Metairie, La (WGNO) —American shopping malls are perfect metaphors for the diversity of life. Within them are an array of every manner of person. Every walk of life is expressed through vibrant colors, styles and the murmur of retail therapy.

Once a year, the New Orleans Orchid Society holds their annual Orchid Show and Sale, giving shoppers a chance to go home with a piece of the exotic.

Larry Hennessey is the Vice President of New Orleans Orchid Society and says, “the New Orleans show is one of the biggest shows in the south.  People love orchids in so many different ways.   The Orchid Society was founded in 1950.  It’s been around for over 70 years now.”

Diversity through the plant kingdom is flamboyantly expressed, from Cattleyas, Oncidiums, Phalaenopsis, and Bulbophyllums. The specimen plants are judged on Saturday, based off the the American Orchid Society’s criteria and they bring honor the art of cultivation.

“Orchids are sometimes the easiest plants in the world to grow.  Most of them are epiphytes and an epiphyte grows on the side of a tree in the jungle somewhere.  Water falls out of the sky down the tree trunk to water them.  There is nobody out there with a hose watering them in nature.  They are pretty hardy plants.  The reason I can grow and bloom them better than you is because I have killed a lot more than you.  I didn’t give up,” says Hennessey. Larry Hennessey grew a passion for plants watching his family in the garden when he was a child.

Our efforts in life sometimes are not without a share of difficulty but with the right irrigation for the soul, energy and a spirit to keep on growing; beauty prevails. That is just what all the gardeners at the New Orleans Orchid Show have achieved, growing orchids for shoppers and those who appreciate life.

“So much in life, there is no positive feedback or reward.  The effort you put into growing a plant and then getting rewarded with that big beautiful flower, is the feedback we all are looking for,” explains Hennessey.

The New Orleans Orchid Society Show and Sale takes place at the Lakeside Mall in Metairie, outside of Dillards, through June 4th. To attend and learn more about orchids, click here.

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