KAPAA — Fely and Neill Sams and the Orchid Alley crew are in the midst of Mother’s Day, Monday.
“The phone has been ringing off the hook, there were five people waiting, and I wanted to start packing,” Fely said while packing a flowering orchid specimen for shipment to the mainland. “Yesterday, there was a crowd of people outside the door — and we were closed. We had to open.”
Orchid Alley was in the midst of shipping Mother’s Day orders to the mainland, to arrive in time for the Sunday celebration.
“This is the busiest shipping day of the year,” Fely said. “Monday is the cut off for east coast destinations, and Tuesday is the cut off for the west coast. We could probably do Wednesday shipping, but those orders need to be in early, and the destinations are only to the west coast.”
Fely said mothers love blooming orchid plants, and the recent rain event did not adversely impact any of the flowers for Mother’s Day.
“We lost one of the greenhouses,” she said. “But luckily, the section that went down housed the growing stock. Our store stock was in a different part and survived the rain and flooding, although we have gullies in the driveway.”
Additionally, Orchid Alley received shipments of Miltoniopsis and Zygopetalum orchids from a Maui hybridizer.
“The Miltoniopsis is coming in, now,” said Neill. “Normally, it would have been past its blooming season, but with the cold weather, it’s just coming in, now. The plants that suffered damage in the greenhouses were primarily Dendrobiums which are a warm weather orchid. The others were all in the greenhouses so the rain had little effect on them. The flowers are great.”
Ann Reid, an American Orchid Society certified judge, said the Miltoniopsis are a relatively new plant based on crosses with the Miltonia orchids.
“The Maui hybridizer did a lot of work on these,” Reid said. “He has a lot of plants named after Hawaii people, including one, Milt. Rene Komoda, that is named after his mother of T. Komoda Store and Bakery in Makawao, Maui who recently passed.”
Fely said following the hectic mailing schedule, Orchid Alley turns its attention to local and resident moms with its flowering plants and arrangements utilizing the flowering plants.