I began growing orchids in 1977 when my parents gave me a phalaenopsis plant for my 13th birthday. Not knowing anything about orchids,other than what I had read in a few books, I killed the plant within a few months. This presented me with a challenge, how can I grow these things? Remember this was before the internet, so I actually had to find books to read so I could learn about these plants. I then purchased 3 plants ( 1 of which I still have today) and this began my journey into the world of orchids.
After graduating from high school in 1983, I began working full time at my parents garden center and greenhouse business ( I actually started helping in the greenhouse at the age of 10). I worked there until the fall of 1998 when the business closed. I then went to work for a commercial orchid grower in the Chicago suburbs until the fall of 2002. Since 2002 I am employed as a groundskeeper at the local community college.
In 1999 I started as a student judge in the American Orchid Society's judging program and became an accredited judge in 2006.
Today my collection of orchids numbers around 1100 plants and I have started to do some hybridizing with Paphiopedilums. My orchid collection is grown in a 900 square foot greenhouse along with some cacti and succulents, a few other tropical plants and some VooDoo lillies.
I am primarily a hobby grower, most of my plants are my personal collection. However I do have some "extra plants" that I will have available for sale.