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Preparing for the Tropical Extravaganza inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory

Tropical Extravaganza

7 February to 8 March 2015

Colourful for a Reason

Orchids use extraordinary means to tempt, exploit and attract their pollinators: Colour, along with shape and smell, plays a vital role in ensuring their survival, making them one of the most successful and diverse plant families on Earth. Visitors will discover the diverse range of colour orchids and tropical plants use to entice insects, birds and other animals. The extraordinary use of colour is all by design, and dictated by the discerning pollinator they need to attract. 

Visitors will discover that orchids are not particular colours or shapes by accident:  it is all by design, and dictated by the discerning pollinator they need to attract. 

Tickets will be available to book soon.


What to expect at Orchids 2015

The Displays
The story of how colourful flowers evolved and their role in pollination will be brought to life by vibrant horticultural displays in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.


Hidden Colours
Spotlight ultraviolet lighting in the Princess of Wales Film Room will reveal the hidden marks on some species designed to trick approaching insects into thinking they are encountering a different plant altogether.


Lates: 19, 26 February and 5 March 2015
The Princess of Wales Conservatory will reopen after dark for a series of ‘lates’ during the festival. The three evenings will feature a cocktail bar, botanical talks, music and crafts in the beautiful surroundings of the glasshouse, lit-up after the rest of the Gardens have closed to the public.


Tours and hands-on events

  • On Tuesdays, orchid researchers and specialists will share their knowledge during Spoonful of Science workshops from 2 to 2.30pm
  • On Thursdays, join an Orchid Nursery Tour to see how some of the rarer species are nurtured, grown, and cared for (£5 for the 1.30pm tour; £15 for 2.30pm tour which includes a hands-on staff potting demonstration at the end)
  • On weekends, enjoy lively and thought-provoking discussions by the horticulture and science teams during School of Thought talks in the School of Horticulture (adjacent to the Princess of Wales Conservatory). 
  • Behind-the-scenes tours of the Tropical Nursery will take place on Saturdays at 1.30pm, 2pm & 2.30pm (places cost £5)
  • During half-term face painting and craft activities will take place for children

Booking details for all events coming soon.