MARIE SELBY BOTANICAL GARDENS
The 2019 iteration of the annual Orchid Show at Selby Gardens opens Oct. 12 as “The Orchid Show: Blossoms of Asia,” presented by Better-Gro.
The exhibition which explores the variety and beauty of orchids found throughout Asia will run from Oct. 12 through Dec. 1
The show will highlight the orchids of Asia set within Asian-inspired landscape design. This will not only afford an opportunity to feature different orchid species, but also enable an examination of the cultural significance of orchids, as manifest in Asian art, philosophy and religion.
Throughout Asia, the orchid is one of four plants, including the plum blossom, bamboo, and chrysanthemum known as the “Four Gentlemen.” Each plant signifies one of the four seasons and is associated with certain desirable human traits.
Blossoms of Asia will combine a display of living orchids in the Tropical Conservatory with an exhibition of orchid treasures from Selby’s bibliographic and preserved collections in the Museum of Botany and the Arts.
The orchids in the Tropical Conservatory will include Asian specimens from Selby Gardens’ living plant collection. The display will reference traditional Japanese garden design and horticultural practices, including ikebana, the art of flower arranging; and bonsai, the creation of miniaturized trees, in order to evoke a sense of Asia in the heart of Sarasota.
Inside the Museum of Botany and the Arts, information on Selby’s Asian orchid collection, accompanied by a selection of Asian orchid spirit and herbarium specimens will be on display. The north gallery will feature rare botanical books and prints from the Selby Research Library, coupled with ink paintings and watercolors generously lent by the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. The mix of works from Europe and Asia will enable comparisons between different styles of illustration, some representational and scientific, others decorative and symbolic.
Several exhibition-themed events and programs will accompany the show, which runs through Thanksgiving weekend.