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Press release: Kew’s first Thai-inspired Orchids Festival

For four weeks, Kew Gardens will welcome visitors to its 23rd annual Orchids Festival with creative designs and unique experiences to appeal to all ages.

10 February – 11 March

The Princess of Wales Conservatory

  • First time Kew’s annual floral extravaganza has been inspired by Thailand
  • Thailand is home to 1,100 species of orchids
  • Programme of Lates includes traditional food and performances

This February, forget the winter blues and be immersed in a celebration of Thailand’s vibrant colours, culture, and magnificent plant life inside the tropical paradise of Kew Gardens’ Princess of Wales Conservatory. For four weeks, Kew Gardens will welcome visitors to its 23rd annual Orchids Festival with creative designs and unique experiences to appeal to all ages.

Colourful floral displays will welcome visitors as they enter the tropical glasshouse. A bright Vanda tunnel bedecked with orchid flowers of all colours and three arches delicately covered with hanging orchid bouquets and beautifully handcrafted floating Thai umbrellas will lead to the exquisite Bang Pa-In inspired orchid palace. A rice paddy and typical bucolic scene will sit alongside the flora extravaganza, with a special Thai cart on loan from Thailand’s embassy in London.

Thailand is home to 1,100 species of orchids. Botanists have been naming and describing orchids for more than 250 years and Kew is a world leader in this field.  Last year alone 600 new species were discovered including three from Thailand. Many orchids have important medicinal properties as well as being revered globally for their delicate beauty. 

Nick Johnson, Public Glasshouse Manager, RBG Kew says, “I’m so excited to be creating this year’s Thai inspired Orchids festival which I think is going to be rare and beautiful. It will immerse visitors in the sights, senses and sounds of Thailand’s tranquil and unique culture, creating an explosion of colourful beauty. We hope this journey will highlight the significance of plants in all walks of life, from the traditional and spiritual to the cultural and religious, all the while showing the importance of plant diversity and Kew’s work to protect, conserve and study plants.”

As well as the flower displays, Kew will put on a programme of evening events, with traditional dance performances, Thai cooking tips, Kew orchid expert talks, cocktail making and spa treatments. Visitors will also be able to try different flavours of Thai cuisine.

This year’s festival is hosted in partnership with Thailand’s UK Embassy and partners. Entrance to the festival will be included with entry to the Gardens.



For press enquiries please contact the Press Office:  020 8332 5607 / 

Notes to editors: More about the Princess of Wales Conservatory -

‘Orchids Lates’ at Kew Gardens will be held on 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd February / 1st and 2nd March

6.00pm – 9.30pm (last entry 9pm).  Information on where to purchase tickets will be posted on


The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst, attract over 1.5 million visits every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew receives approximately just under half of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.