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Kew's orchid exhibition brings tropical warmth and colour to the spring

Imogen Dent
15 October 2013
Blog team: 
One of the highlights at Kew Gardens is the annual exhibition of orchids and tropical flowers.

The official title varies from year to year, but if you say to someone who works here, “When is the big orchid display this year?”, they’ll probably know what you mean! It’s an event we all look forward to.

So why not plan a group visit between 8 February and 9 March 2014, to brighten your winter with this blast of tropical splendour?

Tropical warmth and colour at Kew Gardens

The exhibition comes around just at that point in the year when we're getting a bit tired of cloudy skies and starting to watch out for the early crocuses. Suddenly here at Kew the Princess of Wales Conservatory is transformed into a feast for the eyes, with flower-clad pillars and arches of brilliant tropical colour. Next year once again the orchids will be back, and I’ve just seen some of the details for the planned displays.

One of the dramatic flower pillars in the 2012 orchid exhibition

The orchid-hunters

The theme for next year’s festival is going to be great plant hunters of the past and present day. So, as well as the colourful displays and showcasing of rare species, there’ll be a chance to learn more both about the adventures of 19th century plant hunters and the dangers they faced, and about the work of modern Kew botanists studying rare and endangered orchids around the world. Come for the amazing spectacle of colour, and the tropical heat, and you’ll leave with a bit of history as well!

Orchids for your home

Since our shop at Victoria Plaza will be selling an extensive orchid range all through the festival, you can even buy these lovely plants for your home as well. Maybe look for something a bit more unusual or treat yourself to an exciting new cultivar, for some tropical colour for this coming year?

Walking through archways hung with tropical colour in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

Behind the scenes - learn more about Kew’s orchids

For a fascinating extra, why not book one of our Tropical Nursery tours? A knowledgeable guide from Kew Gardens’ award-winning team will take your group into areas not usually open to the public to see how our huge collections of orchids are managed, and learn more about the care and conservation of these glorious tropical plants. 

Tours must be booked in advance and are available on Wednesdays from 12 February through 5 March 2014. For more details, email or call 020 8332 5604.

- Imogen - 


26 October 2013
I belong to the Cardiff and Vale orchid society. In the past we have hired a coach to visit the orchids but the prices have risen dramatically to make it un-affordable. We are looking for people or societies who would be interested in sharing a coach with us, we are short on numbers. This is an amazing display at Kew and worth a visit.
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