Key West comes east (and north)

Sick unto death of this winter? Who isn’t? The New York Botanical Garden has just the ticket. It’s the 12th annual orchid show, which transforms a bit of the Bronx into Key West.

The garden evoked in “The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary” – on view March 1-April 24 in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Garden’s Victorian-style glasshouse – is inspired by one designed for the Modernist home of Susan Henshaw Jones, president of the Museum of the City of New York, and her husband, Judge Richard K. Eaton. The appropriately named landscape architect Raymond Jungles won a Residential Design Award of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects for the Jones and Eaton garden in 2005. Francisca Coelho, the Garden’s Vivian and Edward Merrin vice president for glasshouses and exhibitions, has reimagined Jungles’ design for this year’s orchid show.

But if you’ve been to the Garden – which is like a mini vacation a short Metro North train ride away from WAG country – then you know that orchid love doesn’t end with the show itself. There will be an Orchid Poetry Walk, featuring the works of Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill, Richard Wilbur and David Yezzi; tropical rock and island music; orchid demonstrations and Q & As; and Orchid Evenings for a different kind of date night.

All that’s missing is Papa Hemingway himself.

For more on orchids, visit nybg.org. And for more on the Garden and its take on the extraordinary women who shaped America’s great gardens, look for WAG’s May “Flower Power” issue. – Georgette Gouveia

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