After the long, grey winter months we could all do with a taste of the tropical in our lives. Rio’s world-famous carnival might have been and gone for the year, but you can still experience an explosion of vibrant colour direct from Brazil. This year Kew Garden’s Orchid Festival takes inspiration from the colours and plants of Brazil, with the Princess of Wales Conservatory hosting a dazzling display of orchids that has taken two years of planning to achieve.
Filled with tropical plants from Brazil, the hothouse has been decked out with blooms grown across arches and into ‘fountain’ style plumes reminiscent of the dancers’ headdresses that are such an iconic part of the Rio Carnival. As well as the show-stopping displays you can see documentary films about the plants of Brazil, talks on Brazilian habitat and even learn for yourself the basics of orchid growing in one of Kew’s public classes.
“This year the pond display will be a true explosion of colour,” says Elisa Biondi, Display Horticulturalist at Kew, “a real carnival. We want to capture the essence of Brazil; take visitors on a journey through the biomes of this incredible country, while showing the range of conservation and science work that Kew is doing with South America.”
The Orchid Festival runs at Kew Gardens, London, until 6 March 2016 – although Kew will be continuing its programme of other Brazilian-themed exhibitions and events throughout the spring.