Western Mountains and High Plains
American Orchid Society Orchid Basics
The American Orchid Society provides lots of helpful information for beginning orchid growers in the Orchid Basics section of its website. There is a quickstart guide to orchid culture called Orchids 101; a basic orchid glossary; a helpful FAQ feature; and a Beginners Newsletter. You can even email the Society with questions if needed! A great resource for those new to the world of orchids.
Favorite or New Plant
If you're looking for a dependable, long-blooming perennial in shades of blue, lavender, or pink, your garden shouldn't be without the pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria). It grows 1 to 2 feet in height and width. These plants seem to maintain themselves as neat little clumps, with fuzzy stems and small, cut leaflets of sage green. They produce masses of small, lacy blooms throughout the summer, and will bloom even more profusely if deadheaded regularly. The variety 'Butterfly Blue' has various shades of lavender hues; 'Pink Mist' is a subtle shade of pink. Grow pincushion flowers in full sun in well-drained soil. They are very tolerant of our alkaline Rocky Mountain soils.