Flowers deemed fit for a president

As one of only two suppliers of Disa orchids in the world, New Zealands Riverton Horticulture has been selected as an official supplier for the inauguration ceremony of newly-elected US president Barack Obama.

The husband-and-wife-owned business is run by Kathleen and Barney Coils and the couple hope the contract will launch their business to a new level that would allow Mr Coils to retire from his full-time job at Riverlands freezing works to concentrate on horticulture, according to the New Zealand Herald.

President-elect Obama will be greeted with pink, orange and red Disa orchids when he replaces George Bush in one of the worlds most important events next year.

The Disa orchid is native to South Africa but is considered a cool-weather orchid as it flourishes in temperatures between seven and 20 degrees Celsius, according to

Although the UK winter can be a little too harsh for the plants, they can still easily be grown in Britain with the help of a greenhouse.

For Mrs Coils though, the contract is the culmination of more than half a decade spent cultivating the plants.

"I thought, Oh wow, this is what weve been working towards for the past six years," she told Taranaki Daily News.