“Orchid Extravaganza” at Longwood GardensFebruary 20, 2018
Editor's Note: We were honored to have Martha Stewart back in the Gardens last week. Enjoy her blog about her visit, calling our Orchid Extravaganza display a “spectacular presentation of color and artistry.” This blog post originally appeared February 20, 2018, in Martha Up Close & Personal: The Martha Stewart Blog.
I love visiting gardens whenever I can, especially during this time when many conservatories are filled with colorful orchid displays. If you're in or near historic Kennett Square, Pennsylvania from now through March 25th, I encourage you to make a stop at Longwood Gardens to see the annual "Orchid Extravaganza".
While I was at QVC last week, I had the opportunity to visit Longwood's orchid exhibit - it includes more than 4000-orchids creatively displayed throughout its glass houses. Among the show's highlights - nearly 100-Phalaenopsis orchids in various colors from Taiwan, 200 blue Vanda orchids dramatically suspended from the conservatory's ceiling, a graceful 12-foot tall arch covered in more than 600 yellow and white Phalaenopsis blooms, and six giant white Phalaenopsis orbs hanging overhead. It is a spectacular presentation of color and artistry.
Here are some photos - enjoy.
Longwood Gardens is open to visitors year-round and consists of nearly 1,100-acres of gardens, woodlands and meadows. I am standing in the Center Walk, which features six large white Phalaenopsis orbs each measuring five-feet in diameter.
This is a Miltoniopsis hybrid orchid. Miltoniopsis orchids are often referred to as the “pansy orchid” because their blooms are similar in appearance to pansies. Miltoniopsis blooms are large, flat, and round with broad lips. Blooms are seen in an array of bright colors such as yellow, pink, red, purple and white.
This is a magnificent specimen of Wood’s cycad, Encephalartos woodii. It’s a rare cycad in the genus Encephalartos, and is endemic to a region of South Africa. It is actually one of the rarest plants in the world, being extinct in the wild with all specimens being clones of the type.
I also spotted this beautiful Camellia blossom – so perfect. Camellias are flowering, shade-loving, small trees or shrubs that are available in a remarkable range of colors, forms, and sizes. Depending on the variety they may bloom in late fall, winter and early spring. Their blooms come in a range of colors from white or pink to deep red – all against glossy dark green leaves.
Oriental lily, Lilium ‘Scorpio’ – it’s among the brightest red oriental lilies ever bred. It produces magnificent bright fire engine red flowers with a pretty scent. Its stems are sturdy and the petals have a slight pie crust ruffle on the edges.
Here is a large basket of pseudorhipsalis, Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa. It is a shrubby, epiphytic cactus, freely branching basally with pendant, flat, reddish tapeworm stems up to two and a half feet long that turn deep violet red in high light. It produces lots of greenish-white or pinkish flowers followed by small, ornamental, shell berries lining both edges of the ribbon stems. Some of you may have seen mine in photos – I often hang it on my expansive porch during summer.
This bird’s nest fern is Asplenium nidus ‘Fimbriatum’ – an epiphytic species of fern in the family Aspleniaceae that is native to tropical southeastern Asia, eastern Australia, Hawaii, Polynesia, India, and eastern Africa.
Here I am holding a large bud of chalice-vine, Solandra maxima. Solandra maxima, also known as cup of gold vine, golden chalice vine, or Hawaiian lily, is a vigorous vine which is endemic to Mexico and Central America. It has very large yellow flowers and glossy leaves.
Here is a vibrant display in the Mediterranean Garden – it includes amaryllis, Hippeastrum ‘Estella’, spurge, Euphorbia ‘Inneuphdia’ Diamond Frost®, heart-leaf pelargonium, Pelargonium cordifolium ‘Caroline’s Citrine’, ground-ivy sage, Salvia glechomifolia, florist’s cyclamen, Cyclamen persicum, and dusty-miller, Senecio cineraria ‘Cirrus’.