What is it about orchids that engender so much devotion and wonder? Sure, they're nice to look at, but they grow just about everywhere on planet and there are over 26,000 different species. You could say they're the tuna of horticulture world. Hmm? Maybe that's it. We love us some tuna.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains orchids are big in South Florida. And why wouldn't they be. They love humidity. Every year the culmination of South Florida's fascination with these plants happens during the International Orchid Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden. The 9th edition of the festival starts today and runs through Sunday. Whether you're into the common varieties like Dendrobium and Vanda, or go for the rarest of the rare like Asian Slipper Orchids, chances are you can find them at Fairchild this weekend. Read on for details.
If you're like us and you need somebody to tell you exactly what is so
great about this whole orchid thing, you might want to check out one of
several "Introduction to Orchid Culture" lectures scheduled throughout
the weekend. There's also a juried orchid show, dozens of orchid vendors
from which you can take home your favorite plant, and the requisite
"Orkids in the Kidway" exhibit where the youngest among us can play
games, learn about orchids, and even engage in Orkids Yoga (though we
don't know what that is, and were afraid to ask).
Check out a video of the festival in past years:
Georgia Tasker, maybe South Florida's number one orchid expert, will
give an interactive talk and walk around the grounds on " The World of
Orchids" and she will be signing copies of her book Growing Orchids in
South Florida throughout the festival. The tour starts at 10:30 a.m. on
Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Those who enjoy high society can the Orchid Tea Room at the Visitors
Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the festival. Scones, savories,
and desserts will be served along with your choice of tea while you are
serenaded with live entertainment. If you're a little rougher around
the edges, then you can enjoy eats from the food trucks which will roll
into Fairchild including Jefe's Original Fish Tacos & Burgers,
GastroPod, Ms. Cheezious, and Dolci Peccati Gelato. There will also be
smoothies made with fruit from Fairchild's Farm.
The 9th Annual International Orchid Festival at Fairchild Tropical
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Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) starts today and runs
through Sunday. Fairchild opens at 9:30 a.m. For more information call
305-667-1651 or visit fairchildgarden.org.