Linda Wilhelm started growing orchids in 1980 after a vacation in Florida with her mother. Already intrigued by orchids, she finally bought a small cattleya seedling, not knowing at the time that it would take seven or eight years to get a bloom. It was the beginning of an addiction. After meeting her future husband, Rolf in 1985, the addiction became severe when he too got involved with orchids.
When the hobby got out of hand and developed into a serious passion for both Linda and Rolf, they started their business Woodland Orchids. When first starting, they specialized in breeding warm tolerant Oncidiinae but as is often the case, their interest changed and now their main breeding efforts are miniature and compact cattleya hybrids. They also breed a number of different species and have made some wonderful Stanhopea hybrids.
An Accredited Judge with the AOS, Linda is very active in the judging program, having served in various positions with the Carolinas Judging Center including the job of the Training Coordinator, 5 years as the Chair of the Center and six years as a Trustee for the American Orchid Society. She enjoys being involved in shows outside her region, including offshore shows in Central America and the islands. “It offers such an opportunity to see a different variety of orchids as well as an opportunity to extend my group of friends.” She is a frequent guest speaker at orchid societies all over the USA as well as having lectured in Brazil, Trinidad, Barbados and Guatemala.