Sunday, February 15, 2015

Orchids Flowering in Winter

Winter has settled in with snow, cold temperatures, and dark overcast days. Sure, there are sunshiny days but it is still cold and dreary. The holiday decorations have long been put away and the house looks somber, empty and colorless and yet in the midst of all this dreary time, I see signs of spring.

Orchid flowers at the US Botanical Gardens

My orchids are full of buds with more buds appearing each day and from the looks of it, I think it is going to be a glorious spring.

Phalaenopsis orchid flowers

My fascination with orchids has gone on for a long time but I think it is mostly in my genes. It turns out the orchid is the official national flower of Colombia, my country of birth.

Orchid flower - white and hot pink

Orchid flower - yellow

Orchid flower plant - purple

Orchids are not only amazingly beautiful but also mesmerizing, almost hypnotizing. I think it all comes from a very interesting fact about them, their bilateral characteristic. If you draw a line right down the middle of the orchid flower, the two halves are mirror images of each other. Look at the photos below to see what I mean. Aren't they fascinating? It gives them almost a human or animal-like appearance since faces generally share the same symmetry.

Orchid flower - pink purple

A few other facts about orchids can be found in an earlier post: The Lure of Orchids.

While spring is quite a few weeks away, this is the time when I plan my trips to attend upcoming Spring Flower and Orchid shows.

Here are a five locations where to see them: 

1. The New York City Orchid Exhibition

Not that I need an excuse to visit NYC in the spring but it helps: the 2015 Orchid show will be held at the Botanical Gardens from Feb 28 - April 19. The theme is Chandeliers, which promises to have chandeliers beautifully decorated with orchids.

Orchid flower

Orchid flower - yellow

2. The Macy's Flower Spring Show

I cannot say enough about how much I enjoy the Macy's Spring Flower Show and this also applies to the Thanksgiving Parade as well as the Christmas window displays.

Yes, the Macy's Spring Flower Show is an exhibit you need to see at least once. I have seen it three times so far. The 2015 Macy's Flower show is from March 22 - April 4 and is called Step into the Secret Garden. The show is short and sweet, it only runs for two weeks but it is a true delight. Bring your camera and be ready for crowds but it will be well worth it.

Flower bed full of flowers at the Macy's Spring Flower Show

Here are some suggestions for when you visit.
  • Once you arrive in the store get a brochure so you learn where all the displays are on other floors and when the tours are taking place. 
  • If you have time go on a tour (free), it will give you a better appreciation for the display arrangements and what went into making the entire show possible. 
  • When you are done and before you leave, have a cup of coffee on the main floor up in the balcony so you can enjoy the view.

To see a time lapse of how Macy's put together the 2014 display, watch their video.

3. The Orchid Show in Washington DC

2015 is the 20th Annual Orchid exhibition sponsored by the Smithsonian. This year the orchid show is being held at the Natural History Museum from Jan 24 - April 26. Every exhibition is around a theme, and this year they present how the advances in technology have contributed to how we study, preserve, and enjoy orchids. The 2014 exhibition was held at the U.S. Botanical Gardens and was called the Orchid Symphony. The show was exquisite and beautiful, a true visual delight.

Arrangement of orchids at US Botanical Gardens in DC

orchid flowers - pinkish

4. The Maryland Orchid Society Annual Spring Show

The Maryland orchid society show is fun. It showcases all the winners from the annual contest along with vendors that are happy to answer your questions regarding orchids. Last year I left with two new orchids to grow. The Maryland Orchid Society show will be March 6 - March 8.

white orchid flowers

orchid flower

5. The River Hill Garden Center orchids event

This is a local garden shop that holds events throughout the year. River Hill Garden Center is a wonderful place with quite a variety of plants including tropical plants and beautiful crafts for purchase. This year will be my first time attending the orchids event happening on February 21 but the best part is that I will be able to ask my orchid questions of a local expert. I may even bring my Cattleya orchid that while alive and healthy has not flowered. I must be doing something not agreeable to the plant, but it is my first time trying this new family. I am successful at growing Phalaenopsis orchids of all colors but Cattleyas are still a challenge for me but they produce such beautiful flowers.

orchids flowers - purple color

Yes, six more weeks of winter but I can bare it with the help of my orchids and the gorgeous flowers. They remind me of beautiful and alluring warm beaches in the tropics.

I hope you plan on attending one of your local spring flower events especially orchid shows, you will enjoy it.

If you enjoyed the photos,please like the post and share.

Wishing you all a warm winter and Happy Fabulous Travels in your neighborhood.