Flowers, Always and Always…

Snowy greetings, friends!

Walking through our snowy garden today warmed my heart. I smiled as I remembered the last flowers of summer…

Flower heads of Sedum 'Autum Joy' in the snow

Flower heads of Sedum ‘Autum Joy’ in the snow

The dried stems and snow-covered flower heads create a lovely ‘shadow garden’ on bright, sunny days. All winter long, they add interest to the garden beds and attract animals in search of seeds and shelter. In the very early spring, last season’s dried flowers even offer nesting materials for the birds. Tracks in the snow showed that rabbits had also been enjoying the garden today.

Hydrangeas in the snow

Snow-covered Hydrangeas

When the winter chill chased me inside, Monet’s words came to mind…

“I must have flowers, always and always.”

I knew exactly where to go to find colorful flowers in bloom!  With my camera in hand, I took a short drive to the expansive greenhouses of  Orchids by Hausermann, the oldest and largest orchid growers in the Midwest. It’s the perfect getaway on a cold winter day ~ a true oasis filled with beautiful orchids!


Spectacular colors and sweet fragrances fill the air.

Wandering through the four acres of greenhouses, while stopping to admire the beauty of so many amazing varieties of orchids, is truly breathtaking.  For many years, I have been an orchid admirer, rather than an orchid grower. The special growing conditions that most orchids require still intimidate this seasoned gardener.


Miltoniopsis ~ The Pansy Orchid, thrives in cooler temperatures (Days: 70-75 degrees, Nights: 60-62 degrees). It prefers the lower light of a northern exposure or a filtered, eastern exposure. It must be kept moist and prefers 50% humidity.

So, this visit to Orchids by Hausermann is simply a joyful opportunity to soak up the beauty of these amazing flowers, without being distracted by their care requirements. I thought you might enjoy a little break from winter, too!

The flowers are waiting…







Each time I visit, I love to peek into the window of the Nursery Room.


Most of the orchids grown here spend the first two or three years of their lives in bottles,

growing in a jello-like medium, called agar.


A few times, I have tried to grow a colorful Phalaenopsis orchid enjoying their graceful, long-lasting blossoms. Only one orchid plant has rebloomed for me. Perhaps our house is just too cool and dry during the winter to raise happy orchids.


There is still so much to learn about these fascinating plants!


On the way home, I just had to stop at the library to check out books about orchids.

Perhaps there is an easy-to-grow orchid for

a flower-lover, with a cool, dry house in winter,

whose travels take her away from home for weeks at a time.

Hope so!

“I must have flowers, always and always.”  ~ Claude Monet



A visit to Orchids by Hausermann is a delight any time of year.

It’s almost time for

Hausermann’s Open House Orchid Show and Sale 2015

A tradition for over 50 years, this year’s festivities will be held

February 27th-March 1st  ~ and ~ March 6th-8th.

{Be sure to bring your camera!}

Warm wishes!

♡ Dawn

                   P.S.  Have you ever grown orchids?


25 thoughts on “Flowers, Always and Always…

    • Hi Jayne! There are so many beautiful varieties of orchids. It would be so hard to choose a favorite! Have you ever grown orchids? Hope you are enjoying your first winter in Savannah! ♡

  1. Have you been channeling my thoughts, Dawn, for I have been thinking of taking a ride to Hausermann’s and here you are, bringing it to me in your words and photos? I’ve never been good with orchids, but, what a treat for the senses it is to wander around in their greenhouse, especially so deep into winter. Thank you.

    • Oh, Penny! You should definitely visit Hausermann’s! Be sure to bring your camera. Do you have any other favorite places to enjoy flowers in winter? I also enjoy visiting the greenhouses at Platt Hill Nursery for a splash of color in the midst of winter. Stay warm! ♡

