Well the tropical weather of Durban is a distant memory and the great new friends we made are 6000 miles away. We will never forget the amazing time we had but it’s back to work in the Writhlington Labs. Here we are at Tuesday’s Lab Club, sowing seed of Epidendrum radicans (the pod split in the school greenhouse on the day we returned) and replating seedlings of Sophronitis coccinea (see an earlier blog about that species). As you can see we are having the usual fun. It’s good to be home. The good news is we are going to keep blogging so watch this space for everything orchid shaped and follow us and the Writhlington Orchid Project through the coming years. We also have some good bits of the durban trip still to share with you.
We have had an amazing day again in Durban. It started with a trip to the West Park School in Malvern on the outskirts of the city. We started with a school assembley where Simon and Lauren talked to the school. We then had a tour of the impressive permaculture work that the school is doing. The pupils at the school train rural schools in permaculture techniques as well as doing their own work. After the tour the two of us gave a workshop to a group of staff and pupils from every class. we talked about growing orchids and showed them how to deflask seedlings. We have left over fifty seedling likts at the school so that each class can have their own seedlings to grow. West Park school is a special needs school and has a fantastic atmosphere. The school is using horticulture and enterprise to provide experiences for the pupils as well as fund projects and it is really exciting to know that we can help them to help themselves by supporting them setting up an orchid project. Right got to pack. Back in the bush looking for orchids tomorrow and then flying back to the UK after an incredible African adventure.
Hello all iTunes users (and potential iTunes users, and non-iTunes users who I may be able to persuade!)
The WSBEOrchids podcast that we piloted last week was a hit (sort of)! And so I’ve managed to get our tame web expert, Dan to put the podcast online so it’s available for you to subscribe to in iTunes! This means you can download the podcast when we release it, put it on you’re iPod and listen to it on the bus, or simply listen to it there and then on the computer!
In the workshop Zoe B was teaching people how to replate seedlings. These are the plants that we brought all the way from England. By the end of the day the workshops had made more than a hundred jars of sown seed or replated seedlings, wow. All the jars will stay at the Botanic Garden to grow on in their collection.
Wednesday was workshop day at the Durban Congress. We gave two long workshops on orchid growing from seed. It went amazingly well with groups of 16 and 17 people and they all loved it. Here Zoe P is working with two of the people and showing how to surface sterlise the seed. The people at the workshops came from botanic gardens all over the world and now they all want to set up orchid projects with schools in their cities. The whole day was just brilliant fun.