On the tail end of a July heat wave, Waldor Orchids in Linwood, N.J., was humming with activity. Sales have been brisk on eBay, where rare orchids can go for $200 to $400 over the course of three-day auctions, explained Walt Off. His son Dave recently had his best week ever on the online marketplace. Waldor’s flowers are particularly popular among collectors in Texas and California, though Internet buyers come from throughout the U.S.
Since the 1930s, the Off family has been an integral part of the Philadelphia International Flower Show, and they have fascinating plans already under way for the 2011 presentation, “Springtime in Paris.”
Working with his design consultant Nancy Burke, Walt envisions a display that contains both an elegant French perfumery and a bountiful orchid shop. The perfume store would include a lab that shows the process of extracting essence from flowers, and visitors would be able to enjoy a variety of floral scents. Walt plans to base the adjacent orchid shop on the renowned French enterprise of Vacherot & Lecoufle, which was established in 1886 and is the oldest orchid dealer in the world. Vacherot & Lecoufle developed the cloning process for orchids, which is utilized by the great growers, including Waldor.
Last March, Waldor created a Flower Show exhibit inspired by the national botanic gardens of Singapore. The display featured fountains and reflecting pool, an “orchid tree,” and structural elements that echoed the Singapore gardens. Two of those structures went on to new lives: the gazebo was sold to an admiring Flower Show visitor and the bamboo entrance to the exhibit was donated by Waldor to the Cape May County Zoo.
For more information on Waldor Orchids online and greenhouse sales, visit www.waldor.com.