Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Christmas Cave of Orchids

A classic, Blc, "Jewel Box", an inter-generic Cattleya-cool growing, perfect for window culture. Click any image to enlarge
One of the "Black orchids" Encycla colchealatum-easy and fun to grow, light green and almost black...stunning
OOPS! bad shot, sorry!
A Species Encycla...apple green and red, perfect! (the lights change the color some...)
A sea of art shade Phalaenopsis ready for the perfect Holiday gift, months of elegant pleasure!
Oncidium Grandis, This has a New botanically correct Genus now, but it escapes me, so we'll use the former name instead!
A Fragrant Early Cross, something to protect and collect!
A Classic Cattleya Hybrid, all 40's Glam with fragrance too!
I'm fortunate to have a friend who has created an amazing wold of rare Orchids and plants that he grows deep under ground in a complex of caves. At first, it seems absurd...and why? The answer is genius for David Bird, of Bird's Botanicals, in Kansas City, Missouri.

I met David when he was working at our local Botanical garden, Powell Gardens. He grew orchids on the side, and I'd buy his plants from his home greenhouse. The business grew and grew as he won more awards, and participated in National shows and competitions. At one point, he was driving by some industrial underground caves that were used for various businesses, warehouses and wholesalers.It dawned on David that his need for more growing space would be perfectly met by cave growing, and Bird's Botanicals was born! The secret to cave growing is the perfect humidity level, and even temperatures year round. The air is buoyant from a well planned fan and exhaust system, and perfect lighting from industrial Halide and fluorescent bulbs give an unmatched perfection of light, year round. The small additional heat the Orchids need, is provided by the lights, eliminating heating bills, as well as cooling bills in the summer!

David is a delight to visit, and you can't leave without at least one treasure! There are THOUSANDS of amazing Orchids here, as well as unusual Streptocarpus, Eroids and much, much more.

David is open to the public on Tuesdays, and by appointment on Wednesdays, if you're in the Kansas City region, come for an amazing visit of fragrance, color and form!

David does not ship, but if you're into Orchids, check out the local shows in your area, he travels all over the country, and he may be at a show near you!

I sell Bird's Orchids, and always have a carefully selected group to share with my customers, so if you don't make it to the Orchid Cave, come visit me at Bergamot and Ivy in the West Plaza area of beautiful Kansas City, Missouri!