I have been growing orchids for close to 20 years and like most hobbyists I started as a windowsill grower. My neighbor for over 25 years was Dr. Arthur Kaplan who had a world class collection in two greenhouses. He was the single most influential person in my interest in orchids as he consistently encouraged my growing curiosity. Of course like any good mentor he took “advantage” of my interest by recruiting me to help him in his greenhouses. Arthur provided me invaluable experience as I grow my collection of some 250 mostly Cattleyas in my greenhouse. Every hour I spend in my greenhouse and with my plants is an opportunity to enjoy what Mother Nature provides us while reminiscing the lessons Dr. Kaplan instilled in all his orchid students.
I got my first orchid in 2001. A move to Virginia Beach in 2015 across country from Arkansas prompted me to give away my orchids to a friend who loved orchids. So, I started all over again I guess you can say my orchid collection really started when I moved here. I attended my first orchid auction at the Tidewater Orchid Society. Of course I came home with several. I joined TOS and my love for orchids, my knowledge of orchids and my collection of orchids has grown. I grow inside and on my screened in porch. My collection of orchids is now at 48. I do not have a favorite yet, I love them all, but I do favor the unusual ones.
Still new to the hobby of growing orchids, I joined the Tidewater Orchid Society in 2014. Having grown up with a father with a green thumb for orchids,my thumb was pretty black. I began to seek help from all the experts at the meetings, and when the opportunity of a beginer's class was available I began my journey. The classes taught me the basics of growing orchids. Now I have roughly 30 orchids that are growing and blooming. I have a few species including oncidium, phalaenopsis, and dendrobium that do well as window sill plants.
I've been growing orchids for about 3 years. I prefer Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis, but I grow lots of other types. I grow outside in the Summer, and under lights the rest of the year. Currently I own about 120 plants.