Working with our partners at the BBC

We are actively working with several wildlife film companies and producers, a great experience for students, and this week we spent time working with Ella form the Green Planet Team at the BBC Natural History Unit, Bristol. As well learning about our orchid diversity in the greenhouse, Ella learnt some orchid propagation skills in our propagation lab from Tallis and the team.


Ada brachypus – 365 days of orchids – day 1426

We have always catagorised Ada brachypus as a miniature member of the Oncidium family but our larger plant is now becoming something of a specimen!

Ada brachypus comes from the cloud forests of Ecuador where it grows in moss from 1200 to 2400m altitude.

We find this plant does best in 3cm pots and baskets amongst miniature masdevallia species in Cool Americas where we keep it well watered throughout the year, but this stock plant is growing in an 8cm basket and is loving life.

The flowers are produced from maturing growths and, although small, plants quickly form clumps and so produce many flowers together to give a charming display. This is yet another example of the wonderful diversity of Orchid Species.


Cymbidium cochleare – 365 days of orchids – day 1425

More photographs from the night time greenhouse today. Never build a greenhouse without good lighting so that you can enjoy it on winter evenings 🙂 – in the daylight the flowers show off their golden hues and the beautiful red spotting around the lip.


Cymbidium cochleare is a species we have seen in Sikkim and in the wild or cultivation it is instantly recognisable from its very thin pendulous flower spikes with glossy pendulous flowers that smell of jasmine. We found the species growing abundantly in the Fambong Lho reserve near Gangtok (see our group with staff and students of Takse School below)

The plant is a delicate cymbidium with fine dark green leaves and this species really needs to be in a basket to allow for the flower habit.

The species is found across the eastern Himalayas from Sikkim to Thailand and inhabits cool wet monsoon forests. We water the plant well to avoid drying in the summer especially as it is in a basket and give a winter minimum of 7C in our temperate section – this accurately replicates the very wet, cool forests of Fambong Lho.


Isabellia pulchella – 365 days of orchids – day 1424

The first of our Isabellia puchella flowers have opened this week – little pink jewels in our Cool Americas section. You could described Isabellia pulchella as a miniature orchid and though it flowers as a tiny plant, it grows into wonderful specimen plant over time.

Isabellia pulchella is native to cloud forest in the Mata Atlantica and enjoys growing cool and moist in our Cool Americas section and the roots that dangle in the air appreciate daily spraying.

We have plants available at our shop


Click and collect on December 5th at Writhlington School

In conjunction with our virtual Orchid Festival on December 3rd (6.30-7.30) we will be at school on  5th December from 10am-3pm for people to collect orchids they have purchased from us.

How click and collect works.

1.We are offering some of our larger orchids, and orchids in spike on our online shop as collect only – these are too large or fragile to post. Examples include Laelia superbiens, prosthechea brassavolae, Barkeria skinneri eyc

2.Any other orchids ordered from our shop between now and December 5th can also be collected from school on the 5th – just add a note to your orders saying that you will collect plants on the 5th December and we will refund your postage. (you can add a note when you go to your basket – see below)

Arrangements on the 5th will depend on the Government Covid regulations at the time. If lockdown continues we will just be there for click and collect and visitors will just be able to look in through the doors of the greenhouse. If lockdown is eased then there will be some restricted access to have a look around before heading home (please bring a mask). Regrettably there will not be students present on the 5th December but will taking part in the Virtual Orchid Festival on the 3rd.