Hummingbirds and Orchids by Martin Johnson Heade.
I love Heade’s orchid paintings but I love “live” orchids more!!!! Since two very special annual orchid events are happening or about to happen I thought I would talk a little about them today.
Every year I travel to Villa Park, Illinois to the Orchids by Hausermann Open House. This year’s events are February 24 through 26 and March 3 through 5. Not only can you wander through the 3 1.2 acres of magnificent plants but you can also learn how to take care of and propagate these beauties, win door prizes, take as many photos as you like and, of course, fill your basket with lots and lots of goodies (try to leave some for me!!!!). I try to limit myself to a few but always end up with more than I planned on. I can’t even begin to describe the amazing displays of the orchids, every imaginable variety, every color. Of course, you can order year round but it is the most fun to go to the Open House, trust me you won’t be disappointed. www.orchidsbyhausermann.com.
One of the many rooms filled with glorious blooms.
Many years ago, during a personal appearance and formal charity fashion show, I took Geoffrey Beene to the greenhouses, he was an avid collector of orchids and ordered from them until his death. An interesting aside, he had a home in Hawaii and obviously had his pick of the native flowers there. Quite a compliment to Hausermann! Orchids have been featured in literature forever, think Nero Wolff, for an example. And many books on the subject (there are lots to purchase at Hausermann as well as pots to put them in!!!). I particularly loved Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, a fantastically interesting non-fiction book, if you haven’t read it I encourage you to do so.
The second event is at our incredible Chicago Botanic Gardens www.chicagobotanic.org. Their Orchid Show is happening now through March 26th. There are exhibitions, sales, classes or you can ask the Illinois Orchid Society, www.iosoc.com, questions on weekends. There is always something special at the Botanic Gardens no matter what the season, stunning in winter as well as in bloom from Spring through Fall. We are so fortunate to have so many options open to us in the “City of Gardens”. I’ll talk about our other glorious public gardens in future posts this one is concentrating on another obsession of mine, orchids!!!!
I gave a friend an orchid plant two years ago (one of my go-to gifts)…it continues to rebloom…what is her secret, mine don’t ever rebloom, drat!!!! But never mind, it just means I can buy more!!!!
I almost forgot to mention the upcoming Chicago Flower and Garden Show presented by Mariano’s at Navy Pier March 18th through 26th, www.chicagoflower.com, where you can really feel that Spring is just around the corner and see even more orchids along with blooming trees and plants. Always a go-to Spring event in Chicago, one I never miss.
Do yourself a favor and get to ALL these amazing events, they are all exciting, beautiful and make you feel good in mid-winter, better than any medicine I can think of! Enjoy!!!!