AMERICAN ORCHID SOCIETY: Once or Twice are NOT Enough!"
How many times have you experienced, Ive been there,
done that, dont need to go back? I have these thoughts
all the time after visiting different places. This past week I was
reminded how off this is.
One of the first things Sam and I did, when we moved here in December,
was join the AOS, figuring we would be likely to go back there a
few times during the year to take photographs. After all,
were in Florida now and my photo/drawing art needs to reflect
that. What better images than orchids!
I stopped there recently, for my third visit, and after a walk in
the garden, I realized how much more was here. This, for me, is
certainly a place of peace where I can go to regain my balance and
enrich myself. I love making discoveries, especially when my point-and-shoot
camera is with me to help define them. The last time I was there,
by looking up toward the sky, I excitedly discovered a
banana tree. Yesterday I found wonderful flowers high in the
trees. The huge staghorn fern, the largest variety that there
is, on one of the giant trees, reminded me that I wanted to
come back and photograph it in the morning light.
Peach-colored Angels Trumpets were fading and bright yellow ones
called out from across the way. The anthurium
plant I had been intrigued with and had photographed on our
first visit, now has pods that were twisted and gnarled, and wonderful
to look at. I actually wanted to play with them. (When I taught
art many years ago, my students labeled me Mrs. Texture.)
I was fortunate enough to happen on Patrick, on this trip. Hes
the one responsible for all the gardens plantings. As he described
some of the plants and their projected growth and overhangs, I could
imagine walking in a veritable Rain Forest in a few
years. How exciting! Maybe I can take Costa Rica off my wish list.
According to Patrick the best times to visit are from Sept./Oct.
to mid December and from March to May 15th, so hurry on over. His
recommendation, for seeing variety, are once-a-month visits.
And the orchids, where are they? --in a wonderful greenhouse, fronted
by a large fountain, with changing arrangements and a wonderful
display of flowers on a rocky waterfall inside. Yesterday I saw
charming, delicate lilac lavender and white orchids, among others.
Colors, shapes and textures are varied and lush.
For those interested in the technical aspect of plants, information
abounds. According to the web site, www.orchidweb.org, the AOS is
#1 source of orchid information in the world. How fortunate we are
to have it almost in our back yard. The Center is located at 16700
AOS Lane, Delray Beach - off of Jog Road, just south of Linton,
right turn at Morikami Pkwy. The telephone number is 561-404-2020.
Hours are Tues.-Sun. 10 AM to 4 PM.
Single Admission in $8.00, with $1.00 off coupons often running
in weekend newspapers. Children under 12 are free. Admission to
the gift shop, and the ongoing exhibits in the lobby, is also free.
If you agree with me, that once is not enough, single
membership for the year is $40 and family is $50. This includes
a source directory; the book, YOUR FIRST ORCHID; a beautiful monthly
magazine; and, of course, unlimited visits and boundless opportunities
for wonderful photos!
written by Sheila Finkelstein for SAN MARCO MATTERS - San Marco Community newsletter, April 2003
UPDATE - To my great disappointment, in 2012 the American Orchid Society corporate offices and gardens moved to Fairchild Gardens in Miami, FL - SF