Friday, January 8, 2010

Orchid Spectacular Planned

Garden staff is hard at work preparing for Orchid Spectacular that begins Jan. 15.

This is our annual showcase of orchids that opens with the NC Piedmont Orchid Society’s judged show and sale. The event continues through March 14 with a presentation of the best of the Garden’s collection of nearly 5,000 orchids, continuing education classes, lectures and more.

The NCPOS show runs through Jan. 17 and begins with the American Orchid Society’s judging of hundreds of varieties from the intriguing bulbophyllums to the colorful cattleyas presented in the theme of “Orchids in the Trees.” It’s an appropriate theme given that a vast majority of orchids are epiphytic, which means they grow upon rocks or trees, receiving nutrients from rainfall or from the humid air around them. The event includes the sale of orchids and orchid supplies from the region’s most respected growers and informal talks by members of the orchid society.

Friday night, Jan. 15, the event ramps up with “An Evening of Orchids,” an elegant celebration of orchids from around the world. In addition to the magnificent display of orchids, the evening will feature an auction of unique orchid packages, food and more. Tickets for the event are $55 or $85 for the Patron Level. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 704-829-1252.

“Orchid Spectacular” and the Garden’s ongoing lecture series continues Jan. 23 with “The Road Less Traveled: New Orchid Hybrids for Warm Climates,” a lecture by Milton Carpenter, owner of Everglades Orchid, of Belle Glade, Florida. An internationally recognized speaker with 42 years experience in growing and breeding orchids, Carpenter rarely lectures now. The results of his orchid breeding have enabled people in warmer climates to grow previously cold-preferrent orchids. Admission to the lecture is $15 for Garden members and $20 for non-members. The lecture begins at 10 a.m.

Throughout the ongoing event, Garden guests will be able to view some of the world’s most stunning varieties of orchids in The Orchid Conservatory. Here the garden displays fascinating orchids from around the globe in an incredibly creative and artistic fashion. More than 22,000 species of orchids exist on all but one of the earth’s continents and hybrids number in the hundreds of thousands. The orchids displayed at the conservatory represent the great diversity of temperate and tropical species, from the hot, humid lowlands to the cool mountain regions.

There is more, including a quilt display and continuing education classes, so come back to the Garden Blog later to learn more or check out the website at

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