Hi there, everyone!
My love of plants began when I was very young, and when I was 12 I began asking my mom if I could grow an orchid. I already had African Violets, Amaryllis, and a few other general houseplants in our 100 year old farmhouse. She told me she personally thought orchids were ugly, and that my dad only bought her an orchid corsage on Mother's day because it was something that he liked to get her.
My mother allowed me to buy an orchid from my only mail order resource I currently knew of... Michigan Bulb Company. (Needless to say, that orchid was in a 2 inch pot, and took the next 7 or 8 years before it bloomed. I've learned a bit since then! hehehe!) I was at that time 15 years old.
THEN she saw an article in our eye doctor's waiting room while I was in for an exam. It was a Better Homes & Gardens magazine featuring an interview with Orchids By Hausermann in Chicago. She was so enthused by the article, which had amazing photos of Paphs, Cattleys and Phals, that she showed me afterwards and contacted Hausemann's herself to have a catalog sent to me.
When it arrived, I placed an order for a white Phalaenopsis. It arrived on Valentine's Day ... how fitting! That plant bloomed for me every year, and was even in my Senior photo shoot.
Over the years, I have added enough orchids to my collection that I don't have space for many more indoors in this farmhouse! I have in my collection Phalaenopsis (doesn't everyone?), Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium, Vanda, Miltonia and intergenerics, an Encyclia and Epidendrum orchids.
Eventually, I will take in for my senses an orchid show! I just missed the Ann Arbor, MI, show this past weekend. That just means I will have to wait a little while longer.