Northwest Flower Show Orchids

David Deardorff

David Deardorff

We’ve been coming to the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle for years and it’s always exciting to see what’s new, see the extravagant displays, and hear experts speaking on various subjects. We’re really looking forward to coming back to this lavish display of the latest and greatest in the gardening world. This year, the show starts on Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Kathryn and I are presenting a program on Sunday, Feb. 7.

I remember the first time I ever attended the show. It was many years ago. Kathryn and I went with my mother and father, and several of my siblings and their spouses. It was quite a family affair with all of us crammed into the orchid displays oohing and ahing over the amazing orchids. At the time, Kathryn and I owned an orchid nursery and tissue culture laboratory in Hawaii and my father had a greenhouse full of orchids in the backyard of his home.

BLC Larry's Gem, a hybrid in the Cattleya alliance.

BLC Larry's Gem, a hybrid in the Cattleya alliance.

This photo is of BLC Larry’s Gem, a hybrid created by Kathryn and me in our orchid nursery in Hawaii and named in honor of my father, Larry. We registered it with the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain, the official registrar of all orchid hybrids.  BLC Larry’s Gem is in the Cattleya alliance, with very large flowers on a large vigorous plant. Most members of this alliance are tricky to grow as houseplants because they want more light than some other kinds of orchids.

Phalaenopsis orchids come in white, pink, yellow, and can be spotted or striped as well.

Phalaenopsis orchids come in white, pink, yellow, and can be spotted or striped as well.

Phalaenopsis hybrids are much easier to grow in the home than Cattleya alliance orchids. Called moth orchids, they prefer the low light levels and warm temperatures found in the average home.

Paphiopedilums, or slipper orchids, also have flowers in a wide range of colors.

Paphiopedilums, or slipper orchids, also have flowers in a wide range of colors.

Paphiopedilums, or slipper orchids, are also easy to grow as houseplants. Like moth orchids, they prefer the shaded warm conditions provided by the average home.

At the Northwest Flower and Garden show you will see numerous examples of these and many other kinds of orchids. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

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