inspired by Burle Marx who is credited as the father of modern landscape architecture in the Americas. This nod to Jungles’ mentor during the centennial year of his birth will likely also come to be thought of as the most ultra-modern exhibition to be presented in the Garden’s Victorian-era Conservatory.
Visitors are encouraged to make their first of what could easily evolve into a desire for several visits to this year’s Orchid Show during opening weekend, Saturday, February 28, and Sunday, March 1, to partake in a number of unique offerings, including Brazilian food tastings and live Brazilian guitar and samba dance performances.
Presentations of Paradise Preserved! Tales from a Rainforest Sanctuary, a visual journey to a 38,000-acre tropical mountain paradise in Brazil, brimming with endangered orchids and other rarely-seen plants, and one couple’s 30-year struggle to protect it from developers and logger, also take place during “Celebrate Brazil” weekend.
Only on Saturday, February 28, Raymond Jungles, designer of The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern, will give a lecture about his work and influences, particularly how his designs illustrate his dedication to the preservation of natural habitats and the use of indigenous species. Afterward, he will sign copies of his newly released book, Colors of Nature: Subtropical Gardens of Raymond Jungles, at Shop in the Garden.