Cattleya

First Ladies and their Cattleyas: Nancy Reagan

Nancy Davis Reagan was First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989. She ushered in an elegance and formality into the White House which had not been seen in years. Her favorite color was red which she wore so often that the fire-engine shade became known as ‘Reagan Red.’ She and her husband, the 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan, were inseparable and she was one of his closest advisors.

The Merry Sisters of Spring

The Merry Sisters of Spring

 

First Ladies and their Cattleyas: Rosalynn Carter

In 1953, Jimmy Carter left a promising Navy career to run the family peanut farm in Plains, Georgia. Ten years later, he launched his first political victory by winning a seat in the State Senate. By 1971, he was Governor. His humble beginnings contributed to the public’s perception of Carter as a ‘Washington Outsider’ and helped him win the White House in 1976.

First Ladies and their Cattleyas: Mamie Eisenhower

Having won the greatest war of the 20th century, President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 ushered in 8 years of calm and stability not seen in the United States for 50 years and, in the process, opened the Golden Age of Cattleya Orchids. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was the symbol of prosperity and elegance and she loved cattleyas. She was rarely seen in public without her corsage of 2 or 3 cattleya flowers during her husband’s entire two terms.

First Ladies and their Cattleyas: Jacqueline Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was only 43 years old in 1960 when he became President of the United States, and he introduced a feeling of youth and excitement into the White House. His two young children were always underfoot and his young wife, Jacqueline, age 31, was a fashion statement not only in this country but overseas as well. Kennedy’s administration became known as
Camelot – the mythical realm of King Arthur’s famous Round Table and both Republicans and Democrats embraced his policies. He gave America a new aura of greatness when he announced that he would send astronauts to the moon.

Dance of the Cattleyas

An intimate look back at the Queen of Fashion

 

C. trianaei

A young man, barely 16 years old, stood in the vestibule of Edith Myers large stone residence on Spring Avenue when I arrived to see her orchids. The vestibule was piled high with large white boxes - each containing a corsage of a Cattleya mossiae flower. A few boxes even had corsages with two flowers.

Celebrity Lady

The semialba large-flowered cattleya

 

Cattleya warscewiczii

The king of the mountain heralds the arrival of summer

 

C. warscewiczii typical

One of my favorite times of year is early summer, not because the sun is at its brightest then, or because the days stretch lazily into long warm summer evenings, but because this is when my favorite Cattleya species, Cattleya warscewiczii, blooms.

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