The Blue Ridge Orchid Society will be meeting today, March 10, in Roanoke, with this month’s program featuring renowned orchid breeder and grower, Art Chadwick, from Richmond. Art will present a program on ‘First Lady Orchids’, orchids that are named after our President’s wives. Since 1929, each First Lady has had a Cattleya, or corsage, orchid named after her.
Chadwick Orchids has presented orchids to the last four First Ladies – Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. They also donate orchids to the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.
There’s a great story on their website about the presentation to Michelle Obama. The compact Lc Michelle Obama (C trianaei x Lc Mini Purple) was displayed as a grouping of five plants in a fancy decorative container, along with curly willow and Spanish moss, making a striking and impressive floral arrangement. Unfortunately, they discovered minutes before the presentation that the arrangement couldn’t be in the picture because the secret service had failed to scan it with bomb detecting equipment. They finally allowed Chadwick to remove two flowers and present those to Mrs. Obama. Apparently, Mrs. Obama approved! Learn more about Art Chadwick.
You can come enjoy this talk this afternoon beginning at 2:00. The Blue Ridge Orchid Society meets the second Sunday of every month, September through June, with the exception of May, when they meet on the third Sunday. Their meetings are preceded by a pot-luck luncheon at 1:00 pm and a short business meeting at 1:30. Programs begin at 2 pm, and typically adjourn between 3:30 and 4 pm. They welcome new members, telling me that they are a friendly group with some serious growers, but most participants grow orchids suitable for home window sills. The Blue Ridge Orchid Society meets at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs Headquarters, 3640 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, VA. See their website for more information.