London Show Display

So after a long, long day starting at 4am at school, and ending in Westminster, London at 10pm, our team have certainly earned their rest!

The display it’self looks absolutely magnificent and we are all extremely proud of it! We wanted to wait for some proper light to really show it off to you, but here are some photos from set up:

Set-up Photos

I’ll be uploading photos throughout the day from my phone over the weekend. To catch them all as they happen – check back to this link regularly:

WSBEorchids Twitter


London 2012

Well, it’s that time of year once again – The RHS London Orchid Show!

This really does have to be our favourite time of year. Not only do we get to go to London to show our plants at one of the UK’s largest orchid shows, but it’s at the perfect time of year. The greenhouse is blooming lovely, quite literally!

This year’s design team is Ike Shackleton and Tom Forsyth. Ike is in year 10 and is the second Shackleton to be with us. Tom is in year 9 and was heavily involved in our display at Timsbury’s in Bloom entry – so the step up to International Orchid show should be a breeze! Thanks to copious exams and revision, I’ve only managed to catch glimpses of the plans, but it’s already shaping up to be our best London yet!

So whether you’re in London and fancy popping down to the RHS Lawrence Hall in Westminster, or are planning a trip up to the capital specially to see the show, we look forward to seeing you – and oh do we have a treat for you! Some of our biggest and best orchid species have decided that this year is going to be the year they put on a show – and put on a show they will!

See you on Friday/Saturday!


How a parent plant’s DNA affects the hybrid

The hybrid Angraecum Veitchii Angraecum eburneum

This month we have a perfect demonstration of how the DNA of parent species influence the character of  their hybrid. We have  the two species Angraecum sesquipedale and Angraecum eburneum, and their hybrid Angraecum Veitchii all in flower at once.

Angraecum sesquipedale is a large growing species that produces a few large flowers each with a twelve inch ( thirty centimetres ) long spur. It is pollinated by a moth with a tonuge the same length as the spur. Angraecum eburneum is another large growing species but with many smaller flowers and short spurs.

The hybrid Angraecum Veitchii has an interesting combination of its parents’ characteristics. It is a large growing plant with leaves longer than A. sesquipedale. The flowers are smaller than A. sesquipedale but bigger than A. eburneum. There are many flowers on a spike but not as many as A.eburneum can produce. The flowers have a  lip with a similar shape to A. eburneum but the other sepals are wider as in A. sesquipedale. The length of the spur is intermediate between that of its parents.

Have a look at the photos for yourself and try to spot the similarities. These photos were all taken by me on Saturday.

Angraecum sesquipedale (Darwins orchid)


Data logging video goes live


Heather hold a data logger and Zoe presses a button!

We have been working recently with Science Scope and Bath University. Science Scope make the data loggers we use in the greenhouses and took to Laos. Bath University are working on ways to improve science lessons through the introduction of technology.

Find out all about it in this video which is live on the Bath University website.



Trying out QR code at Writhlington

Try this


Thanks to Clancy we are trying out QR code to provide additional information about our orchids for visitors around the greenhouse or soon even on the labels of any plant you buy.

If you haven’t met QR code (short for Quick response code) it is a square that provides a link straight to a web page if you scan it with a smart phone (using a free app).

Try this one and you will find information about one of our plants, where it comes from, how we grow it – great information if you buy a new plant.

If none of the above makes any sense to you, or you don’t have a smart phone ….don’t worry we will always have lots of old fashioned information in paper form.

Let us know what you think of this trial.