Orchids are beautiful, ornamental flowers that have gotten a somewhat undeserved reputation for being the divas of the flower world. This is partially due to the British and other Europeans’ difficulty cultivating the plant in damp climates. Still, the misconception can also be attributed, as so many misconceptions are, to the fictional world. Orchids in film and literature have often been used as symbols of what the artist wanted to portray–whether the portrayal was true to the orchid’s nature or not.
The Symbolism of Orchids in Film and Literature
Decadence, indulgence, luxury, and the underlying rot that can accompany these things are part of what author Raymond Chandler used orchids to symbolize in The Big Sleep. This book was written around the time of the Depression and reflected the cynicism that some held at the time, particularly when it came to the very rich. It reinforced the idea that only the wealthy, those with a lot of time on their hands and hothouses, had any chance at cultivating orchids. Florists and gardeners can take advantage of this, but most will try to set people straight.
Of course, The Big Sleep wasn’t the only or even the main, purveyor of this misconception over the years. That honor belongs to the heavily-built American master detective created by Rex Stout, Nero Wolfe.
Hours and Hours of Nurturing
Everyone who came to seek Nero Wolfe’s services knew–or was informed by Wolfe’s sarcastic assistant, Archie Goodwin–that the four hours per day spent with his orchids were almost sacrosanct. It took a lot to pry him away. Whiling away hours on the orchids fit in with the rest of Wolfe’s daily life of eclectic reading, gourmet eating, and, very reluctantly, sometimes working. Which, again, reinforced the idea that only master florists with the leisure and space to do so had access to orchids.
This is far from the truth, however. Not only do orchids not require hours of labor to keep alive, but local florists are happy to provide you entire arrangements of a variety of orchids. Check out this incredibly unique orchid arrangement by OC Flowers and Events, an Irvine florist serving Orange County, California. Let local florists in BloomNation.com’s floral marketplace impress you with their wonderful, creative designs that use orchids and just about every other species of flower.