Orchids in the Desert

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Despite its desert location, Baja California Sur is a place where you can discover a variety of different microclimates just by crossing a river or a hill.  Todos Santos, a colorful village just 45 minutes from Capella Pedregal, almost imitates a Mediterranean climate, where you are able to discover an unimaginable variety and abundance of plants and fruits you would never expect to encounter in Baja.  

Personally enchanted by the mesmerizing beauty of orchids and longing for my own orchid sanctuary, I was very lucky to meet a man from Todos Santos, who grows these beautiful plants.  Mr. Heriberto Parra Hake, an agronomic engineer who specializes in botanicals, is also an orchid lover. Recently he invited me to see his magical garden.  The garden boasts exotic plants, fruits, flowers, and my favorite part, an impressive collection of orchids.

For many, an orchid is a symbol of unattainable perfection. Its beauty is immaculate, its shapes unimaginable, and its color variety unmatched.  Heriberto believes that orchids are among the most developed plants on Earth.  It is believed that with their smell, energy and micro-vibration, we can cure basic illnesses, physical, emotional and spiritual.  Today we already have beauty products with orchid extracts, and he believes that very soon we will use orchids in medicine as well.

You might wonder, how a humidity loving, fragile plant could survive in Baja’s arid climate.  Heriberto addressed this issue by building a special nursery with sprinklers, semi-shade and otherwise optimum growing and blooming conditions.  Plus, unlike the rest of Baja, Todos Santos possesses its own milder microclimate.

Heriberto, who will happily discuss orchids all day long, does not sell his beloved flower.  Instead, those who look to purchase orchids in Baja must hope to find them in specialized flower boutiques.  But they are well worth the purchase.  Just be careful for, as Heriberto warned me, orchid growing may become an addiction and life-long indulgence!

Orquídeas en el Desierto

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A pesar de su ubicación en el desierto, Baja California Sur es un lugar dónde se puede descubrir una variedad de microclimas con tan solo cruzar un río o una colina. Todos Santos, un colorido pueblo a solo 45 minutos de Capella Pedregal, tiene un clima casi mediterráneo, donde uno es capaz de descubrir inimaginable variedad y abundancia de plantas y frutos que uno nunca esperaría encontrar en la Baja. 

En mi personal encanto con la hermosa fascinante belleza de las orquídeas y anhelando mi propio santuario de orquídeas, tuve la suerte de conocer a un hombre de Todos Santos, el cual crece estas bellas plantas. Mr. Heriberto Parra Hake, un ingeniero agrónomo que se especializa en botánica, y también un amante de las orquídeas. Recientemente me invitó a visitar su jardín mágico. El jardín cuenta con plantas exóticas, frutas, flores y mi parte favorita, una impresionante colección de orquídeas.


Para muchos, una orquídea es un símbolo de perfección inalcanzable. Su belleza es inmaculada, sus formas inimaginables, y su variedad de colores jamás igualada. Heriberto cree que las orquídeas están entre las plantas más evolucionadas del planeta. Se cree que con su olor, energía y micro vibración, se pueden curar enfermedades básicas, físicas, emocionales y espirituales. Hoy día ya tenemos productos de belleza con extractos de orquídeas, y el cree que pronto utilizaremos las orquídeas en la medicina.

 Te preguntarás, cómo una planta tan frágil y que ama la humedad puede sobrevivir en el árido clima de la Baja. Heriberto atendió este problema construyendo un vivero especial con aspersores, sombra, y demás óptimas condiciones para crecer y florecer. Además, contrario al resto de la Baja, Todos Santos posee su propio microclima templado.

Heriberto, quien puede hablar felizmente de orquídeas todo el día, no vende sus adoradas flores. Sin embargo, aquellos que busquen comprar orquídeas en la Baja deben buscarlas en florerías especializadas. Pero vaya que vale la pena adquirirlas. Sólo hay que tener cuidado, como me lo advirtió Heriberto, criar orquídeas se puede volver una adicción y una auto indulgencia ¡de por vida!

Singapore’s Orchids


As I was showing a journalist around this morning, I came to notice a beautiful orchid arrangement in our main lobby.  This floral arrangement caught my attention not only because of its bright and vibrant colors, but also because I found that the orchids, Singapore’s national flower, was a fitting inclusion in our main lobby building which is one of four heritage buildings in Capella Singapore.

As a flower that has come to symbolize beauty and grace across many nations and cultures, the orchid is perhaps one of the most elegant flowers.  Orchids are both long lasting and striking, making them the perfect gift for many occasions.

The Vanda Miss Joaquim, an orchid hybrid between the Burmese Vanda teres and the Malayan Vanda hookeriana, was chosen as Singapore’s national flower in 1981.  Named after the founder, Agnes Joaquim, it was the first registered plant hybrid from Singapore. Violet-rose in color, the large and broad lip of the orchid looks like a fan and merges into a contrasting fiery orange that is finely spotted with dark purple in the centre.

Orchids can impart a wide variety of messages, with the historical meaning of orchids encompassing wealth, love, and beauty. The Chinese believe orchids can help cure lung illnesses and coughs.

Today, orchids are generally regarded as a symbol of rare and delicate beauty, contributing to their popularity as display plants or decorative features around the world. Their charm and mystique delight those who receive them, for few other flowers have the ability to impress their recipient in the same way that the orchid can.

Given its status as the national flower of Singapore, it is little wonder that the orchid is widely used in most of our floral arrangements throughout the hotel.