Immerse Yourself in Spring: Orchid & Azalea Display

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Immerse Yourself in Spring: Orchid & Azalea Display

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

We would like to welcome Anne Wildeboor back to Powell Gardens as Horticulturist- Seasonal Displays and Events. She has been busy finalizing the installation of the Woodland Orchid and Azalea Display scheduled to open on Saturday, March 15, in our conservatory. Anne says: “It’s a very innovative and new design (for our conservatory), definitely inviting for spring.”

Tracy Flowers, Gardener in the Visitor Center Seasonal Display Beds, has been busy installing the display, too. Here she is tucking in various slipper orchids with a backdrop of our fabulous Tropical Joe Pyeweeds (Eupatorium sp.). Tracy says the display is “a fresh breath of spring air — to brighten up this often dreary time of year.”

We get lots of comments about our tropical Joe Pye — it only blooms on short days so is just a foliage plant if planted outside in summer. You need a greenhouse to coax it into bloom. Remember tropical days are short — 12 hours! Give me our long summer days!

Here’s a quick overview of the display. It really has the flavor of spring! Ami Zumalt, former Horticulturist for Seasonal Displays and Events, did the concept and plant ordering for this display. She has since set out with her husband on her new design-build business: Designs That Last, LLC. We wish her well.

The azaleas for the display have swollen buds but are not yet in bloom. It has been so cloudy this spring that even plants in the greenhouses are behind schedule. This is a closeup of the beautiful variegated azalea ‘Ashley Marie.’ This exhibit will be on display through Mother’s Day and we guarantee a parade of wonderful spring woodland flowers the whole time.

The orchids for the display are in full bloom! This is a new phalaenopsis with stunning luminous red hued flowers with a shocking purple lip!

The slipper orchids lend themselves well to this woodland display. This is a Phragmipedium orchid whose side sepals will continue to lengthen as the flower ages.

This Paphiopedilum Orchid looks like the Showy Lady’s Slipper (the state flower of Minnesota).

Another Paphiopedilum Orchid with exquisite details! There are far too many cultivars of orchids to depict in this blog. You will have to come check them out for yourself! This is the peak bloom time for our extensive collection of orchids and they are tucked in everywhere in the display. They come in every color in the rainbow and many unique forms that never fail to boggle my mind.

Don’t miss the yellow and white freesias in this display! Freesias have delicious orange scented flowers and really help with the spring ambiance of the conservatory.

All photographs taken by Alan Branhagen on Friday, March 14, 2008.