Saturday, March 24, 2012

The KL Bonsai and Orchid Exhibition 2012

The KL Bonsai and Orchid Exhibition 2012 @ Perdana Botanical Gardens (Pameran Bonsai dan Orkid Kuala Lumpur 2012 @ Taman Botani Perdana)

The Kuala Lumpur Bonsai and Orchid Garden is currently ongoing until the 27th March 2012. The exhibition is located at the KL Lake Gardens, now called Perdana Botanical Gardens. The actual site of the exhibition is quite large, around Jalan Cenderamulia (opposite the gated entrance of the Hibiscus Garden) and the Panggung Anniversari area (by the lake).
KL Bonsai and Orchid Exhibition sign

This exhibition is done in conjunction with the KL F1 Grand Prix week. Hmm, cars and this seems like two totally disconnected events. I guess it is a good event to hold in conjunction with the F1 race as it gives something extra to the tourists who were already in KL for the Grand Prix. I did see a display of orchids in tyres, so perhaps that can be the link that ties the two events together.
Orchid display on wheels
Interesting orchid display, with flowers arranged in tyres.
It is a bonsai and orchid exhibition, so here's a bonsai from the display. A lovely windswept bonsai with jin trunk.

There were beautiful bonsai and orchid show competition plants on display, with the bonsai display being the more spectacular one. Of course the exhibition area had many interesting orchid themed displays as you walk down the road to the lake.
An upside down orchid display. The steps lead down to Panggung Anniversari.
More orchid displays as you walk down (or up) the road.
A yellow slipper orchid on sale as well as some Angraecoid seedlings.

However, there are a few shortcomings of the show, with the most obvious one being the lack of proper signage of how one should view the exhibition. If you start of at the entrance opposite of the Hibiscus Garden, you will need to go down one end of the road to see the bonsai, then double up and back down the rest of Jalan Cenderamulia to see the rest of the bonsai and orchid display as well as the stalls selling plants. This is an easier way to do it. If you have parked your car at the parking lot at Jalan Kebun Bunga, then you got to walk back towards Panggung Anniversari, and go uphill. That is when you will notice the next weak point of the exhibition.
Some of the orchids entered into the show competition.
Ludisia discolor
Ludisia discolor, a pretty Jewel Orchid that is grown more for the leaf colouration than for its flowers.
A large yellow spotted Vanda hybrid.

The stalls and displays were very well-spaced apart. In fact too far apart to the point that if you walk uphill, you would think that you have reached the end of the exhibition area. Then if you persist on, you come to another display group, and then another. I overheard a visitor whom had walked up halfway the hill, and saw the few stalls selling bonsai and said in dismay "Oh, that is all the bonsai on display?". The display thins out until you come up to the entrance of Jalan Cendramulia, where the bonsai competition display tables were located, and boy were they spectacular!
A beautiful group planting bonsai on display. The background (or the lack of) detracts viewers from its full beauty.
A windswept Juniper with 'jinned' trunk.
Wrightia religiosa (水梅) bonsai
This large Wrightia religiosa (水梅) bonsai had so many blooms on the plant. It had already carpeted the table and pot with it blooms, but lots more were still on the tree, giving off a very strong scent.
Another lovely 'jinned' windswept Juniper bonsai.

If you had walked up the hill and then back down to the back portion of Panggung Anniversari, you will see that there are still some ground displays of orchids. The ground displays are so far apart that you wonder if the organiser's intention is not to let people see it.  
The ground orchid displays had been spruced up and are all in blooms. They are spaced quite a distance from one another.

So if you are going there, be adventurous and keep on walking round past the lake, up onto Jalan Cenderamulia, down the Panggung Anniversari area to be sure that you have seen all the displays. Or else you would have to come a second time. Perhaps that is the intention of the organisers...
Two artistically shaped bonsai...almost like out of a Chinese painting.

Another drawback of the exhibition is the way they cordon off the tables where the bonsai and the orchid competition plants are placed, or rather it is the distance of the cordon to the plants. It prevents enthusiast from fully appreciation of the plants as one would not be able to scrutinise or take good photos of them. Plus, some of the backdrops for the bonsai area are just inadequate, thus preventing the bonsai from showing off their strength and beauty.
One large 'twisted' tree and another very windswept one.
A 'bent-over' bonsai. Hmm, perhaps a little 'blue' pick-me-up will straighten the trunk? Now that Autumn Belle has mentioned it, the trunk does look like the long legs of a dancer with his/her head resting upside-down on the pot.
A 'broom' bonsai, with green buds unfurling.

Overall, it is a good exhibition to go to, despite the apparent lack of visitor flow concept for the site. The saving grace I think is the bonsai display, for the orchids were, in my humble opinion, not that spectacular this time. If you just want to buy plants other than orchids, then you might as well go to the Shah Alam Plant Fair that is also ongoing now until the end of the month.