Orchids are among the most elegant and delicate of blossoms in our world. They can be difficult to grow, rare to see in the wild, and an absolute pleasure to witness thriving in a garden. R.F. Orchids [28100 SW 182 Ave. Homestead, FL 33030-1804] is the premiere spot in Florida to acquire and learn about the plants.
Rows of flowers hanging from the ceiling, with magically suspended dangling roots.
The variation of this flower is incredible, there are countless different sizes, shapes, and colors.
I have studied the plant at the New York Botanical Gardens during the Orchid Show and my favorite kind is the Chocolate Oncidium – not because of its visual beauty (although it is uniquely stunning), but for its smell!
Most of orchid flowers do not produce a strong odor, but this one smells just like chocolate. Just walking around the store is a feast for the eyes, but if you happen to visit on a weekend there are garden tours which are very fun and informative.
The owner lives right next door to the shop in a lush wonderland. He opens up his home gives the free tours. Along the way you will learn so many facts about orchids and see them growing freely.
DID YOU KNOW…
+Vanilla comes from orchids – this absolutely floored me
+The banana looking Cowhorn Orchid has a symbiotic relationship with ants
+The endangered Ghost Orchid is native to Florida, you can find it in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Not only will you learn about orchids, but about the history of Homestead and other cool botanical facts. You’ll see lizards, butterflies, wild, and pet birds.
At the end of the tour our guide was gracious enough to present us with a gift – a shot of ‘scorpion wine’ which looks badass, and tasted like 80 proof vodka with a hint of lemongrass.
Overall, this is a place to enjoy a wonderful garden-scape and perhaps go home with an amazing souvenir!