19th Century Botanical Prints and Orchids Complement Each Other at the Garden

19th Century Botanical Prints and Orchids Complement Each Other at the Garden

Art & Orchids to open Feb. 3

BELMONT, N.C. – Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is pairing the best of its vast collection of diverse and colorful orchids and tropical plants with a selection of 19th century botanical prints for Art & Orchids:  Victorian Botanicals from Feb. 3 to March 19. The exhibition will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Botanical illustrations have served as documentation of an incredibly diverse array of plant species across cultures and throughout history. Such illustrations lined the pages of publications paired with tales of their discovery, medicinal properties, characteristics and more. Colorful images printed from etched plates began to grace the pages of magazines and books throughout the Victorian Era and today those prints remain highly collectible and desirable. The discovery, collection and documentation of orchids in that era drove explorers to all corners of the world in a craze such that it was dubbed “Orchidelirium.” This winter, guests are invited to take a horticultural journey through the Victorian Era with a selection of antique prints from local collector Craig McCausland complimented by a gorgeous Victorian-inspired living display celebrating the “orchid mania” of the 19th century with a hand-selected collection of orchids and tropical plants.

About the Pieces on Display

English botanical illustrator Anne Pratt (1806 – 1893) was perhaps one of the Victorian Era’s best-known and most prolific botanical illustrators. Pratt wrote and illustrated over 20 books and today her work is highly collectible. Discover custom-framed, antique chromolithographs — images printed in colors from a series of lithographic stones or plates — taken from Pratt’s six-volume publication, “The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Great Britain,” dating back to the mid-1800s.

Published by Carl Hoffmann in Stuttgart, Germany, the Handbook for Practical Planning contains stunning hand-colored lithographs of fungi, grasses, fruits, vegetables, trees and more that date back to 1886. Each highly collectible spread contains multiple specimens arranged in beautiful, colorful compositions with identifying labels at the bottom of each page.

The Botanical Register is a stunning horticultural magazine produced in the first half of the 1800s. On display guests will discover extremely rare hand-painted, custom-framed engravings from 1835 paired with the corresponding text documenting the discovery of each plant and their introduction to Great Britain.

Volume IV of The American Flora, a book “Designed as a Book of Reference for Botanists, Physicians, Florists, Gardeners, Students, etc.,” is the rarest volume from a set of four and will be on display. These publications from the mid-1800s contain beautifully designed, colored plates. This specific volume contains 70 hand-colored illustrations on 44 plates.

All of these works, framed with custom preservation-quality materials, are being offered for sale. Quickly disappearing from the horticultural landscape, these rare works have now been preserved for generations to come.

The exhibition is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Feb. 3 through Mar. 19 and is free with general garden admission. Admission for Garden members is free, $12.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors 60+, and $6.95 for children 2-12. The Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information call (704) 825-4490 or visit www.DSBG.org. This exhibition is presented by Rodgers.

Art & Orchids Special Events

A Garden Member Opening Breakfast will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 8 to 9 a.m. and will be free for members.

In addition, Children’s Art Weekend on March 4 & 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day will offer special crafts and activities designed to foster and celebrate the creativity of children.

Art & Orchids Programs


Orchids 101

Sunday, Jan. 29; 1 – 3 p.m.

Cost: $25

Orchids are fascinating flowers in the plant world. Learn about orchid’s growth requirements, their habitat and how to handle these flowers at home. Acquire the basics of successful orchid nurturing and growth.

Orchid Care & Diagnostics

Sunday, Feb. 19; 1 – 3 p.m.

Cost: $25

Orchids are among the most unique flowers in the plant world with specialized growth and care requirements. In this class, bring in your troubled orchid to have it diagnosed and learn proper techniques for long-term care. Our expert staff will provide helpful tips and inspire confidence for all orchid enthusiasts.

Photographing Orchids

Sunday, Mar. 5; 1:30 – 4 p.m.

With their bright, vibrant colors, orchids have some of the most beautiful blossoms in the world. Using the digital SLR camera’s

shutter speed, aperture opening, ISO sensitivity, a meter and the histogram that amazing color can be captured and composed into an artful photograph.

Growing & Repotting Orchids

Sunday, Mar. 12; 1 – 3 p.m.

Cost: $25 + $25 Material Fee

Learn how to grow and succeed with orchids at home. Conservatory staff will discuss tips for growing orchids and demonstrate repotting. Participants will get hands-on experience and leave with two orchids – one that they pot themselves and one already in bloom to enjoy!

First Tuesday Lectures:

Bring a bag lunch to enjoy while learning about a variety of topics. No registration required.
Cost: Free for Members or with Garden Admission

Rare Books & Their Preservation

Tuesday, Feb. 7; 12 – 1 p.m.

Join local artist and rare book collector Craig McCausland as he explains how he started on the road to collecting these special works. He’ll tell a special story or two along the way, too. Craig will be joined by framer Joy Owens of Things Remembered: Gifts, Framing and More who has some helpful hints on how to preserve special treasurers like these.


Tuesday, Mar. 7; 12 – 1 p.m.

Orchidelirium was the term attributed to those afflicted with an overwhelming urge to find new undiscovered orchids in the Victorian age. We suspect Orchid Conservatory Manager Joe Dorian might have a form that so-called “disease.” Joe typically packs the room for his annual showcase of his favorite gems from the Garden’s collection of nearly 10,000 orchids, so get a seat early for this popular First Tuesday presentation.


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