Today, I drove to renowned Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa to visit their annual Orchid Extravaganza (January 23-March 27). This is Longwood’s largest and most diverse orchid exhibit ever.
I walked over to the colossal conservatory which is considered one of the world’s great greenhouse structures.
Pierre S. du Pont constructed the conservatory between 1919 and 1921. Along with his wife Alice, they started the orchid collection nearly 100 years ago.
I walked into the East Conservatory and stopped in my tracks at the Orchid Arch strategically placed in the Oval Basin. It officially welcomes guests into a fairytale world of exotic blooms. The 12ft custom metal arch was created with 600 perfect creamy white Phalaenopsis hybrid orchids.
What a sight to behold! As a matter of fact, everyone stopped in their tracks and took photos of one another standing under the custom frame made in Longwood’s in-house metal shop.
Throw a coin in under the orchid arch and make a wish!
As I walked through the 4-acre conservatory, I came across one colorful orchid display after another. There are more than 6500 orchids blooming. The award-winning 17ft Orchid Curtain features 250 purple Phaleanopsis and Cattleya orchids.
Two large ceramic urns with yellow/gold Cymbidiums flanked the purple Orchid Curtain.
For me, the Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian ‘V3’ orchids in two large urns was the main attraction in the Orangery. They are simply amazing due to their perfect unity of flower pairs on each long stalk as well as the length of the orchid blooms. Grown by experts in Taiwan, this particular variety is rarely displayed in the United States.
Raining orchids! Each ‘V3’ is carefully cultivated for about four years. The spikes are trained along a curved metal stake to create the formal, cascading presentation. They’re absolute perfection!
Take a closer look! Not one flaw, not one blemish…
High above and dangling from the Orangery’s glass roof is one of five 7ft orbs–each one has 120 purple and white Phalaenopsis orchids.
At the end of Orchid Extravaganza, the orchid displays will be dismantled and the orchid plants will be sold between March 30 – April 2 in the Garden Shop.