Orchid button holes

One of the great things about growing orchids is having flowers handy for special occasions. Tomorrow is my Son’s wedding (Covid safe so 9 people standing up in a registry office for fifteen minutes) and here are three button holes ready for the day Odontoglossum hallii, Renanthera imschootiana and Epigenium amplum – let me know your favourite.


Masdevallia floribunda – 365 days of orchids – day 1385

No apologies for another Masdevallia this morning (the fourth in a row), these rewarding orchids are a real key feature of our collection.

Masdevallia floribunda is a wonderful little species that produces masses of relatively large flowers every autumn.
The species is native to wet forests from Mexico to Costa Rica and the Caribbean from 500m to 1400m altitude making it more warmth tolerant than many of the high cloud forest species.
We find that the plant is easy to grow and flower in pots, baskets or mounted as our specimen shown in the photos.
We have young plants in bud for sale online.


Masdevallia bubophyllopsis – 365 days of orchids – day 1384

It is a third Masdevallia in a row with this tiny miniature species endemic to Ecuador

It is small growing but vigorous with 4cm leaves and 15cm flower spikes with about 6-12 flowers on each.

As you can see it does well for us in a small basket though we also find it does well in pots.

The species is found from 1800-2700m and so it is well suited to our Cool Americas section (Min 12C) where we keep it well watered and shaded.

This species is found in a wide range of colour variants and we also have a brown and yellow clone but this is our favourite with crystal white flowers and yellow tails, tiny but spectacular.


Jacob’s Research Masters Degree at Kent University

The photograph above was taken in 2011 and shows a young Jacob Coles (aged twelve I think) when he was already showing immense promise as orchid grower, scientist and researcher. I am delighted to  report that this promise has continued, and he has just started a fascinating, orchid based, research Masters Degree at Kent University, following his graduation last summer in Wildlife Conservation.

Jacob’s Masters title is ‘ Neotinea ustulata: Conservation ecology and restoration in Kent’ and is focussed on the Burnt Tip Orchid (Neotinea ustulata). His work will include studying pollination biology, reintroduction potential and in-vitro germination. We can wait to hear what Jacob discovers, and look forward to sharing his research here.


Greenhouse club is back

I am really pleased to say that greenhouse club is back. We have worked with guidance to develop a new Covid 19 risk assessment for the greenhouse that means we can have all our wonderful students back in the greenhouse in after school sessions for each year group bubble. Mondays are the year 7 and 8 bubble, Wednesdays are Year 9, and Thursdays and Fridays are Mendip/Year 11. No lunch time clubs yet to reflect the schools’ approach to lunchtime bubbles.

We are still unable to have visitors so apologies to all those who would love to come and visit – we will let you know as soon as we have any covid safe events planned.

The photo shows our First year 9 session, working with our shop and sorting out new species to add to ETSY. We have already offered more than 100 different species since April and this weekend we have added three new species – Masdevallia calura, Masdevallia barlaeana and Dendrobium chryseum (below)

as well as restocking Platystele misasiana, Pleurothallis gracilima and Bulbophyllum stenobulbon (below)

We hope to have some new more species soon thanks to greenhouse club’s work this week 🙂