There is nothing like a good flower show to make the winter months a bit more bearable and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens has put on a good show to chase away the winter blacks, blues and blechs. Orchid Mania was wonderful.
As mentioned, orchids are not a complicated plant to care for, if you are not interested in getting them to rebloom. They are, however, a complicated plant to look at. I once had an art teacher who said that a piece of art should not be merely looked at as you stroll through the museum, but rather, you would most appreciate it if you sat and studied it. So it is with orchids.
Not happy with merely blooming, orchids must do so in complicated and fascinating manners. Take, the Angraecum Sesquipedale (first one on the second row), the little tentacle thing hanging off the left side… A moth has to stick its whole tongue down that thing in order to pollinate it. I can honestly say that all sorts of impolite things pop into my head on that subject, but let’s just stick with what we can talk about in polite society… That orchid is a high maintenance bitch of a plant and it is a wonder it survived as a species. But not all orchids are that complicated to pollinate, but enough that I do wonder how there got to be 30,000Â kind of orchids.
One thing I did learn at this show is the amazing scents that orchids can have. They are so lovely to look at that it had not occurred to me before that they might be nice to smell as well. With scents that ranged from chocolate to hyacinth to lilies to melon, the orchid took on a whole new sensory aspect for me after going to the show.
Before are some of the pics I took at the show. While the pics are nice, just like with art, seeing the real thing is always more satisfying. Orchid Mania is running through March 9th and I would recommend it as a nice hiatus from the snow and cold. I also have it on good authority that if you attend the last day or so, you can bring home your very own orchid at a great price. The blooms should be able to hold you over till spring, or at least when the Lenten Roses start to bloom here.
Click on the images to view a larger version: