The Orchid Gift of the Year for 2007 would be a trip to the The World Orchid Congress (WOC) which will be held in Miami, Florida, January 23-26, at the Sheridan Miami Mart Hotel and Exhibition Center. A WOC is only held every three years at a different venue each time and the next time it will be in the US will probably be in approximately 20 years.
Conservation organizations provide a really good avenue for gifts to orchid lovers who are in general very conscious of the habitat destruction taking place around the world. The World Land Trust has a number of projects going to save rainforest areas in South America. EcoMinga is an organization of scientists and conservationists who are establishing preserves in Ecuador for both plants and animals. Native Orchid Conservation Inc. has a very nice selection of products which they sell to raise money to support their conservation efforts. They have recently released a book, "Orchids of Manitoba", which has been very well received.
In the area of education materials, there are all sorts of vendors who are producing good products. I again recommend OrchidWiz as the best software for the serious orchid grower. The two upgrades since last year have made it even better with more information and more photographs. A really good idea for any grower is CattleyaLog, a software program designed to track your plants, when they bloom, what problems they’ve had, and notes on culture requirements. I’ve used this for several years and it’s invaluable if you have more than just a couple of plants. For a paper version, check out The Orchid Journal where I recommend the gift sets under “Products.”
For the species grower, a subscription to The Baker Culture Pages provides an invaluable resource of information on growing conditions for species around the world. Orchid Digest magazine is a quarterly magazine which provides the grower not only with great photography, but real scientific information about orchid culture. If you are buying for a serious orchid lover who has been looking for a special plant, or has lost a plant and can’t find a replacement, check out Olympia Orchids’ Orchid Finder Service. They specialize in locating plants that are hard to find at the best possible price.
For a really nice note cube, made of paper from sustainable forest growth, The New York Botanical Garden has a really nice product. All profits from sales are used for garden projects.
After my first article, I received an email from the Nick Hotchkiss Collection which produces a series of ties with an orchid theme. They have offered to reduce the price of their orchid ties by $20 if you use the coupon code “BELLA” when purchasing before December 31.