Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Orchid Overload

On Sunday, First Daughter and I went to the New Jersey Orchid Society Show, at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, New Jersey. The first thing we saw was this sign at the entrance:
Wasn't I just saying that the Lilac Party would be a flop??

Never mind. The display was in a section of the old carriage house on the estate. Lovely old wavy windows!
This is a splendid venue to see orchids that are unique, the prize possessions of serious, not to say perhaps fanatically obsessed, orchid collectors.
The size of the specimens is amazing, something that will never be found in the greenhouses of professional breeders.
These plants are the result of loving devotion among hobbyists.
And so, there were far too many to include in a post without being exhausting.
Also, they were all piled on top of each other in a riotous jumble.
Mixed up with labels, and ribbons for prizes.
As a consequence, it was difficult to isolate individual flowers for any really great picture.
Add to that, the light was poor, and required a flash.
So, if you aren't an orchid afficionado, scroll down!
There are about 50 pictures of them altogether.
I should be more discriminatory, but I've never been any good at pruning.
Whether living organisms, or picture albums.
There are some that are so dainty the flowers are smaller than a little fingernail.
And others like the huge cattleyas are voluptuous explosions.
And then the most intriguing are those that have an unearthly mysticism.
It is so insane that we are raging full force into destroying such luxurious plenty.
Anyone who bothers to make the effort can find out that humans are fast destroying the other forms of life that sustain our own.
It's not at all complicated.
Like greedy and heedless idiots, we are fast reducing the plethora of life that surrounds us.
And that has enabled us to reach this sweet, sweet spot, as described by Bill McKibbon
in his new book, see the review here.

From the show, we went outside.
Perennials that bloom in spring abound.
Euphorbia in brilliant hues...
some crazy bulbs I've never seen before laugh in the breeze
and are gorgeous against a backdrop of pine.
A pale yellow magnolia has waxy petals -
every painter of organic themes probably wishes they were Georgia O'Keefee - before she commandeered the market on erotic, sculptural close-ups!
This fern peony is a new form to me.
Visiting such gardens yields such a wealth of glorious images...
and colors, from bone white to velvety rich magentas and violets.
The scents are delicious, viburnum is so lush and heavy.
The rock garden had several teeny blossoming plants.
The outdoor garden is almost better than the indoor display.
The plants are teeming.
Primula is at peak.
There are many miniature blooms in the rock garden.

There is also a separate kitchen garden, for herbs and vegetables.
Their rhubarb looks far better than mine, and the apple trees are blooming.
However, they have all been lopped off at the top.
and their trunks are being consumed by fungus. When I pointed this out to first daughter, she became peeved. And she didn't agree that this trunk is indicative of BALDing syndrome (Bark Atrophy Lichen Decline) insisting that perhaps it is normal for this trunk to lose its protective outer layer.
But then, being a bit perverse (and who wouldn't be, with a doomsday, apocalyptic mother like me), she insisted I take a picture of this Barbie head on an antennae, which she spotted in the parking lot as we were leaving. So here in deference to her, is the image:

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