Segue, More Ice

The word, segue, comes from Italian, and literally means, follow. So this seems a good transition, a good segue, to follow ice sculptures in the previous post, with more ice.
I'm in central Florida (where it's 20 degrees tonight, which makes neither the locals nor us tourists very happy). I visited the Tropical Plant Industry Exposition in Ft. Lauderdale, along with a Garden Writers of America Regional meeting, held at the Expo. The tropical plant Expo is a large trade show with all kinds of wholesale plant people from across Florida and lots from the East and West Coasts, as well. It's where people come to see what's new to the industry this year, and where wholesalers get new accounts for their plants. The ice sculpture, above, was part of a booth promoting the Just Add Ice Orchids, which you may have noticed in stores already. Their sales gimmick is to point out that orchids are tough plants and easy to grow. So easy, in fact, that all you have to do is add 3 or 4 ice cubes on the top of the pot once a week!
Two large, healthy orchids, frozen in solid ice, as part of the display. No, they won't survive when thawed out.

They had frozen a couple of large orchids in ice as part of their display, which I thought was going a bit overboard, but it was eye catching. Our long time acquaintance, P. Allen Smith was there to promote the orchids and sign some books. I think he's the official spokesperson for the Just Add Ice series. Chris Bytes was one of our speakers at the Garden Writers' Regional, speaking on using videos for business promotion.
P. Allen Smith with Chris Bytes, Editor of GrowerTalks Magazine and Ball Red Book. I did some writing for Chris a few years back in the Red Book.

The show has always been palms, blooming plants, planters, soil, bamboo... all those plants you think of as tropical. And they were here, also, but what surprised even the long time booth folks, was how fast orchids have become popular. In fact, the 2 unintentional themes of this year's show, was plant walls and orchids. (More about plant walls later).
There were orchids in all sizes and price ranges
The trade show had 22 rows across the auditorium, with about 12 or 15 booths on each side of the 22 aisles; that's a lot of plant displays! But everyone was talking about how the orchids had taken over this year. And the one everyone wanted was a new blue one. (For comparison, the orchids above retail for about $12; the fancy blue ones were going for $40).
But even this one wasn't the bluest of the blues.
This one, below, won one of the prizes for best in show this year.

The nursery producing these orchids (below) also won an award for best in show. Their orchids (sorry, I'm not up on my orchid varieties - remember, I grow plants I can eat, were spectacular waterfall orchids.
You can't tell it from this photo, but this is a 12 ft high wall of orchids!
My apologies for the poor photo quality. I am trying out my new smartphone's photo capabilities; I'm disappointed in the quality. However, hopefully you can see what amazingly long stems of flowers these orchids have, many of them 2 ft long or more!
The anthurium runway. The grower is from Germany and he had some spectacular plants.
There was an anthurium grower at the show, showing off new color introductions in anthuriums. Lots of the booths try to put on a big splash to draw attention and sell their plants. Bringing P. Allen Smith, for example. This grower hired models and had a runway, lights and music, putting on a show with the girls showcasing bouquets of the anthuriums.
Sorry one more time, for the poor photo quality.

And the second big theme at the show (and apparently at other plant shows this year) is plant walls. Here are a couple of previews of more to come.
I'll stay in Florida for a few more days, hopefully finding somewhere that is warmer than the weather in Bradenton is tonight. Hope it's warm where you are, too.


Rhonda D. said...

Great photos, it sounds like fun, despite the weather. I absolutely love the living wall concept and keep thinking we need one (or two) here somewhere. Thanks for the tropical views- I'm not an orchid grower either but can appreciate gorgeous flowers!

Dittony said...

My mom worked for an orchid wholesaler while I was growing up. The blue ones are gorgeous. I will show her the photos.


Robert Bornstein said...

Wow, wish I could have met you at the show. I was there also. Shirley Bovshow and I met up and I know she got to go to the GW meeting, I had to work so missed it.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

WOW, wonderful post. And that BLUE! I'm in love, but like you, I grow edibles and natives, although I LOVE the orchids and the walls too. Here in California it is all about succulent walls.

Big hug,