The easiest way to admire orchids, of course, is in gardens where varieties are displayed in plain view, without having to go on a hike in the forest for an occasional specimen. I took this photo in Lankester Botanical Gardens near San Jose. It cultivates more than 800 varieties of orchids, and more than 3,000 different plant species.
Lankester Gardens was founded in 1973 to carry on the work of a British amateur orchidologist, Charles Lankester, who planted an extensive garden of orchids and epiphytes on his farm. When he passed away, the American Orchid Society and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust recognized the importance of preserving his garden and took the lead in donating the 11-hectares (28 acres) garden to the University of Costa Rica, which maintains it for public visits.