GWA at NYBG’s Orchid Show

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By Kirk Brown

Reasons to join GWA are spread like a blanket of snow across the United States in January and February! Connect meetings are happening all over the country at a variety of venues and international events.

On Thursday February 16, 2017 the sun wasn’t out but the temperature was pushing into the middle 50’s as Sara and I drove across the George Washington Bridge to attend the press preview of “The Orchid Show: Thailand” at the New York Botanical Garden. This year’s theme was dedicated to the kaleidoscopic array of species native to and cultivated in Thailand.

Members of GWA were invited to attend under the banner of a Region I Connect Meeting. Welcoming us to the show was Karen Daubmann, Associate Vice President of Exhibitions and Public Engagement. She introduced the show’s designer, Christian Primeau, who oversees the tropical and subtropical plant collections in the conservatory’s eleven cultural environments. Next we heard from GWA member Marc Hachadourian, manager and curator for the orchid collection and the living plants from around the world housed in the Nolen Greenhouses. Marc explained that Thailand was selected as this year’s theme because of the combination of “iconic cultural images” from the area and the spectacular dendrobium and vanda orchid hybrids developed there in recent years.

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The steeply-pitched gable end of a classic Thai garden pavilion was the centerpiece in the grandest of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory’s many glass enclosed rooms.

Then we roamed through the four display areas. It was jungle-hot and humid in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Spirit houses were propped with food and small gifts. Elephants, dripping with moss and colorful arrangements of orchids, were trumpeting in crafted landscapes. Authentic Thai lanterns hung from overhead branches, adding soft illumination to the floor displays. A steeply pitched Thai pavilion covered with hundreds of orchids created a centerpiece in the large conservatory.

Alexa Haller, GWA Membership Director, was on hand to provide staffing and member-benefit resources. New GWA member Matt McMillan made his first meeting appearance under the mentoring of Jan Johnson. Also seen in the crowd of more than thirty representatives from the credentialed press were author Judy Glattstein and photographer Carlo Balistrieri.

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Riotous color and tropical textures wowed the crowds touring the press preview at NYBG’s 15th annual orchid extravaganza.

GWA Connect meetings are designed to increase networking between members and sponsors as well as to provide awareness of the association and its goals. At a lunch included with the day’s program, all attendees gathered in the Pine Tree Cafe to update each other on industry events and personal news.

This fifteenth edition of “The Orchid Show: Thailand” at the New York Botanical Garden runs from February 18 to April 9, 2017. For more information and press access please contact Nick Leshi, Director of Public Relations (718.817.8658, or Garrett Barziloski Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator (718.817.8634,

Meet the Author

Kirk Brown

Kirk R. Brown, GWA President is a lecturer, author, designer, and garden tourist along with his wife Sara.

Author: GardenComm

GardenComm, formerly known as GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GardenComm members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GardenComm members.

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