Two times each year, the Orthwein Floral Display Hall is transformed into a floral wonderland. Pat Scace, Missouri Botanical Garden's expert exhibit designer, is in charge of this area. Pat is a Landscape Architect with previous experience here at the Garden as an assistant exhibit designer from 1990 to 1995. She has been involved in the Retail Floral Industry through free-lancing, contract work and industry education. One full-time horticulturist assists her in designing these shows and creating all the spectacular props that make each show fresh and new. The Greenhouse crew works very closely with Pat in order to grow the thousands of flowers and foliage plants used in each show. They, along with staff from other Horticulture crews, assist in setting up and breaking down these incredibly complex displays.
The ANNUAL ORCHID SHOW varies in theme each year as well. Egyptian, Polynesian, and Mayan culture have been focused on in past years. Visitors discover orchids all around them in a seemingly endless variety of colors, shapes, sizes and fragrances. Orchids are found in the trees, on rocks, in the ground and any place a seed could have germinated and grown into a mature orchid plant. Orchids displayed in the show are part of the Garden's amazing orchid collection, which numbers over 8,000 plants and includes over 2,500 different species and hybrids. One expert horticulturist and many dedicated volunteers care for the orchid collection. The Orchid Show takes place each year from late January/early February through early/mid March. Orchids can be viewed all year inside the Climatron and in the atrium of the Beaumont Room in the Ridgway Center.