Friday, January 9, 2009

January's Orchids

Imagine walking from an icy-cold and windy snowstorm environment...right into a tropical forest. Then, as you inhale the steamy air and encounter lush blossoms and ferns one-on-one, you catch a view of snowdrifts piling up outside the thick windowpanes. It is not a wonderful dream. You are at the Botanical Garden in Montreal. My afternoon visit had the effect of a mini-vacation to an exotic island without the time and expense of travel. Here are some of the rare and delicate orchids I met.

On my way out, I scanned the Botanical Gardens boutique and could not resist taking home this magnificent Euphorbia pulcherrima "Cinammon Star" (common name: poinsettia). It is 4 feet (about 1.2 meters) in diameter and graces my dining room table. I found out that the rosy-peach "flowers" are actually leaves! The true flowers are the tiny yellow baubles in the very middle of the colored leaves.

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