Guest Author - Susan Taylor
One of the best gifts you can give this year is a donation to one of the many organizations which are committed to the conservation of orchids. One current campaign in need of funds is The Jardìn Botànico las Orquìdeas in Ecuador which is trying to raise funds to purchase and rehabilitate 61 acres, or 25 hectares, of land adjacent to its current site. They have done an outstanding job of returning their site to a sustainable biological reserve and have the skills to do so with the new land if they can purchase it. You can donate any amount you are able. Others are The World Wildlife Fund and Orchid Conservation Alliance. If you are able, open your pockets to one of these worthy organizations.
The American Orchid Society supports conservation as one of its guiding principals as well as provides leadership in orchid education. An alternative to a donation is the gift of a year’s membership to the society which includes a subscription to Orchids magazine one of the premier publications in the field.
For orchid related items for the home, Horchow has the largest selection of high end products I could find on the internet. They are quite varied and absolutely lovely. Be sure you look at both pages of the offerings as there are several very nice things on the second page. For crystal items the Crystal Fox Gallery in Monterey, California, has a wonderful selection of orchid related items ranging from crystal flowers to vases. Jewelry from The Golden Orchid would make a wonderful gift for any orchid lover. Isaac also has a number of sculpture pieces which are exceptional. J. Randal Slocum has some lovely metal sculptures at Metal Orchids and Wildlife. Many of these are detailed renderings of species orchids although he also has some hybrids. One of the most incredible glass collections I’ve found is that of Hughes Glass. Ronnie Hughes specializes in wild flowers, but does do some orchids in glass. Click on the Medium and Large sculptures to see them.
There are a number of different software offerings for the orchid lover. My favorite is OrchidWiz*. The newest update, v 6.02, has a number of new features which make it better and more user friends. My favorite is the new Journal portion which allows you to enter your own plants to keep an inventory. The first release of the Journal was problematic for me, but this new one is much better and more user friendly. I entered my plants with few glitches and this new update allows those who do not have digital photographs available to link to the photographs in the OrchidWiz database. You can find more information at OrchidWiz
*In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a free copy of this software as a beta tester and have since received free quarterly updates as a reviewer.