Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FLOWER FOCUS: THE PHALAENOPSIS


Photo by D. Gozum, 2007
Taken at the
National Orchid Garden of Singapore

Despite the fact that Vatel Manila uses a lot of Cymbidium, Mokara and Dendrobium orchids in our arrangements, one specie of orchids remain to be our favorite: the Phalaenopsis.

My Mom was so fond of orchids and I remember, as a kid, how she tended to her Cattleyas & Vandas and how, when they are in bloom, she reveled in these amazing orchids' beauty. We even used to sell per Cattleya flower at P50.00 (now it's P300-400 per). That was way back in the late 1990s. We were in Bukidnon then where I spent most of my summers, and every house in that area had tons of flowering orchid plants in their front yard.

How I came to love Phalaenopsis is now lost to me. Suffice to say that whenever I get hospitalized (which, thank God, is not often), friends would send me potted white Phalaenopsis. Very sweet of them! :-) If you think florists don't like receiving flowers, you're wrong!

For bridal bouquets, Phalaenopsis can be used alone or in conjunction with certain flowers. In Manila, the availability is pretty much all year-round provided you order at least a month ahead. They come in white and pink, although hybrids abound abroad.

These orchids are perfect for cascading arrangements since the stems are quite long, or twisted into a round bouquet with fillers of grasses and different flowers like white, violet or green Hydrangeas, roses, berries, and other voluminous flowers with small details (you wouldn't want to draw the attention away from the Phalaenopsis). They are also perfect for dramatic aisle arrangements or reception centerpieces. For now, it's really the cost that's making them unpopular choices for use in Philippine weddings, but who says that would stop you from dreaming of them? :-)

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