Orchids in Australia…

Guest post by Lynne Dallas, Sydney

There is no doubt that the popularity of Phalaenopsis Orchids is not going away any time soon, they continue to be as popular, now, as ever. In fact, with today’s availability and affordability the popularity of Phalaenopsis is on the up.

They are currently the UK’s most popular houseplant and so readily available, chances are you could buy one from somewhere at any given time of the day or night for not a bad price.

The UK is spoiled for choice, the range and diversity of Phalaenopsis Orchids available is outstanding. The normal range of plants available in UK supermarkets, is second to none let alone up market Florist shops – Single stems, twin stems, small flowers, large flowers, cascading stems, mini orchids, micro orchids, the list goes on!

British Phalaenopsis are lovingly grown in the UK and expertly chosen for the best qualities such as longevity, colour, stem count, number of flowers, even scent!

It is with this knowledge in mind that I am constantly on the look out for orchids wherever I go and my recent move to Australia left me keen to find out how they do Orchids down under!

My research so far has included Flower shops, Garden Centre’s and Supermarkets to get a snapshot of what Australia has to offer.

When it comes to Floristry and Floral style there is no doubt in my mind that Australia is amongst the best in the world. Sydney has some stunning Florists and their style is lush and bold. Not dissimilar to the UK, there is a current trend for organic botanical design and Sydney does it with confidence and a unique flair.

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Pearsons Florist in Oxford Street Sydney, with a stunning display of Phalaenopsis Orchids.

Some in simple neutral containers and some layered beautifully with moss, stones and bark chips for an organic feel.

 

 

 

 

 

In Sydney I went to Pearsons Florist because they have a great reputation for style and the stores (of which there are several throughout Sydney as well as a prestigious flower school) always have such stunning displays.

At Pearsons Florist I was able to speak to Barbara Pollak the director of Pearsons School of Floristry and ask some questions about the type of customers buying Phalaenopsis Orchids.

“We sell a lot in our stores and some online for gifts.  Customers like the way they are presented and gift packaged”-Said Barbara “the value we add.”

“Most are purchased as a gift, with the most popular being White, Tall single stemmed.”

Barbara went on to tell me that the larger Orchids were Australian grown but that the mini orchids were usually imported. “The range and variety available is, usually single or twin stemmed and minis only. However, Sydney Florists use a lot of cut Phalaenopsis for weddings events and special clients like hotels.”

I asked Barbara what sets them apart from the Orchids available in supermarkets -“Clients appreciate the value added in quality, care  and presentation buying from a ‘high-end’ florist.  We also carry a broad range and offer service and advice”.

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What became clear from my snapshot of Sydney Florists is that they are presenting Phalaenopsis Orchids beautifully.

They are stylish and contemporary and displayed in interesting textural containers, wrapped or in filled containers of interesting natural materials.

 

 

 

 

Sydney Florists have Phalaenopsis style well and truly covered, however the jury is out on supermarkets! I visited a couple and found the Orchids to only be single stemmed and mostly average quality. Although the display equipment in one store was nicer than I had seen in UK supermarkets, the plants weren’t very exciting.

In conclusion I have been surprised at the lack of range and variety available in Australia so far, considering they are indigenous to parts of this beautiful country. The UK consumer really has it good when it comes to choice and price!

However, my quest to find exceptional orchids continues – look out for future blogs where I visit Phalaenopsis Orchids growers in Australia!


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