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J & L Orchids Brings Exotic to Easton

A walk through the greenhouse of J & L Orchids transports a visitor away from Easton to an exotic jungle where many of the plants originate.

When business partners Lucinda Winn, Marguerite Webb and Cordelia Head bought the nursery 31 years ago, their mission was to search out the most unique orchids while mixing in the common types that everybody loves. With about 40,000 known varieties of orchids, their search never gets old.

"It's important if you grow orchids to know what you have," Lucinda said as she toured the greenhouse, pointing out such varieties as Dendrobium Cuthbersonii and Coelogyne Fimbriata. "You can't just walk into somewhere and say, 'Oh, I have the pink one.' It doesn't work."

Lucinda, who has a house in Costa Rica, said they used to search the jungles for unusual orchids, but with new restrictions, they rely more on overseas growers.

Orchid lovers are known to come from other countries to get J & L's special items. One customer flew into JFK airport from Japan and took a taxi straight to their nursery. A family from England planned their vacation around a visit to the area so they could check out the orchids.

And no matter whether you've got the greenest of thumbs or you can't keep a fake plant alive, there is an orchid to fit your gardening ability. "As long as you can grow a house plant," you can grow an orchid, Cordelia said.

Marguerite said their goal is not just to collect rare plants but also to preserve them because their habitats are being destroyed in many native countries. She said she loves seeing that beauty around her every day.

"Our physical surroundings are beautiful," she said. "When you come back to this spot it's so much more beautiful than most places."

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