26 February 2008

Orchids and Workshops in my neck of the woods

It starts out, as any addiction does, with just one or two.

I can handle this, you tell yourself. It’s only one…or two.

But soon you’re not satisfied with one or two. You need more. And more and more.

Pretty soon, you’re dipping into the grocery money to feed your habit.

And renovating the house so you have a special place to go to while you’re enjoying your habit.

And you’re never satisfied. “Just one more, then I’ll quit,” you tell yourself.

Uh huh. We’ve heard it all before.

You’re an orchid addict.

This is not an intervention. This is an invitation, for those in Nova Scotia, to pop into the Orchid Society of Nova Scotia’s Spring Show on March 1 and 2nd.

The show will take place at Spring Garden Place, 5640 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday, March 1st from 930-530, and on Sunday from 12 noon til 5 pm.

This spring show is an American Orchid Society judged show, with judging on Saturday; but for most of us, it’s just about visiting the show and seeing the incredible plants that the enthusiasts raise. They’ll have some for sale, too—did I mention I’d be leaving my bank card home? For its own safety, of course.

One of the highlights of the day will be Neville MacKay's demonstration of flower arrangements using orchids, on Saturday afternoon. Neville, for those of you not from around here, is owner of the incredible floral shop My Mother’s Bloomers, and is also a highly entertaining and sought after speaker. He’s a regular on Nova Scotia’s version of Breakfast Television on CTV Atlantic, and he’s just a terrific plant aficionado and personality.

For those of us with orchids on the brain, there’s going to be a second show and sale here in the Valley, on March 15th from 1030-4:00 at the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre at Acadia University. So as you can imagine, I’ll be lurking around there with camera and perhaps some grocery money…just in case an orchid is pleading to be adopted.

March is the month when a lot of us have finally had enough of winter, even though we have weeks of it left to go. Some escape to warmer climates for a few days or weeks; others haunt shows like these orchid events, or perhaps take in workshops.

Speaking of workshops, I get to blow my own horn here a bit: I’m scheduled to do two seminars at Lee Valley’s Halifax store, on March 8. The morning workshop is on butterfly gardening, which will actually take in a bit of information on other pollinating insects too, being as how I’m worried about them. Here’s the writeup from the Lee Valley website:
Butterfly gardening is gaining popularity and it is easy to encourage butterflies, hummingbirds and other delightful garden visitors. Enjoy a visual presentation with Jodi Delong as she helps you learn the secrets to creating a garden that welcomes winged friends all summer. A handout of plants for attracting butterflies will also be provided.

In the afternoon, we’re going to talk about Continuous Colour in the garden:

There’s no need to suffer from midsummer meltdown just because the big showy perennials are spent. Learn some tips and tricks from Jodi Delong for extending your growing season of color, from the beginning of summer right through to frost. Watch a colorful presentation featuring perennials and other great plants throughout the growing season. You will also receive a copy of the book Continuous Bloom to take home.

There are a lot of things I love about Lee Valley, as many readers know. What I like about their seminars is that they charge a reasonable fee for those who attend, which includes refreshments and often supplies, and then donate the proceeds from the fees to the United Way. The book they’re giving to participants of the Colour workshop is by Pam Duthie, and is another of those ‘must have’ volumes!

So if you’re interested in signing up for one of the workshops, or one of the many others that Lee Valley is hosting throughout the spring, just check their website or call the store at 902-450-1221. And I hope to see a few of you there.


  1. The orchid show sounds fun, and I'd have to leave my credit cards and money at home, too.

    But I would definitely take me money with me if I went to Lee Valley to hear you speak. I love Lee Valley. I have so much stuff from them!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Orchids are my addiction. In my next life, I'll run an orchid greenhouse. They are more like animals than any other plants. I've got two in bloom in my kitchen, and they are my gorgeous, sturdy babies, flowering on and on.

  3. You are so mean, Jodi! Showing all that gorgeous stuff to me and I can't be there to blow my wad and then some! And to top it all off, I can't get there to hear you speak, either. :-(
    But thanks for making me feel normal about orchids. Well, as normal as a burgeoning orchid addict can be!

  4. Gosh, I wish I could attend your concert, I mean workshops. Those orchids are lovely to look at but I am not tempted...much. They don't rebloom for me so while they sulk here I am sulking right along with them. I am not in to sulking for long. No orchids for me.

  5. Ha ha ha! Oh, you know us all too well! Reading your orchid post makes me salivate. But I keep exercising some restraint because I am afraid of exactly what you warn about - becoming an orchid addict! Or just killing them again and feeling like a miserable garden murderess! Your talk sounds wonderful -- wish you could come to Spring Fling and talk!

  6. I'd love to be there to hear your talk on butterfly gardens.

    One thing I've discovered through reading garden blogs is that there are quite a few people who REALLY LIKE orchids. Your pictures of the orchids are lovely.

