Marie Stone is one of the loveliest and most intelligent women I know. I first met her about 20 years ago when our two sons were in orientation for preschool as three year olds! She has “worn many hats” through the years: a Mom , a wife, a physician, an equestrian, a Master Gardener, church and school volunteer, etc. The list goes on and on. But, her great faith is her shining star! In 1999, Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She states: “My experience with cancer grew my faith tremendously. I would go through it all again for all of the positives that have come out of it”. Up until her diagnosis, she had practiced anesthesiology for 13 years. A disability related to her cancer treatment forced her to retire. Marie, an avid gardener, attributes her love of gardening to her Mother. You will often find her in her greenhouse tending her beloved orchids, starting her own seed, or perhaps even propagating a plant! She has successfully raised orchids for many years. Her favorite orchid is an Oncidium known as “Sharry Baby” which has an appealing chocolate scent. Her gardening abilities and diverse knowledge of plants are impressive. Her poised and unassuming manner is one of her most attractive features. Whether she is explaining a gardening technique, participating in a Bible study, or suggesting a good book, Marie seems to always be surrounded by good friends. She is married to John, and they have two grown children, Daniel and Caitlin.
On a recent trip to her greenhouse, this stunning Cattleya was in full bloom.
Two lovely blooming Phalaenopsis orchids are shown below which Marie states are the easiest variety to grow.
Pictured below is Marie’s pretty daughter, Caitlin, with her prom date several years ago. After she selected her prom dress, Marie immediately realized that the perfect flower for a wrist corsage was her Cattleya orchid. She took some of the stems to her florist, and he created a lovely and unique wrist corsage. The delicate fuchsia colored blooms could not be more perfect with her stunning dress! The blooming wisteria tree, one of Marie’s garden favorites, provides a picture perfect background..
Here are more orchids that Marie photographed and was so kind to share..
Orchid growing tips from Marie:
1. After an orchid quits blooming, clip the stem about 1/2 inch above the second node. Here is a detailed how to video from the American Orchid Society: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABXOpzwe3Wo
2. In warm weather months when the temperature is consistently 50 degrees higher and above, place the orchid outside in a hanging basket under a shady tree. The orchid will thrive in a natural setting.
3. Water as needed (depending on rain fall). If the orchid is extremely dry, immerse in a bucket of water for a few seconds until the air bubbles stop.
4. Fertilize with a diluted orchid fertilizer every two weeks or so.
Pictured below are orchids that Marie places outside in the warmer months in hanging baskets under a shady tree.
Thanks, Marie, for the breath-taking pictures and orchid care tips! We look forward to more glimpses of your beautiful garden….