February is a month that makes me want to wander. With the holidays over, I’ve lost affection for the brown-grey of winter, and I don’t wish for a fresh, sparkling blanket of snow so much as I’d like to see the first signs of life emerging. And even though this February’s brought a lot more warmth than we’re used to, I still feel that need to escape.
I was excited, then, to step in the Chicago Botanic Garden‘s beautiful greenhouses to see what was in store for this year’s Orchid Show. Each year the garden acquires over 10,000 varieties of the notoriously persnickety plants for a display that fills the halls, galleries and greenhouses of the garden’s Regenstein Center with color, fragrance and life. This year’s theme is “Orchids In Vogue” and covered the orchid’s influence in everything from fashion to music, television and architecture. Visitors really get a chance to delve into the ways that the orchid has been woven into our culture, and explore every part of the plant’s history and place in society.
Whether you’ve been to previous shows or not, you’re sure to see something new and interesting- from a rare phalaenopsis V3 white orchid to the strange and beautiful Darwin’s orchid with its spindly arms. It’s an absolute rainbow of color with all the glitter and glamour of a fashion show in the beautiful color combinations, shapes and scents of these precious flowers. And if, while there, you’re inspired to delve deeper into the mysterious orchid, the garden also offers orchid classes– both on care of the plants for beginners and on capturing the beauty of the plants in watercolor or with your camera.
Enjoy a glimpse of these gorgeous flowers in our gallery below, and then plan a mini-escape to Glencoe to take in the sights and scents. You can buy tickets for The Orchid Show by following this link. The Chicago Botanic Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, IL and is accessible by car (with parking fees for nonmembers) as well as by train or El.
All photos by Marielle Shaw.