The New York Botanical Garden. © / Angela Pham

The 2017 Orchid Dinner Brings The Splendor of Thailand To The Plaza

The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner is one of the most beautiful events in New York City’s social sphere, as the evening’s lush, grand-scale orchid arrangements and elegant decor accoutrements consistently enchant plant enthusiasts and design-lovers alike.

This year, in honor of NYBG’s forthcoming Orchid Show at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, 25 of New York’s best designers gathered to transform the ballroom at The Plaza Hotel to a magic wonderland, each of them creating a unique orchid centerpiece for the tables at the oft-photographed event. Among the GC favorites at this year’s dinner was a botanical table concept designed by Kapito Muller Interior involving jungle-themed Schumacher tablecloths, Christophere Spitzmiller vases, and a sprawling, dramatic peony- and rose-infused bouquet by Tom Borgese Floral Design. (All of the tables were magnificent, of course, but the details are too numerous to itemize here.)

Underwritten by Hearst, Veranda Magazine, BNY Mellon, and LOUIS XIII Cognac, the dinner’s function is dual purpose: the Orchid Dinner is a way to honor the beautiful botany that the garden has to offer, while also serving as a fundraiser for NYBG’s rare orchid research collection.

The New York Botanical Garden. © / Angela Pham

Among those in attendance at the February 8 event were Martha Stewart, Sigourney Weaver, and Hidemoto Mizuhara (President & CEO of Mitsubishi). Guests started the evening with bespoke cocktails served during a rare plant sale of unique and exceptional orchids, and a silent auction continued as guests continued on for dinner and dancing in the Grand Ballroom. Some of the world’s leading orchid specialists were on site to answer questions throughout the night, which raised over $650,000 for the garden’s orchid collection.

The Orchid Dinner is a way to honor the beautiful botany that the garden has to offer, while also serving as a fundraiser for NYBG’s rare orchid research collection.

As the New York Botanical Garden points out: “In spite of strict international regulations, many wild orchids today are under severe threat of extinction from over-collection and destruction of their native habitats. Since 1990, the Garden has been designated a Plant Rescue Center, charged with nurturing and bringing back to health orchids that have been collected illegally in the wild and seized at international borders through the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).”

The New York Botanical Garden. © / Angela Pham

The Orchid Show: Thailand at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will run from February 18 through April 9, 2017. Celebrating the unique history and horticulture of Thailand (a part of the world renown for its orchids), this year’s show promises to delight and inspire. Thailand is home to over 1,200 native orchid species, several of which grow on trees that line public streets across the nation. In the spirit of this botanical grandeur, the 15th-annual orchid show will feature a wide variety of wild and cultivated species, including a colorful array of vanda orchids in a classic Thai garden setting, which involves “the façade of a sala”, “a traditional pavilion used for shade and relaxation”, and “a signature sweeping gabled roofline festooned with exquisite orchids”. If the Orchid Dinner was any indication, this limited-time botanical display is not to be missed.


Tickets to the New York Botanical Garden’s 15th-Annual Orchid Show, THAILAND, are available here.

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