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Who doesn’t love an orchid?

Posted on November 30 2016

Jeff Langlois
In the loggia of the 2015 American Red Cross Designers’ Show House in Lake Worth, decorator Todd Hase made a dramatic floral statement with pot after pot of blue orchids. Daily News File Photo

By Carleton Varney

Special to the Daily News

Palm Beach is all about orchids – and in a very big way. You see so many different varieties, some sporting blooms in solid colors and others decorated with a festival of spots. Drop by the lobby of The Colony hotel on Hammon Avenue, for instance, and you’ll see a big brass standing urn filled with many orchid plants of all colors.

You can find orchid sellers everywhere, from the florists on Worth Avenue and South County Road to Publix, where there’s always a nice selection. During the season, you’ll also find vendors at the Saturday green markets.

The orchid grower who always captures my heart is Susan Gubelmann. Over the years, she created at her Palm Beach home two fabulous “orchid trees” by taking her orchid plants from house to tree. She embedded some into the bark of the trees and hung others in pots from branches. She has collected so many plants, either discarded by others, purchased herself or given to her by friends.

Why not take a lesson from Susan and begin your own tree-based orchid nursery? You can enjoy, in your own yard, a cascade of color. Because I am a flower person, I would totally approve.

There’s something about an orchid that just about everyone likes. No wonder you see orchid arrangements strategically placed — small, large or huge — in the photographs of so many home magazines. Open an issue of Veranda or Elle Décor or Traditional Home and there’s bound to be at least one orchid somewhere.

Orchids not only bring color into an interior but they’re long-lived, too. The blooms can last for two months — or more, if there are many buds.

Orchid lovers also might consider decorating with one of the many orchid fabrics on the design scene. I’ve seen orchid prints on sheets and throw cushions. I even have a cell-phone cover that has an orchid design on the case. I feel like I’m always carrying up a stem of phalaenopsis in my hand.

No doubt about it: Orchids are to Palm Beach as lavender is to the South of France!

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