We are rushed off our feet at the European Orchid Show with excited orchid growers keen to see our plants and to learn from our expert growers.
Visitors are enjoying the opportunity to try orchid propagation in-vitro and take away their own jar of seedlings. Students are taking turns to run sessions and here James is doing a brilliant job with the aid of his phone for complex translations.
This is one of the plants we are delighted to have carried to Paris with us for the European Orchid Show. Dendrobium primulinum is another species we have seen in our travels to the Himalayas where we found them on the trunks and lower branched of large semi deciduous trees in seasonally dry lowland monsoon forest. Plants therefor experience warm wet summers and cooler dry bright winters but never the low temperatures of the cool growing Himalayan species.
It has taken us a while to get growing conditions right for this species. Keeping plants warm and watered yielded no flowers at all. Giving a cool winter rest in ‘Cool Asia’ resulted in rotting bulbs. keeping plants warm throughout the year but dry in the winter gave some flowers but poor shrivelled plants. The solution for us is warm wet summers in ‘Warm Asia’ (min 17C) followed by a completely dry winter hanging in the roof of ‘Cool Americas’ (min12C). The result is a fantastic blooming from last year’s pseudobulbs and and a true representation of the wonderful display this species gives in the wild.
The species has considerable variety in flower colour with many types having considerable yellow on the lip (as the name suggests) but our plant is the cream and pink type.
We have had a wonderful day here in Paris so a massive thank you to the organisers of the European Orchid Show.
After a hectic morning setting up our display from 8 until 12 (only possible because the student team are so professional and experienced at building a Gold Medal standard display in double quick time) we headed off by Metro to explore Paris – Notre Dame, the Rive Gauche and the Eiffel Tower – I am sure that Gustave Eiffel would be delighted that 130 years after it was finished we are still going to look at his creation.
We were delighted that Hettie from The Eden Project joined us this morning to help out too.
After a brief rest at the Hotel we were back at the Paris Event Centre for preview and spent a really enjoyable evening meeting and getting to know the Congress registrants and fellow exhibitors. I am really proud of my team who are doing a great job of communicating and making new friends.
It is a real treat to be able to share our orchids with a new public and especially our Grand Champion (shown below)
The evening finished with a relaxed meal at our favourite restaurant, L’Orange Bleue, and back to the hotel for a deserved rest. These students have put in an extraordinary and very professional effort over two very long and challenging days and really deserve todays success.
It is official – Writhlington Orchid Project have won Grand Champions of Europe!
Grand Champion Plant is Odontoglossum cristatum with a Gold Medal and many other trophies too – more to follow later.