Orchid Party: Winchester Mystery House Abloom

The San Jose Orchid Exposition flowers at a certain famous manse.

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A CERTAIN CHARACTER: With the busy, noisy, image-packed world we occupy, it can be rather too simple to put certain places, things, and buildings in particular slots and categories. This one pier might be "touristy" while this one beach is "private" and this other ski run is "party-riffic." We too often boil every locale down to its one-word qualifier (though, to be honest, many a destination lacks even that, in many minds). So how do you describe San Jose's most famous abode, the Winchester Mystery House? Spooky? Creepy, even? Ghosty? Those are likely high on many a fan's list. But when you consider the gorgeous grounds, and the dignified and historic presentation of Sarah Winchester's rambler of a mansion, and the colorful buds that pop throughout the spring, well... "flowery" is another apt word for a house often associated with the night. Things blossom at one of the world's most eerie, said-to-be-haunted destinations, meaning the Winchester is indeed about petals and not just phantoms. It's the perfect setting, then, for the San Jose Orchid Exposition, which flowers at the Winchester from Thursday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1.

ORCHID HISTORY: Okay, yes indeed, the orchid is kind of the perfect flower for the Winchester -- mysterious, elegant, laden with baroque history and legends -- so it naturally fits in more ways than one. High quality orchids aplenty will be for sale -- seriously, orchid aficionados, prepare yourself -- and experts will talk all things soil and sunlight and water and growth. Sessions on growing will be given, and orchid conservation will be a topic as well. Consider that the complete spectrum on this stunner'll be covered, for new fans and serious enthusiasts alike. Want to start the summer with a few in your own atrium or light-soft corner? Make for the Winchester Mystery House, in the daytime, to buy and learn. Nope, no ghosts shall be present, that we know of, though Ghost Orchids may be discussed.

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