Mar 7th, 2011

O is for Orchids….Orchids Galore! Arriving Daily!

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Daune & Chris with the the N sign from the ABC's of Orchids.

Daune & Chris with the the N sign (N is for Nutrients) from the ABC's of Orchids.

Yesterday, I walked through the Conservatory….I was so happy to see orchids of all shapes, colors and sizes EVERYWHERE! Orchids Galore! opens this Saturday and we’ve been receiving shipments of plants all week.  This is such an exciting time for the Garden and the first time we’ve ever had an orchid-specific display.  We’ll have over 2,000 orchids — 500 of them museum quality.  Another reason we are so excited is because the U.S. Botanic Garden has loaned us some wonderful sign-age including the “The ABCs of Orchids,” on loan from the U.S Botanical Garden.

The Garden hired Daune Poklis, a longtime garden volunteer, to manage the exhibit and to be available to answer visitor questions about the orchids. “Orchids Galore! is an opportunity for the visitors to the garden to experience the “WOW” of orchids, in dramatic vignettes and marvelous individual specimens,” Daune says.  “Plus, on the weekends, we’ll have volunteers from the local orchid societies to be on-hand to answer whatever questions you may have about orchids and help eliminate the ‘intimidation’ factor associated with raising orchids at home.”

Director of Horticulture, Tom Brinda, and Chris prepare the orchid arch

Director of Horticulture, Tom Brinda, and Chris prepare the orchid arch


With these letters and signs, we will help you explore 26 letters of the alphabet, representing 26 different facts about orchids.  So far, I’ve learned that there is ALOT to learn about orchids!

And boy do we have alot of great information to share with you!  Not only do we have Orchids Galore! but we also have Learning Galore! Our incredible education department has arranged some really interesting educational programs — covering everything from Orchid Sex! to…Orchid photography.   (For more info on our special programs & registration, just scroll down the the end of this article.)

If your still hungry for more about orchids the American Orchid Society is a great resource. Oh, and we’ve done a little preview for you too….and there is so much more to come!


March 12 – April 24

Selections from the Reichenbachia
Dr. Arthur Burke, an expert grower of rare and unusual orchids, has loaned to the Garden examples from his collection of Reichenbachia—large-scale, late 19th century chromolithographs made from plantsman Frederick Sander’s 1894 compilation of hand-painted, life-size illustrations of 192 exotic orchids.  These important and valuable prints offer a rare opportunity to see up close great works of botanical illustration by famed 19thCentury artist Henry George Moon.

On view in the Education Complex. Included with regular admission.

Growing Hardy / Terrestrial Orchids in Your Backyard
Tuesday, March 15, 7 – 8 pm

Dr. William Mathis, Ph.D., will speak on how to grow hardy orchid species using a non-technical and practical approach to present the basic requirements for successfully growing hardy perennial orchids in the average gardener’s backyard.  Dr. Mathis foundedThe Wild Orchid Company in 2001, focusing on the production and sales of terrestrial orchids (North American, European and Asian species) that are hardy in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Orchid Sex:  Secrets of Pollination and Propagation
Sunday, March 20, 2 – 3 pm

Tom Mirenda, Orchid Specialist for the Smithsonian Institute, explains how orchids have evolved to seduce pollinators into their blooms, and how orchids are propagated commercially in the 21st century.  Learn what happens when nature takes its course, then how ‘test tube baby’ orchids are created to fill the shelves of big-box stores.  View theOrchids Galore! display in the Conservatory and an exhibit of rare orchid prints from theReichenbachia, late 19th century chromolithographs from original hand-painted, life-sized illustrations of rare orchids.

$15 / $5 members includes light refreshments and Garden admission

Internationally known photographer and teacher Allen Rokach discusses his approach to photographing flowers in an evening lecture and an intensive weekend workshop specifically on orchids.

30 Ways to Look at a Flower
Friday, March 19, 6 – 8 pm

Allen discusses lighting, siting, close-ups, and digital enhancements for flower photography through images of his own work.  Light refreshments included.   $15 / $5 members

Orchid Photography with Allen Rokach
March 20, 21, 9 am – 5 pm

This two-day workshop coincides with the Orchids Galore! display in the Garden Conservatory featuring unique, rare, and colorful orchids, prime subjects for participants.

Read more about Allen’s work and publications at the event listing.

Registration includes 8 hours of instruction, field work, and critiques daily. A light continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon break are served each day.  $230 / $210 member. A list of required equipment is sent after registration.




Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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