Our Christmas Orchid Festival will be a chance to find out everything about our recent trip to Borneo (from the students who took part) as well as a chance to buy the perfect Christmas present, explore the orchid greenhouses and learn how to grow these amazing plants at home. The photo above shows our party with students from MRSM School, Kuching, on Mount Santubong.
With winter really here, a lot of plants are enjoying the cool temperatures and gentle winter sunshine. This is especially true of our masdevallias that are in rapid leaf growth as well as many of them coming into flower.
A winter masdevallia highlight is this small growing species native to Peru. Masdevallia pandurilabia grows in cloud forest above 2600m altitude and loves it cool and moist with good air movement. Some species from similar habitats are a challenge to grow well in a greenhouse but this species seems to be a vigorous grower and as you can see from the photo on the left produces lovely glossy leaves too. We grow this species in baskets of bark and moss and give it a minimum of 10C.
The flowers are produced in some abundance on long flower spikes and have dramatic spotting and crossed legs (tails). Despite the unusual spots and crossed legs the species gets its name from its lute shaped lip (its actually rather small so a teeny weeny lute)
See if you can spot the tiny lutes at Orchid Christmas on 14th December (open to the public 10am -4pm)
We are delighted that Burnham Nurseries will be joining us at Writhlington for our Christmas Orchid Festival on Saturday 14th December (10am-4pm). Plants can be ordered in advance from their website http://www.orchids.uk.com/
Hi, Chloe here, I have just come home from Cornwall and wanted to share what I’ve been up to.
For the last 3 months I have been volunteering at the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
At the Eden Project, I was working on a management plan for their orchids and planting a few in the amazon section of the rainforest biome. And at Heligan I was working in their jungle, ornimantal garden, productive garden and flower garden teams. I had a great time at both and learnt so much- especially being able to identify orchids that are older than 2 years old. A skill I didnt have before having spent too much time in the Lab. It was wonderfull living in Cornwall for a while as well, I am missing the milder weather allready.
Plans for the next few months include working at the lab in Malasia at MRSM school for January and February, to then join the team for the World orchid congress in Taiwan in March.
Today our thoughts have turned to Madagascar – an Island full of endemic species and some remarkable orchids. One of the species is this robust Aerangis species from Central and Eastern Madagascar with thick waxy flowers and a long spur. We grow the species hanging in the roof of Warm Asia although it’s natural habitat in woodland from 1100-1400m suggests it could grow cooler.
We spray the basket daily but this gives plenty of time for it to dry out between waterings.
Our plant is on its way to the Aardman Studios in Bristol this week where, as you probably know, our plants are featuring in filming for a new wildlife series. Up to know we have been focussing on South American Species for the show but now we are including Madagascan species for another episode.
We are excited that one of our plants of Madagascar’s most famous orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale, is in bud and will be ready for filming just before Christmas.