Orchids Are A Widespread Hobby
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In the relatively mild climate of Western Europe, temperatures are never too extreme. Here, it is possible to grow most tropical orchids in the controlled environment of a greenhouse or conservatory. In fact this is a tradition that started in Britain during the Victorian era and soon spread to other countries in Europe.
Originally, large elaborate conservatories were constructed to house huge collections of the finest tropical orchids, which at that time were taken straight from the newly explored tropical forests of Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and East Africa in particular.
Today, throughout Western Europe, the fashion has shifted from greenhouse culture to growing mainly a few modern hybrids (mostly cymbidiums, odontoglossums, miltoniopsis, phalaenopsis, and paphiopedilums) often on windowsills in the home. However, what usually starts with two or three manageable plants can, within a few years, all too easily escalate into a totally absorbing and ever-expanding hobby! A greenhouse or conservatory then becomes a necessity rather than a luxury.