WSBEorchids

Happy New Year from the Writhlington School Orchid Project

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Can we take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful 2014. 2013 has been a fantastic year for us with our trips to Rwanda and Sikkim, possibly the best London Show ever and of course a great year of growing in the greenhouses thanks to the efforts of Greenhouse Club.

There are lots of great things to look out for in 2014. In January we are going to Cambridge Botanic Gardens where we are working with Alex Summers to help him set up an exciting new exhibit based on the orchids of Sikkim. Two large artificial trees will present the orchids of Sikkim’s hot tropical valleys and cool sub temperate forests. More news on this later.
We are also working with Dave Roberts and Amy Hinsley from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, to prepare a joint exhibit for this year’s London Orchid Show.
In July we will be displaying at the Hampton Court Flower Show and then heading back to Rwanda. The 2014 Rwanda expedition will be based at Kitabi College where we will be setting up Rwanda’s first orchid propagation laboratory and working with both Kitabi students and school pupils from Kigali Schools.

The photo above shows a little of the our current winter wonderland and Masdevallia polysticta native to Ecuador.

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A Greenhouse of Pink!

The greenhouse section Cool America is dominated by a sea of pink flowers which are Laelia anceps and Laelia gouldiana. These Laelias have started to bloom just in time for our annual Orchid Christmas Event which is being held tonight 6 till 9 where there will be greenhouse tours, plants for sell (they make great christmas presents!), as well as home made festive treats made by our very own greenhouse team and live music from the greenhouse choir and instrument players. Along with the Laelias, which will really stand out against the dark of the night sky, we also have Darwin’s orchid Angraecum sesquipedale in full bloom so come along and enjoy the festive atmosphere!

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Follow the greenhouse environment through the internet of things

Click here to access the internet of things and in particular the online feed of temperature, humidity and light level in the orchid project greenhouses.

The login is wsbeorchids and the password wsbeorchids too. Have fun watching our real time graphs.

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More news about our exciting plans with the internet of things project to follow soon.

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Follow the greenhouse environment on-line

Exciting news from the Writhlington Orchid Project – you can see some of our greenhouses in real time. Just visit http://www.iotschools.org.uk/GPRSLogbook/1004.htm and click on xively feed and you will see data from both the Warm Asia and Cool Asia.
The top two are temperature and relative humidity for warm Asia . Click on the data to gat a graphical plot.
We will soon arrange the data in a more user friendly way

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OCI At Kew Gardens

Yesterday we travelled up to Kew Gardens to attend out annual Orchid Conservation International (OCI) event. We travelled up to Kew fairly early so we had a few hours before the event to have a look around Kew before setting up our small orchid display. We were split into two groups, one group went to the Herbarium to look at some dead squished plants and get information to go towards a project they are working on. While the other group which was mainly the younger students of our team went to have a look around Kew. We had a fantastic time in one of the tropical greenhouses which was where we found the orchids so we were all very excited to see them. Not only was there some brilliant plants here there was also a massive tropical pond full of lotus plants and some very large unusual looking fish which we found very hard to pull away some members of our team who are very much into fishing! We had to visit the famous palm greenhouse too, which we welcomed the lovely warmth from being out in the cold November weather, again we were all astonished at the size of some of these plants. Before returning back to the event we also had a walk around the brightly coloured autumn trees on the tree top walkway.
The event had a fantastic outcome and was full of Kew staff, volunteers and students as we had joined there award ceremony too. The main part of the event was the viewing of the David Attenborough film about orchids which our project is featured in and many of the sky vision film crew attended and was wonderful to see them. Before returning home, many of our team spoke to the Kew team about orchids and we have now set up some valued contacts with Kew. It was a brilliant day at Kew and the event went really well which everyone thoroughly enjoyed!

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