Join us in celebrating the orchid, one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center from Oct. 1 – 8. Though the majority of these plants grow in the tropics, Shangri La’s Epiphyte House features several spectacular varieties, including some that grow wild in our natural environment. Daily tours of the Exhibition Greenhouses will showcase a variety of orchids including Fragrant Lady Tresses, Grass Pink, Kentucky Lady Slippers and many others. The Orchid Festival at Shangri La features guest speakers and other presenters to cultivate interest and educate the public about the orchid.

In addition to the events at Shangri La, both the Stark Museum of Art and The W.H. Stark House are hosting activities. The Museum will have a mini-exhibit Orchids from the Hunt, which features lithographs of exotic orchids. The Museum will also host a book discussion on The Orchid Thief. Orchid Festival attendees will also receive a voucher for a free tour at The W.H. Stark House, where the Epiphyte House once stood.

See the Orchid Festival itinerary below for details of all activities.

Free Classes and Discussions

Saturday, Oct. 1 (9:30 a.m.) – Saturday Adventure Series: All About Orchids – During this family program, learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about orchids. We will explore orchid anatomy, reproduction, and ecology as we focus on orchids native to Texas and growing in Shangri La. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409.670.9799.

Saturday, Oct. 1 (11 a.m.) – Easy Orchids and Their Growing Techniques for our Southern Climate – Join Don Ghiz, Accredited American Orchid Society Judge, as he discusses various orchids that easily tolerate our climate. Learn the basics of what orchids need to grow and how to grow them in Southeast Texas. In this program, learn potting, watering, fertilizing and pest control techniques that one needs to be a successful orchid grower. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409.670.9799.

Tuesday, Oct. 4 (6:30 p.m.) – Orchidelirium: Past and Present, Round table Discussion of the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean – A panel will lead discussion of this bestseller. Topics include connections between horticulture, protection of endangered species, economics, art, cultural history and social issues. Participants are encouraged to read the book in advance. Light refreshments will be available. This free event will be held at the Stark Museum of Art.

Saturday, Oct. 8 (9:30 a.m.) – Saturday Adventure Series: Orchids, Culture, & Customs – For centuries, orchids have been adored and used by different cultures around the world. Explore the many roles that orchids have played in different societies. This program features fun interactive games for the whole family. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409.670.9799.

Saturday, October 8 (11 a.m.) – Hardy Orchids for Your Garden – In this program led by Horticulture Specialist Jennifer Buckner, the different types of hardy orchids that can thrive in our Southeast Texas climate will be identified. Learn how to grow them outside in your garden and in containers. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409.670.9799.
Tours and Exhibits

Exhibition Greenhouses Tours – Join Jennifer Buckner, Horticulture Specialist in a guided tour through the Exhibition Greenhouses. In celebration of the annual festival, special orchids will be on display. Exhibition Greenhouse Tours are free to the public. Please RSVP at 409-670-9799, space is limited. Tours meet at the admission window at scheduled times below. Space is limited. RSVP by calling 409-670-9799.

Saturday, Oct. 1 – 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 4 – 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 5 – 10 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 6 – 10 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 7 – 10 a.m., 2:00 p.m.

Orchids from the Hunt at Stark Museum of Art – In conjunction with Orchid Festival, the Stark Museum of Art will have a mini-exhibit featuring lithographs of exotic orchids in three botanical volumes. Nineteenth-century orchid hunter and publisher Jean Jules Linden played a role in the discovery and then the dissemination of these three beautiful flowers.

Complimentary Tours at The W.H. Stark House – Orchid Festival attendees will receive a voucher for a complimentary tour of The W.H. Stark House from Oct. 1 – 8. On display in the adjacent Carriage House will be images of the two greenhouses that stood on the grounds, including the 1917 Lord and Brunham Greenhouse that now serves as the Epiphyte House at Shangri La. Also on display will be antique orchid images and an original letter from First Lady Edith Wilson to Frances Ann Lutcher thanking Mrs. Lutcher for the gift of orchids she sent to The White House.