Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

up up and away

The theme of this year's Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden is vertical gardens. Vertical gardens are all the rage these days (in case you didn't know) and Patrick Blanc, designer of the show's vertical gardens, is the green-haired enfant terrible of the vertical garden movement.

I think vertical gardens are cool, although they're often poorly maintained and can look pretty bad pretty quickly. (I'd still like to try one of my very own.) They don't have to worry about that at the orchid show, since plants are rotated in and out of the displays the moment they are no longer perfect.

I was at the garden today to lecture on Enticing Epiphytes. Epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) are my favorite orchids, and seeing them displayed in vertical gardens was terrific. They were paired with other epiphytes (staghorn ferns, rhipsalis, hoyas), creating great swaths of color and texture. Vertically displayed epiphytes are glorious, growing upright, just as they would in nature but with more consistent grooming.

For those of you who haven't been to the NYBG Orchid Show, it's not too late! The show runs through 4/22.

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