  2. Yes, I have grown orchids! How beautiful these pictures you share, and what a wonderful way to escape winter for a few hours! They are begging to be painted, don’t you know? {new pens arrived, so I might just copy a shape to sketch and colour later}
    When I say I have grown orchids, i mean that I have bought orchids in flower and then, over a year or two {after they fade} brought them back in to flower. They are not that difficult as long as you do not over water or over feed. Think of them as canopy dwelling and try to copy the conditions. You don’t even have to stake them for their natural habitat is to hang naturally from the branches! You can tell, I did a lot of research. A shady shelf in a humid area ~ or a daily spritz of water, or sitting in a bowl of wet pebbles {but not in contact with the water} is the best thing ~~~and don’t overfeed! Mix your normal plant feed then dilute a teaspoon of that solution in a pint of water. Sadly, after three repeat flowerings mine did not survive, but it was such a thrill to bring them on to flower by my own hand. sorry, rattled on a bit there ~~~
    I’m so pleased to see you do not fastidiously dead head in the garden. I love the structure and colour given by the seed heads, and they are a valuable source of foraging for birds too.
    ~~~Deb in Wales

    • Oh, Deb! Thank you for the encouraging words and helpful tips about growing orchids! If I can find just the right, easy-to-grow variety that will thrive in cooler temperatures, I’d love to try growing them again. Just knowing how long it takes to raise an orchid (from the bottles in the Nursery Room) makes me want to be successful so that they can thrive and be happy in our growing conditions here. So, I’m definitely going to read and learn more about growing orchids! I do hope you will sketch and color and orchid of your own. It will look lovely in watercolor! Thanks so much for sharing your orchid growing experiences with all of us, Deb! ♡

  3. Wonderful photos, Dawn! Your “shadow garden” looks beautiful in the snow, and I love those orchids! Orchids are one of my favorite flowers, though I’ve never tried to grow my own. I’ve never seen ones as pretty as those in your pictures, though! Have a great weekend ❤

    • Hi Chris! It’s so nice to have a ‘shadow garden’ all winter long. I can enjoy the faded flowers while shoveling snow, and the animals enjoy them, too! It takes a lot more time to clean up the garden beds in the spring, but for me it’s so worth it! It’s just amazing to see so many varieties of orchids, in every color and pattern imaginable. There were tiny orchid plants in boom, small enough to grow in a teacup. So sweet! Wishing you a happy weekend, too! ♡

    • Hi Judy! We have the same cool, dry growing conditions in our house all winter long. I always thought that I would have more time to devote to learning to grow orchids when I retired. But now, I have been traveling more often. So, it’s hard on our houseplants. Hoping to find an orchid that would be happy here. It feels like an important responsibility to care for a plant that has taken so long to grow! Happy weekend! ♡

    • Great ideas, Penny! I haven’t been to the Oak Park Conservatory in ages. I should also make a plan to visit Vern Goers. Winter would be the perfect time to visit! “I must have flowers, always and always.” I know you feel the same… Enjoy the sunshine! ♡

  4. Growing orchids reminds me of my father. He grew orchids in his retirement in FL. But then, Dad could grow anything! The tour of Hausermann’s orchids was beautiful. Wonderful eye candy for these cold days. Monet’s quote was perfect for the orchids (and always!).

    • Hi Jill! So glad that you stopped to visit! I’ll bet orchids would be very happy in Florida. You must get your love of gardening from your dad. I get my passion for gardening from my mom. While I was growing up, she always tended her lovely roses. Now she lives in the Southwest and has a beautiful cactus garden. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to visit Monet’s garden? Happy weekend, Jill! ♡

  5. Dawn,
    I love orchids but like you (and a seasoned gardener, like you) I have not had much luck getting the orchids I buy to rebloom. I have heard it can take up to 1 year and I know I’m not very patient. Still, I love to look at the blooms and the wide array of colors they come in. How lucky to have a place so close by that grows them.
    Have a delightful weekend.

    • Hi Karen! We are truly kindred spirits! Orchids certainly teach us patience. It is lovely to visit the huge greenhouses and wander amongst so much beauty, especially on a cold, snowy, winter day! Do you have a lot of color in your California garden in January? Happy weekend, Karen! ♡

    • Hi Barbara! Growing orchids is such a special skill. I haven’t mastered it either. Hopefully, one day I will be more successful. So glad you stopped by today! ♡

  6. Again Dawn you have put a smile on my face and I have learned something interesting about something new. I love reading your posts and anticipate reading them. You bring me such joy as I read them. Thank you!

    • Hi Anna! Heartfelt thanks for your sweet words! You would love a walk through these amazing greenhouses with your mom. It truly brightens a winter day! Happy weekend! ♡

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