Jeff Bradley is a native Texan who has been growing orchids since he was six years old. His father built Jeff his first greenhouse to house his first fifty plants that were given to him by his god-parents; Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Proebstle (internationally known orchid growers from the 1930’s to the early 1980’s). From the time he was eight, he began to travel with the Proebstles to various orchid shows across the country where he got to know many of the iconic orchid growers of the Golden Age of Orchids.
His collection of historic cattleyas now numbers over three thousand, equally split between species and hybrids. Jeff houses them in three state of the art glass greenhouses, in respect to systems and controls. These systems allow him to keep the greenhouses below 85 degrees in the day, even during the hottest Texas summer, and to drop the temperature by 20 degrees at night.
Jeff has attempted to find all of the cattleya trianaei (his greatest love) that Helen Adams wrote of in the 1940’s. To date, he has acquired all but five of them. His collection of cattleya gigas, mossiae, and lueddemanniana are second only to his trianaei collection that now numbers over one hundred name cultivars, many of which date back to the late 1890’s and 1900’s.
His collection of cattleya hybrids is focused upon those registered from 1900-1960. There are several plants in his collection that are believed to be the only ones left in existence that he has owned since childhood from the Proebstle collection.
Jeff is self-employed and travels a great deal with his event planning. His lecture at this year’s cattleya symposium will be on “Historic White Cattleyas”. He will present a historical account of the early hybrids and species along with photographs. Jeff has graciously agreed to treat us to this same slideshow presentation.