Chadwick & Son Orchids:

US (VA): A unique boarding program nurtures orchids back into bloom

Down Dorset Road in Powhatan County lies a piece of the jungle, or rather tens of thousands of pieces: Row after row of orchids fill 150,000 square feet of greenhouses at Chadwick & Son Orchids, part of a farm on 18 acres of sprawling wooded property. It is a massive reservoir that feeds into a small store in The Fan.

When you walk into that store, Chadwick & Sons Orchids on Belmont Avenue, it’s hard to decide what to look at first. The walls are covered with large, vibrant paintings of orchids and photos of famous women proudly holding orchids. Freshly blooming orchids are perched throughout the store on stands and shelves. Some are more than 2 feet tall, while others are petite and delicate.

Behind the counter stands a man in a colorful button-down shirt who has a relaxed and curious smile. He’s Art Chadwick Jr., owner of the shop and greenhouses and a resident of the Powhatan farm. One customer says Chadwick looks like Jimmy Buffet, an appropriate reference for someone who has brought this tropical paradise to life.

“I’ve never had a horticulture class, but I’m inspired by this flower,” Chadwick says — walking from behind the counter and revealing bare feet — “so I live it 24 hours a day, just 6 feet away from me, either here in the shop or home on the farm.”]

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