The perfume in the air is the first thing I noticed as I entered the room hosting the Missouri Botanical Garden's Annual Orchid Show. Then the bright colors and sun shining through the glass ceiling overwhem me, blending all together. It took a moment for my senses to recover from the shock after such a dreary winter; snow is still melting in the shadows outside.

My first trip around the paths was just to wander and enjoy all of the sights. The displays were based on children's stories, so orchids and whimsy were blended together in a fun way for the enjoyment of children and adults alike. Jack in the Beanstalk, The Secret Garden, and Johnny Appleseed were a few of the features.

The second time around, I started focusing on individual plants, their color, shape, large or small and how they stood up from the plant or draped gracefully. Some were so small their structure was hard to see without putting your face right up to them, others were large and seemed to yell, "Hey, look at me!"

I could stay for hours and luckily, small benches are scattered around. Shutting my eyes, I try to focus on the different pieces of the scent in the room: citrus, floral, a bit of woodsy and spice. Near some plants, just their scent was noticeable. Children were prodding their friends to "stand here" as they enjoyed the different smells. People were taking pictures with everything from their phone to the latest in digital camera gear with powerful lenses. I lost count of the times I heard someone say they wished they had their camera. Well, I remembered mine so it is time to share some of the best shots!

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Laeliocattleya

Astri

Orchidaceae

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Potinara

Carrousel

'Crimson Triumph'

Orchidaceae

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Dendrobium

aggregatum

Orchidaceae

Southeast Asia

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Cymbidium

Red Beauty

'Carmen'

Orchidaceae

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Phalaenopsis

Hilo Lip

Orchidaceae

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Leptotes bicolor

Orchidaceae

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Phaius

Nun's orchid

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Cymbidium

Sleeping Angel

Orchidaceae

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Cymbidium

Silvia Miller

'Brilliance'

Orchidaceae

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Phalaenopsis hybrid

(Phal. Gallant Beau x Phal. Aphrodite

Orchidaceae

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Dendrochilum

latifolium

'Emly'

Orchidaceae

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Cymbidium

Red Back

'Solid Gold'

Orchidaceae

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Vanda

Sansai Blue

'Meechai'

Orchidaceae

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Paphiopedilum hybrid

(Paph. Ravenhunter x

Farnmorre 'Acrisios')

Orchidaceae

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Phalaenopsis amabilis

Orchidaceae

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Cymbidium

Evening Star

'Bethlehem'

Orchidaceae

I've tried to pick a favorite, but the closest I could come is the yellow orchid on the right. It was too high for me to see the name, so I'm just calling it winter sunshine.Image

From this peek, you can see that visiting an orchid show is worth the trip, even if you are just a beginner, like me. It is a wonderful way to spend a few hours during late winter as you yearn for spring.

But be careful! You will want to bring one home and every good show has plants in the gift shop just waiting for you!

Thanks to Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis for allowing me to take and use pictures from this show.

For more information about orchids, visit the Orchid Forum of Dave's Garden!