|Lady Slipper Orchid|
So I suggested a field trip that would give us those wonderful feelings gained from the smell of fresh soil, the feeling of humidity, and a burst of color. We went to Orchids By Hausermann in Villa Park. They are famous for their orchid choices and expertise. Nancy is a regular, but I had never been.
Hausermann's has several greenhouses full of orchids categorized by species, and a nice selection of sale plants too. Since we were in between their two open house weekends, they even had an extra greenhouse open with a gorgeous display of varied orchid species. It reminded me of a Flower & Garden Show display. All throughout there are lovely vignettes with orchids surrounding fountains and garden sculpture.
|Open House Display|
I asked the gentleman about the connection I had heard of between vanilla and orchids. He told us vanilla comes from a vining orchid called Vanilla planifolia, and kindly pulled one of the plants for us to see. It is an average looking green vine and will need to grow for a few years before it will bloom. The flowers have to be hand pollinated to produce vanilla beans. Now I understand why vanilla can be so costly.
I highly recommend this store for a quick education in orchids, and a wonderful walk through rows of beautiful and sometimes scented specimens. And a bit of fantasy. Certainly we can all use that during our often dreary Chicago winters.