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Costa Rica at Kew Gardens’ Orchid Festival


Kew Gardens’ annual orchid festival has returned for the first time in two years with stunning horticultural displays and vibrant installations celebrating the varied landscape of Costa Rica.

Monkeys, sea turtles, toads, hummingbirds and the native quetzal bird – all hand-crafted from plants –decorate Kew’s glasshouse, bringing the country’s incredible biodiversity to life. The central display in the glasshouse pond, a highlight of the festival, will be filled with vibrant orange and yellow orchids to represent a rising sun. Costa Rica’s national flower, Guarianthe skinneri, will be also on display in its vibrant pink glory.

Home to 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity, Costa Rica is a role model for the conservation of biodiversity, with around a quarter of its land part of a protected forest or reserve – as recently recognised by the first Earthshot Prize.

Kew Gardens has many collaborative scientific projects located in Costa Rica, which include constructing a ‘family tree’ for all of its orchid species to learn how to better protect them, and documenting plants in La Amistad Biosphere Reserve – one of the richest places on Earth for plant diversity.

The Costa Rica inspired orchid festival can be viewed in the Princess of Wales conservatory until Sunday 6 March, and is included as part of ticket entry with timed slots.

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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