The Moustache Orchid

As being modelled here by Lily, this is Trisetella hoeijeri and is one of our all time favourites due to its close resemblance to a moustache! Trisetella hoeijeri is native to Venezuala and so it is grown in our greenhouses with the miniatures in the section ‘Cool America’. This plant was brought in 1998 and has since then been split up and individual plants were mounted on cork bark, this specific Trisetella in the photo has been mounted to cork bark for four years.



Lovely rain

Those of you who may have been worried about the Orchid Project running out of rainwater during our long dry summer (or is that just me) can relax – our tank is full again.

Our 16 000 litre tank, seen here under today’s stormy skies, holds enough water for about eight weeks of watering and by the end of term was down to its last week’s worth of precious rainwater. Fortunately a good wet weekend like the last one results in more than 16 000 litres of rain falling on the greenhouse roof (that is 8cm of rain) and we are now sorted for the summer.

Thanks go to the girls in 2009 who calculated how much storage we needed to build for the new greenhouse, your calculations have been spot on.

We use rainwater for all our watering for three reasons:
1. Tap water in the Mendips is very hard and would cause white lime scale marks on all our beautiful glossy green leaves.
2. The dissolved salts in local tap water give a conductivity of 500 micro- Siemens which is close to the limit of what many orchid roots can tolerate. Using rainwater, conductivity 20 micro-siemens, allows us to add plant food without taking the conductivity of the water up too high for roots to cope with.
3. 2000 litres of water a week is a lot of water and it is a pleasure not to be using scarce and metered mains water.

For tropical plants it is now the wet season – time to splash the rainwater



Getting ready for the Big Orchid Evening

Thank you to those who have booked tickets for our Big Orchid Evening next Thursday. We are delighted that some of you will be coming from so far away.
I have been asked a couple of questions by more than one person and so thought I should share the answers here.
Q. Are there any tickets left
A. Yes, we have a wonderfully big theatre and don’t expect to sell out. But to be absolutely sure why not book on-line.
Q. We are driving a long way so is it ok if we arrive early.
A. Yes. The event starts at 6pm but we will be happy to welcome people who have travelled a long way from 4 onwards (after the school buses have gone) especially if you don’t mind helping us get things ready for the evening.
See you next week.