Orchid Show at Selby Gardens is Fourth Consecutive, Record-Breaking Exhibition

November 27, 2017

The six-week exhibition concluded Thanksgiving weekend


SARASOTA, FLA. – November 27, 2017: A horticultural exhibit at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the latest in a string of record-breaking exhibitions hosted by the institution. The Orchid Show: Earth, Air, Fire, Water set double-digit revenue records for the Gardens, with overall revenue increases at 27% over the prior year. Since Selby Gardens changed its operational model two years ago, every exhibition hosted by the research institution has shown double-digit growth year-over-year. The major increases at the living museum come from attendance, membership, events, public food sales and retail sales.

For six weeks from mid-October through Thanksgiving weekend, The Orchid Show: Earth, Air, Fire, Water set new revenue records for attendance, retail and food service and membership sales during the normally quieter fall shoulder season. Compared to the same timeframe as last year, admissions revenue is up by 28 percent, retail shop revenue is up by 28 percent and membership revenue is up by 26 percent. The exhibition featured a living plant display along with an installation of the rare botanical books, prints and preserved plants that are part of Selby Gardens’ research collection.

The success of the fall 2017 Orchid Show comes on the heels of the exhibition Marc Chagall, Flowers and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams, which attracted 100,000 guests during its six-month run and also set revenue records.

The first Orchid Show hosted by Selby Gardens held for six weeks in 2016 increased admissions revenue by 42 percent. It was followed by Selby’s Secret Garden in fall 2016, with shoulder season admissions revenue increasing 20 percent. Then, the blockbuster Chagall exhibition commenced in February 2017.

“With these specialized shows, we have the opportunity to share with more and more people the importance of plants in our world, from the most basic resources they provide to us like air to breathe, to the influence they have on our creative spirits,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “Attendance also supports the important scientific research we are conducting throughout the Tropics of the Americas, as well as the education work we undertake right here with area schoolchildren.”

Selby Gardens is the world’s only botanical garden dedicated to the study, research and display of epiphytes, or plants that grow on other plants without harming them, such as orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns. The Gardens has introduced a new living museum exhibition model of operations that pairs the natural world with artistic and cultural components.

Next up for Selby Gardens is “Warhol: Flowers in the Factory,” which is the second show in the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series of interdisciplinary arts and horticultural exhibitions that feature internationally-known works of art. The five-month exhibition will run Feb. 11 – June 30, 2018 and will feature the botanical imagery of Andy Warhol, the “prince of pop” who is most often associated with celebrity and soup cans, but who actually was quite influenced by the natural world and supported land conservation. Included in the exhibition will be six original floral artworks by Warhol. The grounds of Selby Gardens, as well as the glass conservatory, will be transformed into a floral playground, celebrating the color and creativity of Warhol. For a calendar of all events hosted at Selby Gardens, as well as details about the non-profit organization’s mission and research, visit www.selby.org, or call 941-366-5731.


About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytes such as orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, epiphytes and other tropical plants with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit www.selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas, regular admission $20 (ages 18 and up), ages 4-17 $10, Members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or selby.org.  Get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and more by searching @selbygardens.


Tags: horticulture, marie selby, marie selby botanical gardens, orchids, sarasota, sarasota fl, selby gardens