Tag Archives: orchid mania

Guest Post – Orchid Mania: Purple Reign comes to the Cleveland Botanical Garden

One of the things I enjoy about Clue Into Cleveland is when someone offers to share their CLE experiences with me.  So, when my friend Elizabeth asked if she could write about the Botanical Garden’s Orchid Mania show, I immediately said yes.

You may remember Elizabeth from her previous Clue Into Cleveland contributions: People-Watching Spots in Coventry and Celebrating Jewish Culture at the Maltz Museum. You can also follow her on Twitter @egrepp and @cleyogi. With our shared love of the Cleveland Botanical Garden, having her write this was a natural fit. Enjoy!

– Amanda


I love Orchids and I love the Cleveland Botanical Garden. When I discovered that the annual event Orchid Mania: Purple Reign was happening while a friend would be visiting it seemed serendipitous. I made an executive decision to Cleveland Botanical Gardensvisit while she was here. I then begged Amanda to write about it, even though she just wrote an entry about the place last month. She kindly appeased me. I visited with my out of town friend the first weekend in March.

The Botanical Garden was much more crowded then it has been during previous visits; a true testament to the popularity of the annual happening. The lobby of the Botanical Garden was filled with a temporary display of different types of orchids. Orchids littered both permanent exhibits in a photographer’s heaven. In fact, there were many people wandering the gardens with fancy cameras. Ours was not nearly as fancy but even an amateur photographer can get beautiful shots because the flowers are featured seamlessly in the exhibits. I absolutely loved the new twist and ascetic achieved through the addition of the lovely Orchids.

Anyone who is a member of the Cleveland Botanical Garden can participate in the sale of Orchids after the event. Color me jealous! Sadly, I’ve killed two Orchids in the past four years. After seeing more of these amazing plants, I was determined to give it another go; hoping that I really haven’t inherited my mother’s “black thumb”.

Luckily, there were vendors selling plants and even a glass greenhouse. Those who were participating were Borlin’s Orchids, Carter’s Greenhouse, Windswept in Time, Storehouse Tea Company and Boko Botanicals. I tried some of the tea from Storehouse and will be purchasing some of their tea from their website. I stopped by Borlin’s Orchids display, confessed my poor luck with previous flowers and asked what they’d recommend for someone like me. I spoke with a very knowledgeable gentleman. I am almost positive it was the owner Louis, who went through all of my different options. I opted for a kind that needs less watering. I must admit I don’t remember the type but I was told if I take good care of it that it will flower in another six months. So, I am crossing my fingers that in 6 months I will have taken good enough care of little Olivia that she’ll give me some more flowers!

I would highly suggest visiting the Cleveland Botanical Gardens during this event, even if Orchids aren’t your “thing.” Orchid Mania extends through the end of March. Hours for the Botanical Garden are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and they are closed on Mondays. Adults are $8.50 and children are $3.00.


Have a Cleveland adventure you’d like to share on Clue Into Cleveland? Tweet me @ADHicken or send me an email at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com.


Cleveland Botanical Garden 411:

Cleveland Botanical Gardens: Escaping The Cold with a Touch of Spring

From the whimsical Hershey Children's Garden to the Elizabeth and Nona Evans Restorative Garden and the Sears-Swetland Rose Garden, there is plenty to explore outside at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

If my love for Cleveland Indians Snow Days was any indication, I am very fond of winter. While it’s not my favorite season (Fall holds that title), I like it a lot more than allergy-ridden Spring.  However, with all the snow and ice this past week, there have been moments where I’ve caught myself daydreaming about warmer days with flowers in bloom.

That’s when I remind myself I can venture over to University Circle and visit the Cleveland Botanical Garden. With ten acres of outdoor gardens and the 18,000 sq. ft. Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, the Conservatory has been dedicated for 75 years to its mission of  improving quality of life in urban environments through gardening, horticulture and environmental education. The best part? It’s open all year long.

The gardens are so beautifully designed and expertly maintained – more than anything I could ever dream of in my own backyard. Of course, if it’s a day like yesterday, a trip to the Botanical Garden’s Glasshouse transports guests to warmer locales such as the spiny desert of Madagascar and the cloud forest of Costa Rica.  These authentic recreations of two of the earth’s most fragile ecosystems house over 350 species of plants and 50 species of animals.

A trip to the Botanical Garden's Glasshouse transports guests to warmer locales filled with plants and animals such as this butterfly.

One of my favorite visits to the Botanical Garden was actually not for the flowers.  This past September, the Cleveland Botanical Garden hosted their first RIPE! Food & Garden Festival – a weekend-long celebration of Northeast Ohio’s local food and edible gardening revolution.  In attendance were local farms such as Patterson’s Fruit Farm, Ohio City Farm and Snowville Creamery, restaurants and stores such as Fire, AMP 150 and Heinen’s, advocacy groups and even local brewery Indigo Imp (who made a special harvest brew for RIPE).

While sampling absolutely delicious fare, Scott, I and the rest of the guests learned a lot about the local food movement and gardening for food from demonstrations such as ‘Homemade Mozzarella Making,’ ‘Grass-Fed Beef Preparation,’ ‘Backyard Pizza Gardens,’ and ‘Fermenting.’  Moving beyond the traditional role of a botanical garden, the RIPE! Festival really highlighted the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s goal to educate visitors about how a healthy relationship between plants and humans benefits our local environment.


At this Fall’s RIPE! Festival, local farms and businesses such as Snowville Creamery helped the Cleveland Botanical Garden educate the region on the local food and edible gardening movements.

The Botanical Garden features special events and exhibitions throughout the year. The next major one is Orchid Mania, their annual ode to one of nature’s most fascinating plants. In its 8th year, the 2011 Orchid Mania festival runs February 26th – March 27th and will feature orchids of all colors, shapes, sizes and patterns throughout the gardens and in the Glasshouse. This year’s theme is Purple Reign, not just a playful pun on the Prince song but also a nod to the prevailing color of the ‘queen of all flowers.’

The notion of royalty will be further highlighted at the festival’s French and Funky Preview Party on February 25th from 6-8pm. Guests will not just be able to see the orchids before the show opens to the public, but sample french food prepared by local chefs. If the coupling of plants and food is anything like it was at RIPE!, it’ll be well worth the ticket price.

Cleveland Botanical Garden 411: