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Orchid Festival at Kew

February 4th 2015
By: Melanie Hollidge

If you are missing your garden or simply love orchids, planning a trip from Surrey to Kew to immerse yourself in the beautiful orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens could not be easier.
 
The ever popular orchid festival has returned allowing visitors to enjoy the explosion of colour and shape as well as discover why the plants evolved to become as vibrant and diverse.  Lara Jewitt, Head of the Tropical Nursery at Kew Gardens, explains: 'Orchids have some jaw-dropping attraction mechanisms. They can dress themselves up as female insects and lure male pollinators to the flower with stunning looks and smells. 'This tricks male insects into copulating with them and brings about pollination. It’s an incredibly cunning and bewitching facet of these incredible plants.'
 
While the colourful blooms captivate visitors, the story of pollination will be brought to life with a giant centrepiece crafted from the flowers.  Elisa Biondi, Display Horticulturalist, says: 'I’ve been thrilled to work on the designs for this year’s festival. 'Orchids are not beautiful for nothing and it’s incredibly exciting to be able to show visitors just how clever they are through our displays.'
 
Alluring Orchids at the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens, Kew Road, Kew runs from February 7 to March 8, open from 9.30am to 5.30pm; £15, £14 concessions, under 16s free; for tickets, visit www.kew.org .
 
A number of tours and hands-on events will also take place and behind the scenes tours of the tropical nursery for an additional £5 and take place on Saturdays.
 
The Princess of Wales Conservatory will reopen after dark for a series of late events.  The three evenings - February 19 and 26 and March 5 - will feature a cocktail bar, botanical talks, music and crafts, while the glasshouse is lit up after the rest of the gardens has closed to the public.