Kew Gardens’ iconic Orchid festival returns for 2023
Saturday 4 February – Sunday 5 March 2023 at the Princess of Wales Conservatory | Press preview Thursday 2 February from 10am, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Release date: 10 January 2023
- Inspired by the biodiversity of Cameroon
- Horticultural displays and living plant sculptures throughout the Princess of Wales Conservatory
- Curated photography exhibition from Bikoka Art Project
- Showcase of RBG Kew’s collaborative scientific projects in Cameroon
- £1 entry for recipients of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Legacy Benefits
- Supported by Cazenove Capital
Back bigger and better than ever for 2023, Kew Gardens’ much-loved Orchid festival returns to the Princess of Wales Conservatory from Saturday 4 February to Sunday 5 March 2023.
Taking inspiration from the beauty and biodiversity of Cameroon, Orchids 2023 is a vibrant celebration of colour to brighten up the winter months. It is the first time Kew’s Orchid festival will celebrate an African nation. Encompassing a series of stunning horticultural displays and living sculptures, the festival takes places across the ten different climatic zones which make up Kew’s state-of-the-art Princess of Wales Conservatory, replicating a series of fascinating global ecosystems under one roof.
Orchids 2023 will highlight the varied landscapes and native wildlife of Cameroon, with larger-than-life sculptures hand-crafted by a team of expert horticulturists from real plants and an amazing array of colourful orchids. Visitors can encounter towering giraffe sculptures and a troop of gorillas, alongside magnificent roaring lions and wallowing hippo arrangements, highlighting the incredible biodiversity and awe-inspiring wildlife of this West African nation.
Bikoka Art Project Exhibition
As part of the festival, art critic and historian Christine Eyene will curate a photography exhibition from the Bikoka Art Project, a new independent initiative dedicated to providing artistic and professional opportunities to the next generation of creatives in Lolodorf, Cameroon. Spanning the South End of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, capturing everyday scenes and spectacular landscapes from Lolodorf and beyond.
A taste of Cameroon
For the first time, Cameroonian chef Carine Ottou will be creating selection of brand-new, exclusive dishes for Kew’s cafes and restaurants. Carine’s early life was filled with the vibrancy of West African food, with the flavours and colours of Cameroon instilling a passion for fresh ingredients and spices which remain an essential element of her work today. Her guest menus across Kew’s eateries will capture the essence of Cameroonian cuisine, using an array of fresh ingredients and fantastic flavour combinations for visitors to enjoy.
Orchids After Hours will also return, on Friday 10, Saturday 11, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 February. Allowing exclusive access to the Princess of Wales Conservatory after dark, these curated evening events will feature live performances, cocktails and cookery demonstrations.
Solene Dequiret, Supervisor of the Princess of Wales Conservatory at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew says: "We always look forward to the return of the Orchid festival and this year we are excited to welcome visitors to enjoy a host of stunning displays inspired by the wonderful flora and fauna of Cameroon. The Orchid festival is always the perfect antidote to the chillier days of winter and provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase a selection of incredible plants which transform the Princess of Wales Conservatory, as well as allowing us to highlight the vital work of our science colleagues and partners working in Cameroon, alongside some incredible visual art.”
Mary-Anne Daly, Chief Executive, Cazenove Capital commented: “I have enjoyed many visits to Kew over the years and have long admired the remarkable biodiversity research undertaken by its scientists. Cazenove Capital is delighted to support their invaluable work through our sponsorship of Kew’s 27th Orchid Festival, as part of our commitment to protect nature and biodiversity. I look forward to seeing the fantastic display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory when the event opens in February.”
RBG Kew and Cameroon
RBG Kew works with partners across Cameroon on several vital scientific and research projects, including collaborating with the National Herbarium of Cameroon and others to identify Important Plant Areas (IPAs) in the country. This assessment offers a practical, rigorous means of identifying priority areas for site-based conservation and ensuring the long-term survival of Cameroon’s endemic, threatened and socio-economically important plant species. Recent fieldwork has focussed on Central, South and Littoral Regions and has been combined with collecting seed of threatened tree species.
Since 2004, scientists at Kew have also been working with partners to document the biodiversity of Cameroon’s Ebo Forest with a view to designating the area as Important Plant Areas. The Ebo Forest, one of the largest intact rainforests in Cameroon, is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including the only population of chimpanzee species that use twigs to fish out termites, and stones to crack open nuts. Researchers have also uncovered an incredible diversity of plant life in Ebo forest. By 2020, 14 plant species new-to-science have been discovered in Ebo (with more yet to be named) and over 75 threatened species of plants have been recorded there. Threatened species from this area include several plants known only from Ebo forest, such as Inversodicraea ebo, found on rocks within river rapids, and Kupeantha ebo, a small tree related to coffee.
At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, we’re dedicated to harnessing the power of plants and fungi to end the extinction crisis and secure a future for all life on Earth. With Kew’s world-leading research, global partnerships and beloved gardens – home to the world’s most diverse collections of plants and fungi – we’re using our trusted voice to shape policy and practice worldwide. As a charity we rely on the critical support of our visitors, not only to sustain the gardens, but to protect global plant and fungal biodiversity for the benefit of our planet and humanity.
For more information or images, please contact the Press Office at email@example.com / 0208 332 5607
Entry to Orchids is included when purchasing a ticket to Kew Gardens.
The best value tickets can be booked in advance via kew.org.
Visitors must book separate timed entry slots for Orchids 2023.
Tickets for Orchids After Hours must be booked in advance.
Notes to Editors
About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections and scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation, and sustainable development in the UK and around the globe. Kew’s scientists and partners lead the way in the fight against biodiversity loss and finding nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, aided by five key scientific priorities outlined in Kew’s Science Strategy 2021-2025. Kew Gardens is also a major international and top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of historic, landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden and ‘living laboratory’, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world and a safeguard against the disastrous effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. RBG Kew received approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needs to support RBG Kew’s vital scientific and educational work comes from donors, memberships and commercial activity including ticket sales. For tickets, please visit www.kew.org/kew-gardens/visit-kew-gardens/tickets. In the first six months since implementing a new accessibility scheme for those in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Legacy Benefits, Kew has welcomed over 18,000 visitors with £1 tickets.
About Cazenove Capital
Cazenove Capital is a long-established wealth manager with an absolute focus on preserving and growing our clients’ wealth. Sustainability is central to our core investment approach and we support clients who chose to go further and invest for a better future for people and planet. When we invest in search of long-term, sustainable returns, our processes are built to make sure we capture opportunities and minimise the risks of failing to adapt to our changing world. Everyone who invests with us benefits from this sustainable approach – and our data shows it translates into higher long-term returns. Our experience of navigating complex markets and adapting to change helps us balance risk and reward. The investment expertise we call upon as part of Schroders, a truly global asset manager, combined with our long-standing experience of advising clients, is what sets us apart. For two centuries we have helped clients look forward to a successful future. With each client, we plan for the long term and invest the time to gain a detailed understanding of their unique circumstances, goals and ambitions. The majority of our clients, and many of our own people, work with us for years, decades and even generations.