New Phipps show An Ocean of Color offers orchids, bonsai trees, live fish, and more | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

New Phipps show An Ocean of Color offers orchids, bonsai trees, live fish, and more

click to enlarge Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: An Ocean of Color at the Phipps - PHOTO: PHIL JOHNSON II AND PAUL G. WIEGMAN
Photo: Phil Johnson II and Paul G. Wiegman
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: An Ocean of Color at the Phipps
Already sick of the cold weather? Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has a cure for the winter blues with their new exhibit.

Opening Jan. 15, Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: An Ocean of Color includes vibrant orchids, fruiting and flowering bonsai trees, and more. An Ocean of Color is the latest iteration of the annual show.

Abby Krick, the interactive marketing coordinator at Phipps, says that the tropical theme was chosen during the coldest months of the year to help people take a break from the chilliness.


“This year’s theme, An Ocean of Color, emphasizes a tropical environment with vibrant hues, aquatic-themed displays, and tropical plant life,” she says.

Previous Orchid and Tropical Bonsai shows include A Splash of Brilliance in 2021, and Eye Candy, a 2019 display that featured orchids and other plants fashioned into sugary treat-inspired designs.
click to enlarge Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: An Ocean of Color at the Phipps - PHOTO: PHIL JOHNSON II AND PAUL G. WIEGMAN
Photo: Phil Johnson II and Paul G. Wiegman
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: An Ocean of Color at the Phipps
This show, designed by Kevin Haughey and Jordyn Melino, differs from past years and will complement another upcoming exhibition. Krick says that, for this year’s theme, Phipps wanted something "highly tropical and aquatic" to complement the Tropical Forest Hawai’i Show, which will run concurrently with the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show starting on Feb. 19.

“In the past several years, we’ve increasingly focused on new themes for our Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show to lend a new perspective to this showcase of some of our favorite plants,” Krick said. “In 2020, for example, we used the theme ‘Out of This World’ to create displays inspired by outer space."

Another difference from previous shows is that for the first time, there will be live goldfish swimming in the Sunken Garden.


“These beautiful fish served as inspiration for this show’s theme and we wanted them to have their time to shine under our glasshouse,” Krick said.

Aside from live fish, there will also be “whimsical fish decor,” such as fish-shaped orchid planters and sculptures. A soothing soundtrack of flowing water will be playing throughout to set the mood, making this show a true tropical escape.

“Guests can expect a show full of diverse varieties of orchids and tropical bonsais that come from our own personal collections,” Krick said. “The orchid family has more than 28,000 currently accepted species, which means that there are endless possibilities in terms of variety, and every bonsai is unique thanks to the decades of careful artistic pruning it receives.”

Additionally, guests can check out the interactive displays at the Garden Railroad: Bridges and Tunnels show, which features miniature recreations of Western Pennsylvania scenes.

Tickets must be reserved in advance and face masks are required for guests ages 2 and up.

Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: An Ocean of Color. Continues through March 6. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. 1 Schenley Park,
Oakland. Included with admission. phipps.conservatory.org

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