Tale of PSAs Come True: NYBG Orchid Show

Last week Diane asked me if I wanted to go to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Gardens, “Don’t worry I’ll drive, so you’ll be safe in the Bronx.”

Funny, coming from her – a native of the Bronx.

She started talking about the walls of Orchids created by the French designer Patrick Blanc and suddenly I remembered, “Hey, I wrote a PSA about this.”

Normally, when writing PSAs I liked to hunt for something that I found mildly interesting, or assumed my audience would find interesting. Often, things my audience would find interesting didn’t align with things I found interesting. Granted that may have something to do with the fact that I’m not a born New Yorker.

Friday, I found out, it has a LOT to do with the fact that I’m not a born New Yorker.

When I heard about the “Orchid Show” at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. I thought, “Ok, cool. Some flowers.”

What’s the big deal in that? At home each spring my mother’s tulips bloom, the mums and rose bushes blossom and flowers sprout up from the left and right of the house beneath the giant maple where my tree swing hangs, in front of the rock wall formed from the boulders unearthed as they excavated for the foundation.

So what, then, is the big deal about a bunch of flowers.

Then Friday came and for a cool $20 we walked into the Gardens and went straight for the conservatory. The second we stepped past the main entrance, I realized why anyone in their right mind would pay $20 to see a bunch of open space.

Sure, there’s Central Park, but it’s not the same. In the Botanical Gardens there are flower gardens and herb gardens, everywhere you can smell something beautiful. Sweet bright flowers, sage, rosemary, thyme, jasmine, lavender. For the first time since living in New York I took a big deep beautiful breath of fresh air and reveled in my green surroundings.

The conservatory we entered was warm like the tropics and there in front of us was the first wall of orchids.

 As we walked through the conservatory it was just that, walls upon walls of floating hanging orchids of all different kinds, colors and styles.
Dancing Orchids…Lady Slippers…Orchids that look like bells, orchids that look like animals, some of them look at you as if they have a personality all their own and as we walked through the conservatory ducking through hanging vines it felt oddly like Alice in Wonderland. I half expected the flowers to begin an impromptu sing and dance number, which I of course, would have been a part of.
Within the trees were small ceramic pots from which sprung the tiniest of orchids. It was quieting – thought not necessarily breathtaking. It was calming, serene. Being there made you forget about the city for a little while. The pace is slow, and the point of it all is to stop. Smell the flowers. Feel the sunshine. Park benches fill the gardens, because really, all you want to do once you’ve arrived is sit, and breathe, and read, and drink in the beauty around you.
So I decided, the next time I write a PSA, or hear a PSA that sounds just a little boring to me, it’s a good idea to ask Diane what it’s all about.
 In a city of towering buildings and honking taxis and masses of people running to and fro, it is these seemingly inconspicuous acts of beauty that make living in New York City something more than bearable.
Click here to check out the Flickr album for more photos.

One thought on “Tale of PSAs Come True: NYBG Orchid Show

  1. It has been gray, chilly and raining for the past two days were I live. Your articule brought me to that Orchid show and not only could I visualize them by your descriptions, I temporarily felt the warmth and slight humidity of that place. My feet are now getting cold again…. I think I will go read it again to hopefully get that same experience.
    Thanks for sharing.

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