Monday, November 29, 2010

Lu Lynch's Orchid Shop

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 9:23 PM

LuLynchOrchids2.jpg
Quite a few people, it seems, remember Lu Lynch and the nice florist shop that she owned and operated at 640 South Highland. The actual name of the place was Lu Lynch's Orchid Shop, but she sold all sorts of flowers and floral arrangements.

She opened the place in 1960, tucked in between the Trent Wood Record Shop and the Hi-Park Coin Laundry.

Lula (that was her full name) and her husband, Lester, a supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service, were founding members of the Memphis Orchid Society, and according to an old Memphis Press-Scimitar newspaper account, they grew more than 15,000 flowers — most of them orchids, of course — in a nice pair of greenhouses they built behind their home at 851 Brower.

I know what you're thinking. So yes, I used Bing and Google to "fly" over their old house, and it looks like those big greenhouses are still there, though I don't know if any orchids are still growing in them.

"The orchids are like a family," Lu told a reporter in 1967. "We have a special feeding program for them. We watch the temperamental ones. We make sure we do not pamper them, but develop strength, sturdiness, and dependability." Just as Mother and Father did with me, and look at me today!

Lu Lynch's Orchid Shop remained in business until 1975, when the Lynches retired. For many years, the store operated as a pawn shop. I don't know what's there today.

"Orchids are a real therapy," Lu once told the Press-Scimitar. "If I am tired, I go into the greenhouse, and suddenly I am serene again." Perhaps we should all try to grow some. A little serenity would go a long way these days.

PHOTO COURTESY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS LIBRARIES

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