Friday, February 02, 2007

Flowers in February!

Whew! Sure is brisk out there! A few weeks ago during that much balmier weather, I saw hints of our witch-hazel blooming along the Arboretum’s Groundcover Path. With the temperatures plummeting, I suspect that most of the blooms that we’ll be seeing over the next few weeks will have to be indoors and/or via FTD! Recently the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum held a paint out at Hausermann’s in Villa Park and the artists were dazzled by their collection of orchids. Orchids by Hausermann’s is one of the largest growers of orchids in the Midwest and will be hosting an open house later in this month. If you hunger for color, scent and actively growing plants, a visit to a greenhouse or conservatory is one way to satisfy this craving.
Other places in the area that you might want to visit for a tropical experience?
Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Oak Park Conservatory, Birdhaven Greenhouse are all quite close by. A visit to any of these horticultural sites would still allow time for you to swing by the Arboretum for a refreshing jaunt and a visit to the Library!

If you fall under the spell of orchids or are just an admirer, you might be interested in examining the following resources in the
Sterling Morton Library on these amazing plants:
  • The best orchids for indoors.
  • Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids by Alex D. Hawkes.
  • The gardener's guide to growing orchids.
  • Orchid genera illustrated by Tom & Marion Sheehan.
  • The orchid in lore and legend by Luigi Berliocchi.
  • Orchids by Alice Skelsey.
  • Orchids by Walter Kupper and Walter Linsenmaier.
  • Orchids as house plants by Rebecca Tyson Northen.
  • Understanding orchids : an uncomplicated guide to growing the world's most exotic plants by William Cullina.
  • A history of the orchid by Merle A. Reinikka.

Watch out for:
Orchid fever : a horticultural tale of love, lust, and lunacy by Eric Hansen.

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