I love orchids. I love the colours, shapes and sizes. I am amazed at how many types of orchids there are in the world including the exotics we find in PNG and in Asia – Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. The orchid or orchidaceae family of orchids is the largest family of flowering plants. Most probably the most adaptable flowering plant in the world in terms of colours, shapes and sizes. I say this from the many, many different kinds of orchids I’ve come across over the years.
I developed an interest in orchids from the Andre Miller gardening programme on the NBC in Port Moresby during the 1980s. The University of PNG botanical gardens should also have interesting and beautiful varieties of orchids. There is a great post on the orchids of Papua New Guinea you can read about at http://euraliapaine.blogspot.com
When I visited Kew Gardens I was not looking out for orchids specifically as there were lots to see. When I saw the exhibit I couldn’t believe my luck only because I was not expecting it. I always believed orchids were a tropical species of flowering plant. I really like the vanda orchids – the colours are amazing and so beautiful. There are other kinds too. There are so many but these are just a few samples of the great collection at Kew Gardens.
Charles Darwin’s book, “Fertilisation of Orchids” published in 1862, twenty years before his death, documented his keen interest in cross polination of orchids by insects. This should be an interesting publication to read for orchid lovers. There should be a copy available in any reputable library.
The popular annual Orchid Festival will be at Kew Gardens from 5 February – 6 March 6 . This will be the 11th Annual Festival and will be featuring ‘more than 250,000 orchids’ at the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
I reckon the 11th annual orchid festival would be a more than great reason for visiting Kew Gardens. The exhibition of more than a quarter of a million types of orchids should be a fitting feast for all orchid lovers.