Listen Live


The grey skies and cold wind can start to take it’s toll on anyone this time of year. We are READY for spring, ready for green lawns, sunshine, and bright flowers. Since we do have a few more weeks of winter (thanks Phil!) I decided to seek out spring myself.


I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Newfields’ newest exhibit, the Orchids. It is just as it sounds, orchids, orchids everywhere. The IMA opened up the exhibit earlier this month to bring spring to Hoosiers. The coolest part of this showcase is it’s through the entire museum and on the grounds of Newfields.


Orchids are gorgeous, but it’s interesting that the museum chose this particular flower.


“A lot of people think, ‘Orchids at an art museum? That doesn’t make sense.’ But this is something very unique. It gives people an opportunity to see that orchids have inspired art for hundreds, if not thousands of year,” explained Ian Wilhite, horticulturist and one of the organizers behind the showcase. 


Purple Orchid in Full Bloom on side Table.



Every gallery, floor, and seating area is accompanied by orchids. In the galleries, each floor has a dedicated space for the orchids. The arrangements of orchids pull inspiration from the surrounding artwork. The flowers vary from texture and style, bringing art and nature together.


  Poster of the story of Elder Greenhouse and the Orchids



Bonsai Tree with Orange Orchid



Moving outdoors, after a short 5 minute walk, I visited the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse. The greenhouse has three dedicated spaces. One area combines bonsais (my personal favorite) with Japanese orchids. The second space focuses on orchids of Asia which compliments the history of the plant while incorrporating modern styles. Other year-round tropical varities are mixed in with each area. The staff inside keep each plant freshly spritz with water and ready to answer any questions you have. I’m a newby, so having friendly staff around to ask questions allowed me to understand the beauty behind the flowers.   


Close Up Magenta Orchid



Orange and Yellow Orchids in Full Bloom


Before leaving, I stopped at the Pop-Up shop. The shop is located right next to the IMA gift shop (which also has lots of “orchid” theme gifts.) The Pop-Up shop gives you the opportunity to purchase your own orchid. The shop also has special soil and take-home sheets.  If you are a bit hestitant or have more questions, I found the staff very helpful. I learned that there are over 25,000 species of orchids with very specfic habitats, so learning the special care for your orchid is vital.


Even though I personally didn’t walk away with an orchid, at the end of the day I definitely felt more appreicative of the art it takes to keep these guys in full bloom.


Soft Purple Orchids with Roots Dangling in Front


So if you need a bit of spring or color in your life the next few weeks, spending an afternoon exploring the beauty of orchids at Newfileds may lift your spirit!


White Orchids in a Row


The Orchids showcase runs now through March 3rd.  It is included with admission to the museum. Click here to learn more.  


Photo(s): Allison Lemons. WIBC.