Rafael Oritz Fabreg, Ambassador of Costa Rica says: “We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Orchid Festival – to both celebrate our Costa Rican heritage and our policies that encourage sustainable land use practices. Today, Costa Rica is one of the only countries in the world to reverse its deforestation, stop biodiversity loss and increase forest cover to over half of its total territory, whilst increasing economic growth. Ultimately, we want to build a better future for the planet – an ethos we are proud to share with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew”.
World-famous scientific organisation and top London visitor attraction Kew Gardens’ annual orchid festival has returned for its 26th year loud and proud. Celebrating all the different forms of life in Costa Rica, get ready for some colourful displays! There are over 5000 dazzling Costa Rican orchids on display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. In amongst the amazing orchids, every so often you might notice a monkey, sea turtles and hummingbirds, and some nocturnal forest animals which are all handcrafted from plants.
What must have taken Kew’s horticulturalists weeks to create really brightened up our mood. We felt like we had set foot into a tropical paradise. All the vibrantly coloured orchids, tropical plants, floral smells and sounds of water falling lit up our senses. We were bedazzled by the therapeutic beauty of nature. There were arches, columns and various other displays festooned with orchids and bromeliads, indistinguishable from the atmosphere and experience of being at a festival. That is perhaps why it is called the Orchid Festival.
The central display in the glasshouse pond was the highlight of the festival and was filled with dazzling Costa Rican orchids and bromeliads. Arranged with metal spikes, representing sunrays, the display was almost spiritual and wonderous. Walking through the conservatory, surrounded by the beauty and diversity of the orchids and other flora, enjoying the subtle scents, it was not impossible to imagine ourselves being in the Costa Rican rainforest.
RBG Kew is a global leader in plant science and this year’s festival showcases its work helping to identify, protect and promote the inspiring biodiversity of Costa Rica. With around a quarter of its land, part of a protected forest or reserve, Costa Rica is setting an example for the rest of the world by encouraging sustainable land use practices. Kew’s focus on Costa Rica for Orchids 2022 highlights the country’s unique position as a biodiversity hotspot, as recently recognised as such and awarded the inaugural Protect and Restore Nature Earth-shot Prize.
If you have not been to Kew Gardens before we recommend you take a break from the virtual world and get some nature therapy!
Book your tickets here: https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/kew-orchid-festival
See Julia’s other review of the Nature Reserve Exhibition at Kew Gardens below:
Written by Julia Nelson who does marketing and operations for Abundant Art.