APHID IN MY EYE, adventures in the orchid trade, by Tom Powell Illustrator Betsy West Publisher B.B. Mackey Books
Anne K Moore
You don’t have to love orchids to love this little book. Tom Powell’s remembrances are not your usual Orchid Society fare. The book is populated by people with names like Mrs. Humbleton, Mrs. Birdee, Lord Herringbit, President P., and the three orchid artistry judges the Misses Burleigh, Shipstone and Doreitus. Powell says, “One exhibitor was heard to refer to these ladies as ‘the three ugly witches’-(actually ‘witches’ was not the word used.)”
Tom Powell, probably best known for his newsletter, The Avant Gardener, chronicles his and his wife Betty’s early passion for growing orchids back when orchids didn’t sprout in every supermarket. They were pioneers in the “grow orchids at home” movement. In their early orchid obsession days, they accepted an offer to run an orchid growing operation. “The modern greenhouse has electric carts and conveyor belts. We had only liniment and support hose.” Along with the orchids came the employees. Patsy, the male in charge, called waiting on customers “pest control.”
Aphid in My Eye will have you grinning and turning pages from the first to the last. Every once in a while there is a jolt that stops you reading to wipe tears of laughter from your eyes. Speaking of their days as tour guides, “They say that success breeds success, but we found it much more likely to breed twitches and incoherent speech.”
You don’t need to love orchids to love this book. Heck, you don’t even need to be a gardener. The humans that populate the orchid scenes take center stage. In addition, Betsy West’s illustrations are loads of fun. As to why the book is called Aphid in my Eye, well, you will have to read the book.
I received my copy of Aphid in My Eye: Adventures in the Orchid Trade from B.B. Mackey Books, (PO Box 475, Wayne, PA 19087) for review. You can purchase a copy from www.mackeybooks.com or at www.amazon.com
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
It’s not only coastal gardens that have to deal with persistent winds – inland gardens at higher altitudes and those in flat, wind-prone areas get regularly battered, too. Since there’s nothing good about plants stripped of their foliage or rendered dry and desiccated by a gale force tempest, the solution might be as simple as using specimens that are just fine with it. Here are a few we recommend. But first, some advice.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!