ORANGE — Come celebrate the orchid, one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas, from Oct. 6 - Oct. 13.
At Shangri La, there will be daily tours of the Exhibition Greenhouses, classes and presentations highlighting the orchid, and a variety of orchids will also be available for purchase at Shangri La’s Garden Store. In addition to the events at Shangri La, both the Stark Museum of Art and The W.H. Stark House are hosting activities related to orchids. For more information or to download a printable itinerary, visit www.shangrilagardens.org.
Classes and Discussions at Shangri La
• Saturday, Oct. 6, (9:30 a.m.) - Saturday Adventure Series: The Poetry of Plants - Let the works of poets spark your own Shangri La writing experience. Using orchids as inspiration, learn about and write your own orchid haiku. Brave participants might even share their poetry! This program will start and end in the Nature Discovery Lab, and will include a stroll through the Epiphyte Greenhouse. Presented by Amanda Noble. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409-670-9799.
• Saturday, Oct. 6 (11 a.m.) - Paradise Preserved: Adventures in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest - Join Darrin Duling, Director of Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, in a visual journey to the Macae de Cima Forest Reserve in the Organ Mountains of Brazil. This 38,000-acre tropical mountain paradise, full of endangered orchids and other rare plants, exist only through the efforts of one couple’s 30-year struggle to keep loggers and developers away. Enjoy images of breath-taking vistas and beautiful flowers that still remain in this small portion of pristine rainforest. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409-670-9799.
• Saturday, Oct. 13 (9:30 a.m.) - Saturday Adventure Series: I Scream for Orchids - We all know how delicious vanilla bean flavors are, but did you know that the vanilla bean is actually the seed pod of an orchid? In this program we will be talking about the vanilla orchid, making vanilla ice cream, and talking about other uses of edible orchids around the world. Ice cream lovers of all ages will enjoy this program. Presentation by Kaycee Dortch. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409-670-9799.
Tours and Exhibits
• Shangri La Exhibition Greenhouses Tours - Join Jennifer Buckner, Horticulture Specialist in a guided tour through the Exhibition Greenhouses. In celebration of the annual festival, special orchids will be on display, including some that grow wild in our natural environment. Daily tours of the Exhibition Greenhouses will give visitors the opportunity to see heirloom orchids such as Bowring’s Cattleya. This variety of orchid was grown in the original greenhouse once located on the grounds of The W.H. Stark House. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409-670-9799.
Greenhouse tours are free to the public and will take place at the following times: 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6; 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7; 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9; 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10; 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 11; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12; 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13.
Visitors wishing to tour the Botanical Gardens must pay admission. Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, noon - 5 p.m., Sundays. For more information, visit www.shangrilagardens.org.
• Stark Museum of Art Orchid Exhibition and Spotlight - The Museum will have a mini-exhibit, “Orchid Festival,” which features lithographs of exotic orchids from rare books in the Museum’s collection. Librarian Jenniffer Hudson Connors will give a spotlight “Obsessed with Orchids: Botanical Art of the Nineteenth Century” about the role of artists and publishers in satisfying the public fascination with orchids during the 1800s. The spotlight times are: 12:45 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6; 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9; 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Located at 712 Green Ave. in Orange, Texas, the Stark Museum of Art is open to the public 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free for all ages. Group tours are available by appointment. For more information, call 409-886-2787 or visit www.starkmuseum.org.
• The W.H. Stark House Image Exhibition and House Tours - The W.H. Stark House will have a display of images of the 1917 Lord and Burnham Greenhouse, which originally stood on the grounds of The House and is now in use as the Shangri La Epiphyte Greenhouse, along with images of the preceding 1909 greenhouse and various images from antique orchid books. Those attending Orchid Festival activities at Shangri La are invited to keep their admission ticket from anytime during Oct. 6 - Oct. 13 to receive a complimentary tour of The House during that same week.
Located at 610 Main Avenue in Orange, Texas, The W.H. Stark House is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with the last tour beginning at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 409-883-0871 or visit www.whstarkhouse.org.