Make your winter interiors bloom with orchid arrangements. In the winter when little else is blooming, what could be more wonderful than to lose yourself in an orchid blossom? They could be jewelry; they’re so intricately created. They almost blur the distinction between artifice and nature.
Our Most Popular Orchid Arrangements
A combination of phalaenopsis orchids, vanda orchids, and cymbidium orchids in a tulipiere. “Working in Palm Beach lends itself to the use of many orchid varieties and tropical foliage, both of which I love for creating that casual Florida look.”—Tom Mathieu. Photo by Jessica GlynnMore Mathieu Designs
Bill Hidgins of Atlanta's Lush Life creates arrangements anchored in a European aesthetic. Here, arcs of golden cymbidium orchids seem to pour out of a vase filled with complementary green hydrangeas and grasses.
A duet of Blue Magic vanda orchids and Noorah Blue orchids is looped with willow for a modern, textural touch and then gathered with Aspidistra leaves. Photo by Udom SurangsophonMore from Banchet Flowers
A gleaming silver bowl overflows with blossoms of ‘Henrietta Japhet’ cattleya orchids, ‘Henryi’ clematis, star-of-Bethlehem, alocasia foliage, and calathea foliage. Photo by Erica George DinesMore Michal Evans
A Foxgloves & Ivy creation of yellow and orange Aranda orchids, Berber daisies, Dutch hydrangeas, 'Tutti-Frutti' mini calla lilies, and Monstera nestled in a frosted glass cube.
Yellow-green Dendrobium orchids are the main ingredient in this mixed arrangement by Wildflower Designs of Birmingham.
This frothy concoction of pinks and purples plays nicely with the icy silvers of the plateau and mercury glass. FLOWER LIST: Vanda orchids, ranunculus, hyacinth, snapdragons, stock, ‘Topaz’ roses, and Asiatic lilies. Photo by Becky Luigart-StaynerMore FlowerBuds Arrangements
Brooklyn, New York floral designer Taylor Patterson combined Phalaenopsis orchids, Japanese maple, dyed grass, dried sedge, and grass seedpods in this striking arrangement. Photo by Monica BuckMore of Patterson's Designs
As if the bride will be right back to claim her bouquet, an arrangement of beachy blooms gets a splash of refreshing water from the fountain. FLOWER LIST: ‘Carolina Sapphire’ cypress foliage, cattleya orchids, echeveria succulents, fringed ‘Aladdin’ tulips, hydrangeas, phalaenopsis orchids. Photo by Paul Johnson PhotographySee More Christina Springfield Arrangements
Michal Evans, one of Atlanta’s premier floral and event designers, creates a show-stopping centerpiece in a riot of colors with lady’s slipper orchids, vanda orchids, hyacinths, muscari, Eucharist lilies, freesia, lisianthus, stock, kale. Photo by Erica George DinesMore Michal Evans
“The outdoor surroundings are such a part of this house that you don’t want arrangements to compete with the view,” says Michael Grim. “So we just massed a few blooms for pops of color.” Here, he uses a vase filled with vanda orchids to enliven the porch. Photo by Tria GiovanMore Michael Grim Designs
A green scene with cascades of orchids, tropical greenery, and a magnolia-leaf table skirt made by Mark Held and Richard David, co-owners of Mark’s Garden in Los Angeles. Photo by Loupe Images
Flower Girl’s Denise Porcaro arranged cymbidium orchids, roses, calla lilies, scabiosa pods, ranunculus, horsetail, and bear grass in a Mason jar. Photo by Michael Mundy
New York–based floral designer Oscar Mora ushers in spring with a standout arrangement of Japanese sweet peas, ranunculus, peonies, orange roses, yellow roses, phalaenopsis orchids and more blooms sure to brighten anyone’s day. Photo by Brooke Slezak How-To for this Arrangement
On the Florida Panhandle’s Emerald Coast, Brian Watson and Eugene Campbell of Myrtie Blue created this sunset-inspired arrangement of ‘James Storie’ orchids, ‘Porcelain Lace’ spray roses, ‘Quicksand’ roses, ‘Caramel Antike’ roses, and more blossoms that fit harmoniously in a beachy interior. Photo by Colleen DuffleyMore Myrtie Blue Designs
Spray roses, Phalaenopsis orchids, and Charood Mokara orchids with a red dogwood accent in an Aspidistra-lined, red glass cylinder vase make for a jaunty, tropical tabletop design. Photo by Udom SurangsophonMore from Banchet Flowers
Flowers on the half shell emerging from the sea recall Botticelli and his Venus. FLOWER LIST: ‘Carolina Sapphire’ cypress foliage, cymbidium orchids, muscari, sweetpeas. Photo by Paul Johnson PhotographySee More Christina Springfield Arrangements
Willow Crossley says that keeping mini orchids, such as these diminutive purple phalaenopsis in a recycled pickle jar, is a great way of introducing children to flowers.More Willow Crossley Designs
Taylor Patterson of Fox Fodder Farm shares step-by-step instructions for creating an Ikebana-style arrangement that celebrates autumn's colors with Phalaenopsis orchids, carnations, marigolds, grasses, and Japanese maple. Photo by Monica BuckHow-To for this Arrangement
White and purple blooms of eucharis and 'Blue Magic' vanda orchids emerge from fishnet-wrapped bud vases, a tangle of nautical rope with ‘String of Pearls’ senecio, and a blue glass plate in this arrangement from Philadelphia's Moda Bontanica design team.
Indeed, the world of orchids, Orchidaceae, is a marvel of evolutionary range and ingenuity. There are more than 800 genera and 25,000 known species. And the number of registered hybrids, now topping 110,000, rises almost daily. In fact, they hybridize so easily that there may never be an end to the new varieties and new color combinations that growers create.
At their shop, Foxgloves & Ivy, Larry Hammack and partner Greg Brown send out hundreds of arrangements each week, and orchids are a part of many of them. “When orchids are used in arrangements, they always make a statement,” says Larry.
“An incredible Cymbidium stem dropped in an inch of water in a big clear square vase says ‘contemporary’ in a way little else can,” he insists. “Mixing orchids with what we in the floral trade call the ‘Dutch’ flowers is a great way to add drama to a more traditional arrangement, and extend the life of that arrangement.”
Because orchids don’t have to be in water, they’re perfect for occasions like weddings that call for “personal” flowers.
“We put them in boutonnières and bride’s bouquets, on the wedding cake or tucked in at the place settings,” says Larry. “That staying power makes them wonderfully affordable for home use as well. If you’re having a dinner party, buy one Cymbidium stem and you’ll have enough blossoms for every napkin ring and to float in a beautiful crystal bowl to center the table,” he suggests.
Caring for Cut Orchids
For those of us who might be intimidated by these exotic flowers, questions abound.
How do you care for orchids in a cut flower arrangement? “Don’t put them in the refrigerator,” Larry mandates, “they just can’t handle the cold. Re-cut the stems just as you would the other flowers in an arrangement, and be sure your vase is spotless. They don’t really need flower food, but a little can’t hurt as a key component is the bactericide which will help keep the water fresh.”
By Conne Ward-Cameron
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