The clever title of this book is designed to catch the reader’s eye but it is not to be taken literally. Most Lady Slippers don’t have a ‘scent’ and people generally consider these flowers to be interesting or unusual rather than drop dead gorgeous. But the scandal that plays out within this 242 page hardback is as addictive a read as any on a Best Seller list.
Twice a year, 75,000 visitors descend upon a small town in North Carolina for the High Point Furniture Market to see the latest in home furnishing from around the world. Solid Cherry dining room tables with walnut inlays, classic crystal chandeliers, teak bonded leather sofas, and sleek lined swivel chairs from Belgium are among the dazzling arrays of offerings in the 11 million square feet of exhibit halls. One design piece that is consistently displayed throughout the show is the “Orchid Arrangement.”
Q) I found two old orchid prints at a yard sale recently. What can you tell me about them? Barbara K.
Hand colored botanical Illustration.
Everyone remembers their first orchid. Mine was a greenhouse full – given by my father on the day that I went into the orchid business. It was the late 1980’s and I was leaving a promising engineering career – a move that raised a few eyebrows from my technical colleagues.
Q) My moth orchid is simply gorgeous but there doesn’t seem to be any identifying label. What can you tell me about its history? John H.
A) Phalaenopsis are commonly sold today without botanical name tags – a development which is unfortunate because the hobbyist cannot trace the fascinating parentage of each hybrid. Each plant offers clues, however, in both its foliage and its blossoms. Understanding the distinctive characteristics of the species is the key to fully appreciating the most popular houseplant in America.
For those fortunate to have met Lady Thatcher on her many visits to Virginia, she was unquestionably warm and approachable despite her reputation as the ‘Iron Lady’. One warm sunny August day in 2004, she toured the campus of the University of Richmond greeting students and faculty before attending a dinner in her honor. She also made orchid history by accepting a Cattleya hybrid bearing her name.
Q) I was recently given a lovely orchid. The only problem is that the flowers don’t look quite right. What’s going on? Jackie C.
Top chefs know that the difference between an average meal and a culinary masterpiece is often as simple as the presentation. A bland bowl of mashed potatoes suddenly becomes quite intriguing when sautéed mushrooms and onions are added. Even toast comes alive when quartered diagonally.
How to Mount an Orchid Plant
Around the country, there is a small but devoted group of hobbyists who grow their orchids the way nature intended – not in pots, but mounted to pieces of trees. Duplicating rainforest culture is not as challenging as it sounds. Simple materials such as cork, fishing line, sphagnum moss, and some un-potted orchid plants are all that is required.