Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Orchidmania February 7, 2010

Filed under: flora,garden shows — greenwalks @ 4:05 pm
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You could see a certain look come over people’s faces the moment they saw Blooming Ecstasy, the orchid display garden at the NW Flower & Garden Show this week. It was a bit of a glazed look, mixed with longing, plus a little bit of disbelief and a small helping of madness. Even those like me who have never been bitten by the orchid bug were hard-pressed not to gasp over each succeeding marvel. The volunteers from the Northwest Orchid Society who staffed the show beamed proudly over their progeny, as many mental notes were made to look for these at the sale booths later on.

I will do my best with botanical names here, but I didn’t write any down and my photos didn’t show all of the tags. Please feel free to correct any you see here that are incorrect or un-named. (Note: if you are reading this via Blotanical and the images are getting cut off to the right, I apologize – if you click on this link, it should give you the full, wide versions. Thanks!)

This was the brightest orange flower in the entire garden show, I think. (Many of the tags included abbreviated names, maybe to save space.) This one was termed Epicat. ‘Butterfly Kisses’:

Epicat. 'Butterfly Kisses' orchid

Encyclia cochleata X lancifolium – they looked to me like skirts for the flower fairies:

Encyclia cochleata X lancifolium orchid

This one was a much deeper purple than my camera could register in the odd light. Still, it was one of my favorites so I wanted to include it here. The top part looks like a clematis, but then the bottom busts out with those crazy colors.

Mottled purple orchid

I loved the “Smell Me” tag on this one. Of course I had to obey. Undeniably sweet!

"Smell me" orchid

This foliage plant was almost as riveting as the orchids. Someone will surely know its name? Probably a common houseplant, again not one of my specialties.

Unknown tropical foliage

Hot hot hot pink:

Hot pink orchids

So delicately spiky:

Spiky orchids

Crazy stripes:

Striped orchids

Tiny cascades of flowers on Dendrochilum fragrans:

Dendrochilum fragrans orchid

I think this one’s tag said Paphiopedilum sukhakulii ‘Jeannette’ – maybe a type of Ladyslipper? Coming upon a patch of native Ladyslipper orchids in the wild is one of my most treasured hiking moments.

Paphiopedilum sukhakulii "Jeannette' orchid

Guess Jay Leno decided to escape from the spotlight in LA and come on up to the garden show:

Ladyslipper orchid

What about you, have you succumbed to Orchidmania?


19 Responses to “Orchidmania”

  1. florida girl Says:

    Your foliage plant is Stromanthe sanguinea ‘tricolor’ aka ‘triostar’–one of my favorite garden plants here in Zone 9. Growing in popularity.

    • greenwalks Says:

      Hi and welcome, FG – Thanks for the foliage plant ID. Fun to see what you Floridians can grow outside, all indoor plants for us here in Seattle.

  2. Love orchids (who wouldn’t?) but mostly from afar. I have had a bit of success with the lady’s slippers, but after a while they up and die on me. Those spiky guys really speak to me.

    • greenwalks Says:

      Ricki – Yes, the spiky ones, so strange, so lovely. I have heard too that it’s hard to create the perfect garden conditions for ladyslippers/lady’s slippers, however it’s spelled. Maybe you need a bit of fairy dust to sprinkle on them??

  3. keewee Says:

    Thank for the pictures. I love orchids. So far, I have only two and so wanted to attend the flower show to see more, but I couldn’t make it this year. I now have a whole year to save money to buy more orchids *grin*

    • greenwalks Says:

      Hello Keewee – Thanks for stopping by! Sorry you missed the show, but those orchids are definitely spendy so a two-year save-up is probably the right idea! 🙂

  4. Jane Says:

    You captured some really lovely ones, Karen. I missed this at the NWFGS (as I missed many of the offerings in my limited time there.) I have been pulled slowly into the orchid whirlpool after one of mine that miraculously rebloomed. They are wonderful to have indoors in winter when so much else is quiet and gray.

    • greenwalks Says:

      Hi Jane – I am so curious to see if you will post anything about your visit to the show! So interested to see it from your perspective. I know, it was hard to see everything. We were there for around 6 hr.s and it still felt rushed. Good point about orchids in winter. I can see how that would be a good way to get your color fix!

  5. fairegarden Says:

    Well, yes, we have. We have the mania under control for now, but it is a harsh mistress, making one believe that they can grow anything, whatever it takes! These shots are amazingly clear and help feed the orchid frenzy. Oh those paphs, that last one sent me over the moon! Thanks, Karen! 🙂

    • greenwalks Says:

      Hi Frances – Oh yes, I know you are deep into orchidmania, as shown with your incredibly lovely and healthy-looking plants. They are lucky to have you lavishing them with care.

  6. Jen Says:

    I’ve only owned one orchid plant, but my mom is dipping her slippered foot into the orchid pot – I sent her three plants last year and will have to forward her the link to this post. These are really special.

    Hey congrats on winning the contest on my blog!

  7. I’ve never been bitten by the Orchid bug, but that orange one and the cascades of blooms on the Dendrochilum have me reconsidering. I have a relative that actually goes on Orchid hunting expeditions in South America, crazy amazing stories!

    • greenwalks Says:

      Loree – I can see you with some really spiky-looking orchids, maybe someday. They’d go so well with the modern design in your house, I would think. Orchid hunting! Is that legal??

  8. Grace Says:

    Karen~~ No but if anyone could lure me into the “trap” it would be you. 🙂 First, an exquisite writing talent emerges from your first paragraph–seriously publication-worthy. I can’t remember if writing is in your professional repertoire but if not, it should be.

    The orchid aka clematis is beautiful as is “Smell me” and “Hot, hot.” Wait. What am I saying? They’re all stupendous. What a day it must have been. Thank you for sharing!!

    • greenwalks Says:

      Hi Grace – Aw geez, you are too kind. 🙂 I have a little bit of pro writing/editing on my resume, but mostly it’s just for fun, here, where there’s no pressure (and no deadlines!!).

      It was a fun day. Next year, I’m going to try to lure some more of you OR garden nuts up here!! I know you would have a blast.

  9. Catherine Says:

    I think we missed this display, luckily you took great pictures so I can see it that way.
    I haven’t been bitten by the Orchid bug either. I’m not sure I’m patient enough, but I sure do love looking at them.

    • greenwalks Says:

      Yes, I am an admirer-from-afar too, not willing to get into the trenches will all that care. But I can definitely see the appeal.

  10. Jackie Says:

    Great photos! I’m getting ready for the Pacific Orchid Exposition in a couple weeks in San Francisco. Needless to say, I succumbed to Orchidmania 🙂 It’s been about 7 years, now!

  11. Jackie Says:

    The spiky one is a Brassia and the Encyclia should have a wonderful scent, as well!

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