Living in the Piedmont Triad: The Best Places to Buy Orchids
The Orchid Auction at Reynolda Gardens
Reynolda Gardens is one of the great reasons to live in the Piedmont Triad. It is a 128 acre center owned by Wake Forest University, formerly the country estate of R.J. Reynolds. It features greenhouses, gardens, nature trails and more. You can bird watch, stroll the gardens, visit and purchase plants in the greenhouse and even shop in quaint Reynolda Village. The architecture alone is worth a visit.
Once a year, greenhouse manager David Bare holds the Reynolda Gardens Orchid Auction. Eagerly awaited by orchid nerds such as myself, the auction is held on a Saturday morning in March. Come a few minutes early to give yourself time to peruse the offerings. Held in the greenhouse, you might be serenaded by a bird or two flying overhead as David auctions off orchids from all over our area and the world. Many of the orchids are divisions from the mature orchids in Reynolda Gardens' collection.
You'll enjoy the casual atmosphere of the auction and David gives information about each plant as well as answers questions from the orchid groupies. If you are just starting to learn about orchids, there is no need to be intimidated by this group of people - it's comprised of a few experts and many of us beginners. Hang around after the auction to meet new friends and pick their brains for the best orchid supplies and other questions that keep orchid fans up at night.
Seagrove, North Carolina, is known as "the largest community of potters with the longest continual history of pottery making in the United States", according to www.visitseagrovenc.com. If you love pottery, you may have heard of Seagrove, and if you are a potter, then the probability is high that you are aware of Seagrove. I was very pleased to learn that Seagrove is also the home of Seagrove Orchids, which you shouldn't miss if you are anywhere near our area.
Linda Thorne is the owner of Seagrove Orchids and is a joy to talk to about the light requirements, watering needs, or anything to do with orchids. She is an orchid expert and her awards at various orchid shows are proof. If you love orchids, her greenhouse is like Christmas morning. Cattleyas, vandas, aerides, bulbophyllums, the list goes on and on. This is the place to find those rare orchids that you dream about when browsing through your orchid books.
A link to an article about Linda's orchids: http://seagroveorchids.com/Orchid%20Photos/SeagroveOrchidPinestrawArticle.pdf. Seagrove Orchids is located at 3451 Brower Mill Road, Seagrove, NC. You can also find Seagrove Orchids on facebook.
The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market is always stocked with picture perfect veggies and fruits and organic foods, with many items from local farms. Although most supermarkets have a flower section, sometimes they may not be the best place to buy your orchids. This is not the case with The Fresh Market. They have a great selection of phalaenopsis and sometimes other orchids as well. The orchids are very well cared for, look great, last as long as the ones you would purchase in a nursery - and the price is unbelievable. I have purchased 2 1/2 - 3 foot phalaenopsis for $19.99.
There's An App for Orchids?
If you have a iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, it's easy to keep up with the care of your orchids. My favorite orchid app is Orchid Notebook from NerdsGeeksGurus. There are three sections: one for your orchid collection, one for orchid information and settings. In the Collection menu, you can enter photos of your orchids, location, price you paid, notes, fragrance, color, size, repotting/spiking/blooming date and much more. Information about orchids can be found under the Orchids menu, so that you can refresh your memory about your orchids' needs without leaving the app. Settings allow you to download your information into other formats. You can download from the Apple App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/orchid-notebook/id393149342?mt=8.
Orchid Suppliers I Love
Repotme.com - I use their potting mixes to solve all of my confusion of which media to use with which orchid. Their shipping is extremely fast - I choose the standard shipping and my orders arrive the 2nd business day every time. I also love their clear slotted pots.
Where do you purchase your orchids and supplies? Do you have any hints about growing orchids in the Piedmont Triad? Let me know!
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