Want a Great Gift Idea? An Orchid Named For Your Spouse

by Jill Brooke

Many of us scratch our heads looking for the perfect gift for a special occasion.

But we have a solution.

Create a customized orchid for your loved one.

Martin Motes, who is president of Motes Orchids, and the impresario behind the annual Tamiami International Orchid Festival in Miami, is a master grower and teacher. For decades now, he has cultivated orchids at his farm in Homestead, Florida.

A little known feature of the company is that customers contact him, and his son Bartholomew, to customize a special orchid.

“Naming orchids is a big deal,” says Bartholomew Motes. “We charge around $2000 for the basic naming, $1000 of which can be donated to the American Orchid Society, a designated 501(c)(3), for the Martin Motes breeder award.”

For example, a Canadian lawyer contacted him about naming a plant for his wife’s big birthday.  Bartholomew Motes showed him various selections that could be cross-bred to create the perfect customized plant.

Eventually, he chose a mix between the Vanda Motes Sunlit and the Vanda tessellata.

The flower was presented to her and not surprisingly, was a big hit. The husband, whose last name is coincidentally named BLOOMfield, also sent out plants to friends and family to share in the celebration.

The Motes’ sent the plants along with this lovely card and sentiment.

“Congratulations on the gift of Vanda Nancy Bloomfield from Harry and Nancy Bloomfield. This orchid is a vanda hybrid created by Dr. Martin Motes of Motes Orchids and registered as Vanda Nancy Bloomfield with the Royal Horticultural Society. Its parents are Vanda Motes Sunlit, itself a hybrid, and Vanda tessellata, a vanda species found in the region stretching from India to Thailand. The plant is unique, but every plant in the cross has the name Vanda Nancy Bloomfield. The name is forever. If someone remakes this hybrid five hundred years from now, the resulting plants will be called Vanda Nancy Bloomfield.”

It’s yellow and lavender shades are indeed unique just like the love Harry felt for his Nancy.

Martin Motes has a theory about why orchids resonate so much to people. As he says, orchids have a “beautiful bisymmetry.” Unlike any other flower, their two identical lateral sides mirror the sameness in human faces.

There is something undeniably special about these flowers – which represent beauty and strength in the language of flowers. Other floral news is that orchids are the most numerous plants on earth and date back 20 million years ago!

This also triggers the opportunity to say in a card that your love is long-lasting.

Sometimes the Motes family are asked to create special hybrids for people from companies or botanical garden.

In fact, in 2015, the Vanda William Catherine was commissioned by the Singapore Botanical Garden when Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge visited the country.

So maybe you can give your own special flower to the prince or princess in your life. Or a special child or friend. Even a colleague who you admire. It is indeed a gift that will be memorable.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.