The 25th annual Orchid Festival opened last weekend with a colourful explosion at Kew Gardens. This year the festival will celebrate the vibrant flowers and culture of Indonesia in the month-long display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
Island displays have been created to represent the over 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. The central display of the glasshouse is an erupting volcano, constructed out of orchids, bromeliads and other plants. It was inspired by the over 100 active volcanoes on the islands.
Around 7250 plants were used to construct this year's exhibition, over 5000 of those were orchids imported to Kew specifically for this occasion. Some of the Indonesian orchids include Bulbophyllum, Coelogyne, Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Paphiopedilum.
Read more about the orchid family here:
Further to the plants, watchful visitors can spot animals amongst the displays. Orangutans, rhinos, tigers and a few more animals from Indonesia can be observed during the exhibition.
We interviewed Henck Röling, Kew Gardens Florist and volunteer, who took us around the displays and talked about the challenges their creation brought. You can watch the interview on Youtube:
Kew Orchids Festival 2020 takes place 8 February-8 March. Entry is included in your Kew Gardens entrance but you need to book an Orchid timeslot in advance. Orchids After Hours events take place on 13, 14, 26, 27 February and 5, 6 March 2020, 6.30pm-10pm.