The New York Botanical Garden brings back "The Orchid Show," open through May 1.
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Overhead plumes of orchids at The Orchid Show-Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope
Credit: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

An early sign that spring is on the way: The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) has launched its famous orchid exhibit, titled "The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham's Kaleidoscope" for its 19th year. Officially opened on Feb. 26, the colorful show runs through May 1.

The creations from floral designer Jeff Leatham — best known for his work at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center, and the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, as well as his work with celebrity clients Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Cher, Oprah Winfrey, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama — were originally scheduled for the 2020 show, but closed down as the pandemic set in. So Leatham has reinvented and redesigned the exhibition, brightening up every room of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a kaleidoscope with towers of orange, yellow, and green, as well as fields of white and hanging plumes of purple. He also added a tunnel of lights to further embellish the floral exhibition.

Orchid towers surround a kaleidoscopic installation
Credit: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden
Jeff Leatham's mirrored installation reflects the orchids nearby
Credit: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden
A kaleidoscopic tunnel of lights at The Orchid Show, Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope
Credit: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

"I am thrilled to bring Kaleidoscope back to The New York Botanical Garden in 2022 — much like when you look into a kaleidoscope, the view is never the same," Leatham, who worked with the NYBG's senior curator of orchids Marc Hachadourian on the displays, said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. "My reinvention of Kaleidoscope will be totally different installations than two years ago. Every turn will display a new vision, while maintaining the thematic element of every gallery focusing on a different color experience. With this design, visitors will appreciate the beauty of orchids and see NYBG's Conservatory in exciting new ways."

The display is open for viewing during the Bronx garden's daytime hours — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, plus a special Monday opening on Apr. 18 — for an admission price of $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 2 through 12. NYBG is also offering Orchid Evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. on Mar. 26 and Apr. 2, 9, 16, 22, and 23 for guests 21 and over for $39 per person. The special night events will include music from O'Neal and Dwayne Beach and five choreographed works featuring New York City dancers, presented by Princess Lockerooo and Harold O'Neal, as well as food for purchase from Bronx Night Market and a cash bar with seasonal drinks.

Undulating fields of white orchids at The Orchid Show-Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope
Credit: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

For those who want to further their orchid education, the Conservatory Greenschoool offers orchid care demos on weekends at 1 and 2:30 p.m., orchid basics Q&As in the NYBG Shop on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m, a virtual orchid flowers in watercolor class on Mar. 6, and an in-person orchids for beginners class on Mar. 12.

While much of the garden is outdoors, to ensure guests safety, visitors ages 5 and older need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to access indoor spaces, including the shop and dining venues — and are required to wear face coverings in those areas.

The Orchid Show is just one of the offerings at the 250-acre garden — the largest in any U.S. city — that has been a New York City mainstay since 1891.