West Country Woodcarvers at the British orchid Show

We are delighted that the West Country Woodcarvers will be joining us for the British orchid Show and Congress next Saturday and Sunday (3rd and 4th Nov). They are regulars at Writhlington Shows and always add extra interest. They will be working in the technology rooms and happy to show their work and talk about the group to visitors. They may even have some original carved work for sale for charity.

The West Country Woodcarvers was formed in 2001. The aim of the club is to provide a meeting place for its members to carve and discuss the art of woodcarving, to demonstrate at public shows and exhibitions and to encourage an interest in various skills involved in woodcarving. The membership has a wide cross section of skills and abilities. Absolute beginners are welcomed, and given help and encouragement.


365 days of orchids – day 671 – Xylobium subintegrum

We have a wonderful of diversity of orchid species ready to share with visitors to the British Orchid Show and Congress next week. We only have one genus of orchids beginning with X and that is Xylobium.

Xylobium is a genus of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids from South and Central America and we saw one species in Brazil on our expeditions there.

Xylobium subintegrum is a cool growing epiphyte from Ecuador and Peru where it grows in cool wet forest from 1700 to 2000m altitude. It is a robust plant with large pseudobulbs and thick large leaves.

In late summer the new pseudobulbs produce a number of 50cm long flower spikes each with ten to twenty attractive flowers and prominent bracts. The spikes are a little unruly but we resist the urge to stake them as they look very attractive against the leaves without canes to spoil the effect.


Getting ready for next weekend’s show

Yesterday I showed some of our efforts to get ready for the big show next weekend. Here are some more photos – James working on the Laser Cutter to create his amazing trophies (check judging classes etc here)


The Orchid project sales table is coming on thanks to Jess’ efforts – we will have lots of species for sale for the first time and over 100 different species in all.

Of course there are lots of nurseries coming to sell too. The full list of our orchid trade at the show is

Burnham Nurseries (UK), Akerne Orchids (Belgium) , Roellke Orchids (Germany), Laneside Hardy Orchids (UK), Laurence Hobbs Orchids (UK),  Royden Orchids (UK),  Assendorfer Orchideenzucht (Germany), Orchid Alchemy (UK) and of course the Writhlington School Orchid Project.

Look out too for Botanical Art, Real Escape Travel and Jewellery too.


365 days of orchids – day 670 – Barkeria lindleyana

We have several plants of this gorgeous species coming into flower in the greenhouse.

This Barkeria is found in from Mexico to Costa Rica in warm deciduous forest where it experiences a distinct dry season. It responds to the dry habitat by producing a mass of roots and growing tall canes rapidly during the summer growing season. The flowers are dramatic and long lasting.

We find that Barkerias need to be mounted to do well as the roots rot in pots and we hang the bark mounts high in Warm Americas where plants get bright light and dry out rapidly after daily spraying. This plant has three flowering bulbs – one long one and two short ones which is a reminder that the species flowers when quite young from shorter bulbs but as it matures produces longer and longer bulbs with more and more flowers.


Printing registrants bags

All registrants will get a unique hand printed registrants bag thanks to the hard work of James (who designed the print block and made it on the laser cutter) Ed who printed all 180 bags and Agnes (who was Ed’s production line and chief ironer to make the dye fast)

In other parts of the building today, James if laser cutting the glass trophies and Jess is sorting out an amazing array of sales plants for the event. Teachers have donated prizes for Tombola and final arrangements are being made for food, refreshments and lecture rooms.

Its not too late to register for the whole weekend or scientific lectures if you haven’t already. Other wise tickets for Saturday and Sunday (3rd and 4th November) will be on the door from 10am-4pm each day.