So when I stumbled onto Neptune, New Jersey's, Silva Orchids last year (via the Union Square Farmers' Market in NYC), I was immediately smitten. Brothers Joe and Tony Silva run the business their father Augusto started in 1957, bringing, "the dedication to quality and a love of the business learned from our founder and hope that some of this passion helps to inspire the awe of the beauty and majesty of these horticultural treasures of God’s creation."
Last week, with blog post in my mind and camera in my hand (and orchid in need of triage), I went back for a visit. I also figured that the cheery flowers would distract me from the 30-degree "spring" temperatures in our neck of the world.
Down a winding suburban road just a handful of miles from the shore house lies this tropical paradise. The greenhouse is filled with varietals an amateur like myself can't even wrap her head around.
And they are everywhere you turn...
Don't forget to look up...More roots than Britney Spears' hairline!
And the COLORS. The day I went to Silva the sun was barely poking from behind the cumulonimbus, and yet the flowers were still stunning. Even the man of the shore house was impressed. And usually he falls asleep in the nearest chair when I take him places like this.
In fact he was so infatuated, he picked one out for me. All by himself! Here she is, back at home...
(Note: I could have taken the power drill and dog bone out of the background, but it is shore house chic after all.)
I bought an orchid at Silva about this time last year that is (somewhat shockingly, even though I showered it with love all year) about to bloom again. Yay! It was just looking a little...well, sad...so I brought it back to get a professional opinion. Not only was Tony helpful in assessing and recommending (tweezers to pull out any nasty bits around the base of the foliage, followed up by a gentle peroxide mist at the leaf base to prevent infection), he actually did all this for me and tucked Penelope (seems like a good orchid name) into a bag and back in my car.
June 5th and 6th will be the opportune time to visit for their annual Silva Orchids Culture Day and Sale. More info is coming soon on their web site, but if I remember the flier from last year it's an open house with potting and growing seminars, a hands-on culture planting tutorial, and a BBQ. Visit their web site atsilvaorchids.com for more information as it becomes available.