Orchid Show and Inspiration at the Franklin Park Conservatory

It was a busy fall for me with landscaping projects and my blogging took quite a hit! By the time December rolled around I was ready to submit to the calm, neutral colors that had set in for the winter outside, and enjoying the warm, cozy colors that took over our home as we prepared for the holidays and spending more time with family. Now that my batteries have re-charged a bit I am ready to start getting inspired for the coming season.

I decided a good way to begin was to make a trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus Ohio and take in the live Orchid exhibit taking place in Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse.
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I had second thoughts on the way there as I encountered complete white-out conditions off and on during the hour drive. Once I walked into the showhouse and the fragrance of gardenias and the beauty of all the orchids washed over me I knew I had made the right decision. Somehow the orchids were even more beautiful with the view of wind and snow blowing just beyond the greenhouse glass.

I loved how most of the orchids were tucked into the permanent plant specimens that are living in the greenhouse.
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I had expected to see lots of little pots lined up on tables with name tags set beside them, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that great care had been taken to make the orchids look as natural as possible. I really couldn’t tell if some of them were truly growing their places or had just been planted for the show.

This was an unexpected but lovely coupling of the orchid Cymbidium, Philadendron, and Hemlock of all things.

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Orange Cymbium and Philadendron
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The combinations of foliage perennials and shrubs really helped set off the delicate beauty of the orchids.

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A mixed tropical living wall

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This simple beauty was one of my favorites

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I have always kind of avoided orchid shows not because I am not interested, but because I fear I will see something I simply must have. Orchids are just out of the question for me. One- I know nothing about them other than that they seem to require patience. Two- I live in a drafty, dusty, wood heated log home which I believe is probably not very orchid-friendly.

When I came upon these hanging sphagnum peat baskets I started to get into trouble. Anything with this many gorgeous blooms in it must be had. Just walk away…walk…away.
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I think one of the most inspiring things I saw were these little hanging sphagnum peat balls. They are brilliant! So simple and easy. I don’t even think they had soil in them. Just peat moss wrapped up into a ball using gardening twine with miniature little foliage plants and if you dare, orchids, tucked in and ready to hang anywhere. I think a little fishing line might work well for the wrapping and be less visible. Then twine or ribbon for hanging. I see a future project for our local gardening club in the making!

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When I was done looking at orchids I returned to the greenhouse with xeriscape plantings.
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Sometimes I yearn to feel some of that warm,dry, air of the southwest. Surprisingly this area was quite chilly and not much fun to linger in. I got to daydreaming about an exhibit I think could be wildly popular. Imagine a large xeriscape greenhouse where you walk through the door and the first thing you feel is a gust of hot, dry air rushing across you, the smell of redwood being heated permeates the air the way it does in a sauna with maybe a touch of sage or eucalyptus drifting about. You remove your shoes and walk through the exhibit barefoot on a sand covered floor heated by tiles below. Maybe there are some comfy wooden lounge chairs for you to stop and sit a while, bursts of heat emanate from lava rocks nearby and encompass you, and just enough artificial sunlight above that you need to close and rest your eyes…ahhhh.

Thank you for transporting me and inspiring me Franklin Park Conservatory!

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2 Responses to Orchid Show and Inspiration at the Franklin Park Conservatory

  1. alyssa pascucci says:

    You made the hot dry climate sound so inviting…funny after a month of 80+’s and a week of hot strong winds, I was happy to have a little cloud cover today and a cool breeze of the ocean!

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