Sikkim 2009

Exciting news – the orchid project is going to Sikkim!

The Sikkim Himalayan project had been working slowly for about three years now.  The Project involves students in the lab growing the rare species ‘Cymbidium Whitea’.  There are very few of these plants remaining in the wild and they are only known to come from a small area around Gangtok.

The Cymbidium Whitea’s are now fully grown and can’t wait to come out of their flasks.  The trip to Sikkim will give them that opportunity.  This is as close to re-introduction of a species that we have ever done at writhlington.  We believe that re-introduction is pointless unless you tackle the problem that has made them close to extinction in the first place.  With the Whitea this is easy, as their main threat is collection.

The plan is to give everyone at the Annual Gangtok orchid fair a flask of Cymbidium Whitea and tell them how to look after it.  The plant will then be common in the area and people won’t cut it down from the wild.  Another benefit from this is that when the plant flowers, it will be in it’s natural environment, with it’s natural pollinators.  With us more than doubling the population of Cymbidium Whitea, and each seed pod producing 2.6 million seeds, the wild population should quickly recover.

The expedition is set to depart on 27th March 2009 and arrive back on 10th April.  As usual with our trips we are hoping to keep you up to date via the wonder that is the internet and our website.

Stay tuned for more information!


Chelsea Confirmation

The Writhlington Orchid Project recieved confirmation today of it’s place at the Chelsea Flower Show 2009.

This is brilliant and much celebration has been taking place, in amongst much increaced production! We are all looking forward to this Chelsea as we have a new display, new students and, most impostantly, new stories!

We are situated in the Lifelong Learning section of the main Pavilion, so feel free to come and say hello!


London International Orchid Show Preparations

Preparations for the London international orchid show on the 21st and 22nd of March 2009.  At Writhlington Orchids we’re planning an educational display that involves Orchids, Darwin and string!  More information about the London Orchid show can be found on the RHS website.

The greenhouse preparations are well underway and we’ll have lots of plant’s to bring along and show.

The Labs have also started preparing early this year, so we have a record breaking number of flasks to sell at this show and all others that follow.  Including the Chelsea Flower Show 2009.


Orchid project publicity events September 2008

Amateur Gardening   –   5,6,7th September

Plant and enterprise display at the Bath and West Show Ground.
Including daily lectures.
(Set up Wednesday evening and Thursday for judging 4pm Thursday)

Frome Cheese Show  –  13th September

Plant and enterprise display.
(Set up Thursday and Friday evenings – all after school time)

Exhibition at the Rook Lane Gallery, Frome 19th-27th September

An exhibition of images from our expeditions to South East Asia, South and Central America, Africa and the Himalayas.
Exhibition staffed by ex-pupils (Chris Ashman) + some sixth form time.
Key events – preview evening 19th
Orchid Show – 27th
Setting up – day time on 19th Sep


Gold Medal Won at the Amateur Gardening Show

Writhlington School pupils are celebrating a Large Gold Medal won at the Amateur Gardening Show last weekend.

The display was designed by Luke Barnes (14 years old) and Luke Lucas (16) and featured a diverse selection of Orchids grown at the School.

“We have been working at school all through the summer to get ready for the show, and it is brilliant to win a Large Gold. For this Show we focussed on the amazing diversity of miniature orchids including tiny Trisitellas native to the cloud forests of South America.”

– Luke Barnes

Luke Barnes and Luke Lucas also gave lectures at the show helping the public to get to grips with ‘The dos and don’ts of orchid growing’.

September is a busy month for the Writhlington Orchid growers. On Saturday 27th Frome hosts the regions largest Orchid show organised by the Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset Orchid Society and held at the Rook Lane Chapel in Bath Street. Writhlington growers will be giving potting demonstrations at the show and presenting photographs taken on the school’s expeditions to tropical forests in Central America and South East Asia. The show is open from 10am to 4pm.