  7. It certainly doesn't take long to turn into an orchid addict. One is all you need to catch the bug.

    In the mid-1980s, I worked with a woman from Halifax who used to go on orchid expeditions. It was wonderful to hear her passion shining through.

  8. Oh wow, what beautiful photographs!
    Good luck with the workshops, I'd love to attend the one on extending color if only I lived closer :(

  9. They are so lovely.
    I have a favourite local bakery owned and run by family living in the house just next to it. It has big south and west facing windows full of orchids. It must be about 30 of them. Every time I see it - I am amazed of this view.
    I hear also owner answering 'how to take care' questions of the clients buying bread :)
    so sweet :) something you never experience in the city :)

  10. So wish I could attend your seminars, know you will have a wonderful audience that appreciates your wit and knowledge. As for the orchids, I an what could be called a recovering aholic, have stopped trying to get every type listed after so much money down the drain and failure after failure. But I did have a room built just for the orchids, luckily it is good for seedling starting too.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  11. Jodi,
    I wished I lived closer, so that I could attend those seminars and orchid show! Sounds fun, and the gathering of gardeners is an enjoyable experience in iteself. I'd be a complete sucker for orchids for sale. I have to wait a few months until the mail order/ebay sellers can safely send me one without it freezing!

  12. Lee Valley provided a ton of the tools we needed when we hand built our log home. I am probably addicted to Lee Valley! Wish I could come see you speak. I'm sure it'd be great fun!

  13. The orchids are gorgeous! Wow!

  14. Jodi, Not being anywhere close enough to come to the orchid show, I appreciated the one you gave! I love to look, but can't seem to get them to do anything for me.

    Have fun at your seminars. They sound like such fun. You will have to share those with us too!

  15. I'd love to come and hear you speak. Too bad it's so far away. Lovely pictures of the bee and butterflies...busy little things...I can't wait to see them again.
    And the orchids, well, what can I say? It's easy to see how an addiction could start! Glorious, breathtaking colours and shapes. Thank you for these images as we look outside this morning at the snow covered scenery, after another snow storm yesterday, and more on the way. It certainly has its own beauty though. It's gorgeous out there this morning!

  16. I went to a presentation by Pam Duthie at my local library. She was great & her books are terrific. You lucky Nova Scotians! (Okay, you all need a break about now.)

  17. I'm just starting to think that I might like to try an orchid. Years ago, I saw huge displays at the Boston Flower show, and wondered how hard they would be to grow.

    The Portland Flower Show is next week. After the snowy winter we have had, I am sure it will be packed.

    Wish I was there to hear your talk!

    I thought for sure I would see something on the blogs about the seedsaver vault in Norway that was on the news this week. Have you seen anything or written about it?

  18. Orchids are great. I have five right now but none are blooming. I used to have more but they expired while I was out of the country. There is a woman in Merida named Dorothy Andrews who is an expert, but everytime the garden club has her speak, I seem to not be able to go.
    I need a favour, can you hop over to my blog and see if you can identify a plant for me?

  19. When my aunt left New York City for Miami, Florida her friends put bets on how long it would take her to return to the Big Apple. In Florida my aunt discovered orchids. She would dip into her children's lunch money to satisfy her orchid habit! My own first love affair with an orchid ended rather like the title of Patsy Cline's song--"I Fall to Pieces."

  20. Just lovely, Jodi as always. I'm looking forward to spring. xo - Debi @ GHT

  21. Orchids are beautiful flowers!

  22. I adore orchids but they never last here -- I still think it's our well water. I too really like Lee Valley for the quality of their products. Both hubby and I have a wide range of products from LV. If I lived in your neck of the woods I'd love to attend the workshop you're going to give. The talks I give tend to be a bit less perky: they're usually on gardening with dogs or dogs and lawns; a better way. Have a great workshop!


  23. Those are beautiful! I have only one, given to me by my daughter about 5 years ago. It was blooming when she gave it to me.

    I didn't pay attention to it after that first bloom, other than watering it every week or two. Of course, it didn't bloom again. Until last year when I decided to repot it. I trimmed the roots, put it in an 8" pot, gave it some fresh growing medium, and started feeding it.

    Within a month, a flower stalk emerged and it bloomed for about 8 weeks. And this year it's getting ready to bloom again. Now that I think I've got the hang of it, I'm tempted to get another one. . . or two . . .

  24. I would have loved to listen to your speech! And you're quite right - once you get one of the many beautiful orchids, you can't wait to get another one. I visited an orchid exhibition in Gothenburg in January and was totally absorbed!

  25. Wow! If I was a fairy queen I would like to be dressed in orchid's for the full moon ball. Such vivid, unimaginable color. You have amazing photos here.

  26. Good luck to you as you strut your stuff. You are good at it so be calm and enjoy. I've been trying to read a lot of your stuff for practice. You make a good study:) The orchids are exotic. I don't have the right place to grow them or the patience. It really is a lot of fun to come here and see what's happening in your world.


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