Kissing the Frog – Orchids, Pt.2

My only complaint about beautiful orchids is that they start out as a lowly frog. The leaves are very homely, and in my opinion, not pretty in the least. The air roots look a little warty to me, almost eerie.

But from a stalk of no great beauty springs forth flowers every bit deserving of regality. They are deserving of a place in the most discriminating interiors. Blooming for up to six months, these plants are a great choice. But being kept on a coffee table may not be the best for the orchid.

After the bloom is gone, many of these poor orchids are looked at as disposable. So sad a fate for such a lovely plant.

Orchids in flower are often used in room decor in magazines. Flowers in general appear in so many images in shelter magazines.  They really put the finishing touches on a photo shoot. They are ‘stunt’ plants, brought in and placed to stage the scene for the photo.  A phrase coined by another blogger whose work I admire. Stunt plants, so cute.

Here, they matched the color of the furnishings to the orchids on the tablescape.  I would like to think the orchids stay.

Here they used a color almost opposite on the color wheel. Opposite would be the orange below.

But the designer wisely chose the reddish pinks because the orange would have been too similar to the undertones in the flooring and wall surface. This color makes the scene refreshing and unexpected.

All the small interior images come from Veranda. In fact only two magazines had these five images, so you can see how often they are used.

Here a single Paphiopedilum sits center stage.

Imagine this scene without the orchid. It would look like it was missing something minus this pretty vertical element. They also mixed metal finishes with the silver pot. It really stands out and looks great in the space.

I did crop the image, but the focus was predominantly between the lamp and orchid.

The pinks and reds are gorgeous.

The yellows work the greens in this room. I always notice the colors they pair in interior design images, the same with carpets, and all textiles.

You can learn so much from the designers of textiles. None are shown here, but look at your fabrics for color cues and pairings. You can translate that into garden design too.

These bright oranges and reds would add splash to any space. But as an accent, otherwise put on the sunglasses!

My duller colored orchids below….

This orchid is really pretty to study closely, but not an eye catcher in the space.

Even the mottled leaves are not that attractive, hard to see the prince in waiting, but with the one Paphiopedilum flower, my prince has arrived.

My yellowish Phalaenopsis is in bloom with three flowers. I was going to save it for GBBD, but the whites will not be ready again.

This orchid has a very odd coloring not easily photographed. It is a really peachy yellow with lavender and deep red. I was attracted to it not because it is a standout, but because it is a strange color. Because it is not as pretty, I thought it would never get a good home. I know, a strange reason to purchase, but it did not seem to have a chance at finding a home surrounded by beauties. Its second bloom was far nicer. The color was less muddy, a prince in the making.

Maybe I need to give my white orchids a little kiss to turn the frog into a prince. Looks like it worked here at the Botanical Garden.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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23 Responses to Kissing the Frog – Orchids, Pt.2

  1. joey says:

    Your orchid series has been amazing, Donna! A huge orchid fan, there are many here that I have never seen. Thank you for the stunning show.

  2. One says:

    Excellent photos and post! Thank you for those tips about color pairing.

  3. Sandra Jonas says:

    Geat series on orchids! I am guilty of not carrying them over for another season. Fortunately I have a friend to whom I give them.
    …I wish He would ‘lend’ them to me when they rebloom!!!

  4. Bom says:

    Great post, yet again. I’m confused now about what color blooms to bring into my house. Too many possible color combinations. 😛

  5. p3chandan says:

    Great post about orchids being used to accentuate the mood, feel and design of a room. Without them or even any flower there, as you said, its missing something that makes the room or the design outstanding. As usual your photos are excellent!

  6. Donna says:

    great colors, pics, tips and orchids….love the frog.. : )

  7. Holley says:

    Beautiful, beautiful. And in looking around my room, I could use an orchid or two. You’re right – it would bring a lot of life into the room. I may have to try another one. And yes, that frog is adorable!

  8. Angela says:

    What beautiful orchids! And cute frog too. I have green in the house but not much color. I’d love to have something in that rich orange color.

  9. dona says:

    Amazing orchids collection: I mostly loved the orange one, that I’d never seen before!

  10. Love your stunt plants Donna! Particularly some of those orange blooms. Shame I am incapable of keeping any form of house plant alive for longer than week…

  11. All the orchids are so stunning! An interior designer I would never make but I do love to try! Thanks for the tips. This has been a fabulous series.

  12. I’ve never grown orchids. The only ones I have are silk. I just don’t have the right amount of light inside but I definitely appreciate them when I see them.

  13. teresa says:

    These are such wonderful orchid photos. breathtaking flowers but you are right. they are like the ugly duckling starting out rather homely and then turning into pure beauty! it is sad they are disposed of but they seem to be difficult to keep alive long enough to rebloom

  14. debsgarden says:

    Your orchids are amazing. The ‘duller colored orchid’ is perhaps my favorite! It has a cute face hiding in there; the whole thing reminds me of a cartoonish, long-eared rabbit! Sorry, my mind is always giving personalities to plants.

  15. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna, amazing photos as usual. I wish i had the time and good light when i went to the last garden show, your photos made me envy the possibilities! Have you seen my last orchid post? I will be posting the other species next, but Vanda first, because it is my favorite. When you said the orchid plants are normally thought of as disposable after the flowers, i pity them, if only i can pick them i will be able to let them bloom and be loved again. BTW, when i Borobudur we saw a big frog rock, and i had a photo kissing it, haha!

  16. Alistair says:

    Great pictures of Orchids Donna. It is so true, they may not be grown for the foliage, but wow, those blooms.

  17. fairegarden says:

    Hi Donna, thanks for brightening the day with these beauties. Having them in the home decorating shots makes all the difference, those rooms would be mere skeletons of themselves without the orchids. I think the Paphs with mottled leaves quite pretty, as orchid foliage goes anyway, and yours is anything but dull! 🙂

  18. lifeshighway says:

    Beautiful orchids, I have never had the nerve to try one. I see them in the garden centers, admire them and walk away. I have one friend who is a collector and built a sun room just to house her lovelies. They scare me but I love looking.

  19. I think they’re all lovely — even the “duller” ones! One of these days I’ll get up the nerve to try growing an Orchid … in a terrarium … because out in the open my cats would eat it (or worse) which would not be good for the cats or the Orchid!

  20. Hi Donna you could convert me to orchids which over the years I have marvelled at but always managed to kill off by neglect.

  21. I really loved this post. Such incredible observations about what orchids were being used for in the design magazines. Also loved the more subtle orchids you highlighted plus orange of course.

  22. Cat says:

    Donna, what orchid would you recommend someone start with if they’ve never grown them before?

  23. lula says:

    Fantastic post Donna! beautiful images, great eye for frame’s detail and colors, I find orchids elegant but distant as to be just admired, but your point in the matching with decoration reflected in interior magazines is very savvy. Thanks, Lula

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