Rare Orchid Breeder
1941 On this day, the Amarillo Daily News ran an article featuring Charles Sumner Lambie, who was a Denver area civil engineer by day and a rare orchid breeder by night.
Charles grew up in Pittsburgh, tending the family garden. He later married Margaret McCandless, and together they raised nine children.
As his engineering firm became successful, Charles's wife said he turned to the hobby of raising orchids as a means of relief from the stresses of his job. Charles shared an upside that he discovered about greenhouse gardening: He no longer suffered from hayfever as he did when he gardened outside.
After sharing the various types of orchids grown by Charles Lambie, the article shared his unique and detailed method for documenting his plants. Here's what it said:
"Mr. Lambie has a card index file ... on each plant. Here is a sample entry from the card of C. Talisman:
L.O. Talisman: 6 inches, December 1938, Christmas; Winter Bloomer, October to early summer, variable. Flowers large, Sepals and petals – Light to dark rose. Lip, dark rich crimson; Throat purple with yellow – gold veins."
Mr. Lambie puts a protective canopy over the orchids when they are in bloom, and he sprays them several times a day.
When Mr. Lambie leaves town on business, Mrs. Lambie makes sure that the orchids are watered several times today.
As the reporter for the story was leaving, Mrs. Lambie showed him a small orchid and shared that Mr. Lambie was given the orchid when he subscribed to an orchid magazine.
The orchid is called the Charles Lambie Rittenberry orchid named for their grandson, and of course, it receives "very careful attention," she added with a smile.