"The main attraction of the Atlanta Botanical Garden's 'Orchid Daze' event is a series of walls suspended from the ceiling of the atrium and covered with fragrant Miltonias."
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is the premier destination for orchid lovers and now through April 9th is hosting its annual ‘Orchid Daze’ extravaganza where breathtaking displays are sure to impress even the most discerning hobbyist. It all begins in the Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center where permanent exhibits showcase orchid species from around the world which have been naturalized in various climate zones. For this special show, oversized props have been built and thousands of new orchids brought in.
Visitors are greeted in the conservatory lobby by enormous wooden planters painted bright purple to hold Caribbean palms. Wired to the tree trunks are bundles of long-stemmed dancing ladies in bright colors – crowd-pleasing hybrids, Oncidium Catatante and Pacific Nova, with their heavily branched bloom habit and patterned blossoms. Unusual greenery softens the base.
"Oncidium-covered palm trees await visitors in the Fuqua Conservatory lobby of the Atlanta Botanical Garden as part of their 'Orchid Daze' extravaganza."
From there, it’s just a short walk past the bed of Dendrobium nobile hybrids to the main attraction in the Orchid Atrium. Sections of chain fencing have been suspended from the ceiling to eye level where large groupings of fragrant orchids reside. Swaths of red and pink cascading Miltonias with their pansy-like blossoms emit scents designed to attract pollinators as well as people. Though generally not recommended for beginners, Miltonias sure do put on a show especially en masse.
Finally, the Orchid Display House showcases hammocks of sunset-colored compact Cattleya hybrids – each complimenting the dense jungle backdrop of banana leaves, ferns, and philodendrons.
Included during the two month long ‘Orchid Daze’ event are a multitude of orchid care clinics, orchid market weekends, and, best of all, the Atlanta Orchid Society Show and Sale on March 10-12.
Next month, we will look at the permanent orchid displays of the Atlanta Botanical Garden which include such rarities a cork tree covered with Phalaenopsis mannii, a rocky creek lined with Phragmepedium schlimii, and a mulched bed of assorted Angraecum species. www.atlantabg.org