Of all the monikers applied to the City of Baguio, three stand out as the most popular – the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the City of Pines, and last but definitely not the least, the City of Flowers.
Apart from its cool climate and the presence of towering pine trees, Baguio has established its reputation as a premier destination for cut flowers. In fact, the city celebrates the blooming of highland flowers in the annual Flower Festival or Panagbenga.
Now, if you are planning to visit Baguio in February and to take home with you a living, breathing piece of the city then, do not forget to drop by the Baguio City Orchidarium.
As its name implies, the Orchidarium is the perfect place to see and purchase vibrantly-colored orchids. The price of these exotic plants range from Php500 to Php2500 – depending on the age, size and rarity of the breed you wish to buy.
Cymbidium Orchids On Spotlight
Shown here is the White Cymbidium Orchid. Cymbidium or boat orchid is a favorite among orchid lovers and floral stylists. It got its name from the Greek word kumbos which means ‘hole’ or ‘cavity’ referring to the shape of the base petals. There are are about 40 species of Cymbidium and thousands of hybrids in diverse range of patterns and colors (white, cream, yellow, pink, red brown, and green).
Cymbidiums can grow 15 to 30 flowers on a single stem and the blooms can last up to ten weeks. This graceful bloom prefers the cool to medium temperature (50°F to 85 °F) but it thrives on adequate light and frequent watering as well. The larger varieties are found in colder regions like the Himalayas and the smaller varieties or miniature hybrids found in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Malaysia, Borneo, Australia and the Philippines.
Apart from orchids, the Orchidarium is also home to a variety of flowering and non-flowering plants. You can choose from several colors, shapes and kinds of anthurium, roses, lilies, Malaysian mums, petunias, daisies, etc.
Visitors who are planning to start their very own organic gardens will surely be glad to find the following plants – stevia – a great substitute for sugar; lemon grass and tarragon – the best ingredients for a perfect pot of tea; basil, and oregano –leaves that will surely enhance the flavor of your cooked meals; nasturtium – an edible flower that can add color to a vegan salad; and many more.
Now, let us tackle some tips that you can use while shopping in the Baguio Orchidarium:
- The plants are cheapest from June to November, so if you are planning to cultivate your own plants or to introduce a new breed of plant to your garden then, try to schedule your tour of the city on these months.
- Schedule your visit at around 4 to 6PM. As shopkeepers are planning to close their stalls and go home, most of them are willing to give huge discounts to customers.
- Before you buy an expensive plant, like an orchid, inquire first if it can thrive in a climate that is cooler or warmer than what is normal in Baguio. Then let the response of the shopkeeper help you decide whether or not to purchase the plant that caught your eye.
- Ask for information from the shopkeepers on how to take good care of the plant/s you have bought. For sure, the vendors will be glad to share with you tips and pointers on how often you should water the plants, which fertilizer will work best with the plants you intend to take home, etc.
- To avoid carrying heavy plants, tell the shopkeeper that you will leave the items you bought in the meantime. This way, you can shop around conveniently.
The Baguio City Orchidarium can be found in Shanum Street; beside the Burnham Children’s Playground; at the back of the biking area and the Tourist Assistance Center of the Baguio Police District; and in front of the newly-built AXA Building which houses a 7-11outlet and the Chowking Burnham Branch.
More Photos from the Orchidarium