Orchid Lust! A visit to a Costa Rican Orchid Farm

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Our stop in Costa Rica was a pure day of self indulgence for me. This was the first tour I booked when we found out we were going through the Panama Canal. I booked it for one.

Yes that’s right all by myself. With a little freedom in my step, I was in for a day of plant geekery. Touring an Orchid Farm in Costa Rica. Fantastic!

I have always wanted to visit Costa Rica. The lush landscape and tropical beauty are only a few of the attractants for me to this country. The democratic system with their core focus on education and the environment, not to mention their fair medical system. These are just a few of the reasons Costa Rica is a beautiful place to live and visit!

This visit brought me to Orchimex Orchid Farm in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
After nearly a week of sea life, this place floored me. It was clear. I had been going through plant withdrawal.

Hey, at least I know I have a problem :) Back to reality. They contained us shutterbugs and made us sit and listen to a very informative talk on Orchids, and their history in Costa Rica. Although there are thousands of pure orchids and tens of thousands of hybrids around the world, Costa Rica lays claim to over 1200 native varieties. These blooms are everywhere in their culture. Even becoming more pronounced politically. This year Costa Rica is #1 in the America’s according to the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. They are also in work to become the first Carbon Neutral Country by 2021. They are doing their best to protect their diverse ecological systems through out their country.
Orchids are fascinating. With little knowledge of the plants going in, I was shocked to learn that they grow off the sides of tree’s naturally in the jungle.
This makes sense once you realise the roots need air. In the Orchid farm, they simulated these natural growing conditions by growing the plant in a coconut, and allowing the roots to naturally hang below.
It kind of reminds me of a mad scientist/botanists laboratory gone amok.

I love it!
We learned about the life of an Orchid, in the wild, and in our homes. We learned about all the parts.
Then….*gasp* pulled it all apart to focus a little more internally. Where we learned how to self pollinate an Orchid.Once we were finished the class, we were free to roam.

*insert giddiness here*The wide variety of colours, size and style were inspiring. As you can see I had difficulty narrowing down the photo’s for this post. After much deliberation these were the ones that made the cut! Even so, you should see how many pictures I took! Oh my!
Most were unlabeled, and as I said I knew nothing about Orchids going in so I can’t tell you the names. Although if you know one, please shout it out!

These look very Vulcan……no?
I loved the copper colouring of this variety. They were on very long stalks!
I found myself quite drawn to the yellows. They were so subdued, yet powerful.

Hot pink! What a Diva!Many were spotted, but this white and purple variety were stunning!The bugs and butterflies were beautiful. They were regularly fluttering overhead. I chased them across many countries, and yet this Dragonfly was the only one I could catch! I found him hanging out in a transition area in between the large outdoor plots.
After catching his picture I took a few more of my surroundings. Every corner of this place was filled with beautiful plants.
And me! Hi me!
The next area held the larger blooms. These were my favorites.
They also had a beautifully manicured garden of other plants. Just an assumption, but I’m going to guess that these are grown for their foliage!
Before we left the Orchid farm, our tour group peeked in to see the packing process. The beautiful stems get sent all over the world.We were lucky enough to take home (onto ship) a beautiful bouquet of Orchids from the farm. It was a lovely little souvenirof my adventures in Costa Rica.

******Contest Alert!******

For those of you buzzing to find out the names of all of the gorgeous Orchid I saw, I am giving away a copy of J. Francisco Morales “Costa Rica: Orchids, cacti & bromeliads of the dry forest”

*To enter, please leave me a comment below telling me what garden you would visit, if you could go anywhere! This contest will close one week from today, by midnight PST on November 1st,2010.*

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5 comments on “Orchid Lust! A visit to a Costa Rican Orchid Farm

  1. meemsnyc on said:

    What a cool place to visit. I have a friend who grew up in Costa Rica and on his family farm, they have wild orchids growing on trees. Amazing!! The only orchid I'm familiar with is the one he pulled apart, that's the dendrobian orchid. I would love to visit Johnny's Seed farm.

  2. Northern Shade on said:

    What a great place to tour on your trip. The row after row of orchids looks impressive, and so many colours and shapes. I can see how it would be hard to narrow down the selection with so many prima donnas. It was fun playing "Pick My Favourite".

  3. keewee on said:

    I would have gone nuts in such a place. I love orchids and when living in New Zealand, I used to grow cymbidiums outdoors.

  4. I would go to the Vancouver Chinese gardens. I've seen pictures and it looks so beautiful.

  5. Pingback: What followed me home from the Orchid Sale: Epidendrum Nocturnum | The Dandelion Wrangler

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