Orchids feeling the squeeze

Have you ever grown orchids in your home or greenhouse?  If so, they may have been propogated at the Wheeler Orchid Collection and Species Bank in Muncie, Indiana.

Despite having the largest orchid collection of all US universities, the renowned supplier at Ball State University had virtually outgrown its old greenhouse and so the blooms have been awaiting completion of a larger model.  Construction should have started in September and a grand opening was planned for the spring of 2013.

However, all ten bids exceeded the $770,000 budget and so the construction company are trying to cut costs and attracting private funding.

The orchid collection is valued for its conservation work in protecting rare and endangered species, propagating them and using them for research and education.  The public are able to view the display complete with terraced ‘mountain’ and waterfall suiting all kinds of orchids, and with wildlife such as poison arrow frogs.  The new greenhouse would have enhanced the setting with a display house, a growing greenhouse, a ‘cold house’ and a trellis for hanging orchids.

Let’s hope that funding can be found for the larger structure, before the orchid greenhouse becomes a veritable jungle.

Author: Robert Smith