This weekend is Bristol Botanic Garden’s Bee and Pollination festival. As usual it was up to Writhlington to prove that bees are not the only pollinators. Simon and Otto joined us to help with our quest. We set at off at 7am, from the Writhlington greenhouse, with Simons van loaded with orchids. Much to Simon’s relief we decided our very smelly Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis should stay behind as we felt it was too large for our display. It smells of rotting flesh to attract carrion flies.
Otto set up a lovely display of orchids and their pollinators.
Among our pollinators were ants, midges, flies, wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. One of the great favourites was Dracula amaliae also known as the Monkey Face orchid. It is pollinated by fungus gnats and is trying to look like a mushroom. Dracula amaliae likes to be grown cool, shady and wet. The flowers grow downwards from the base of the leaves so it needs to be in a basket to allow the flowers to hang down. In the greenhouse this orchids grows well in Cool Americas where we can replicate its native Colombian, cloud forest home.
Our Restrepias were popular too. Below is Restrepia purpurea which is pollinated by flies.
Dendrochilum abbreviatum, also pollinated by flies is native to Java and we grow it in our Warm Asia section at a minimum of 17 degrees celsius.
Our sales table was popular too. Lots of our orchids have gone to new homes today. Customers were pleased to be given our website details so that they could read about orchid care.
Today was a time for meeting old friends and making new ones. Many people said they had heard of Writhlington school because they had read newspaper articles, seen us on Points West, Countryfile, Green planet and the radio. Our orchids are indeed famous.