Archive for the 'Cool Growers' Category

Beginners Guide to British Orchids

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

What’s the difference between a Fen Orchid and a Bog Orchid? Best to consult A Beginner’s Vegetative Guide to the Orchids of the British Isles. This great, free resource from London’s Natural History Museum is expertly written, with beautiful illustrations and clear-cut explanations for botanical concepts. The guide focuses on identifying species by their leaves, […]

Blooming in Our Garden

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Despite wind, fog, bugs, raccoons, and other gardening obstacles, our backyard in Pacifica is full of blooms for the start of summer. There’s lots of lush growth from our drought-busting winter. Even orchids that like a dry winter dormancy didn’t seem to mind the heavy rains, like the purple Zygo and white Dendrobium in the […]

Cymbidium Society of America

Monday, June 26th, 2017

The Cymbidium Society of America (CSA) began in 1946 to further the growth of Cymbidiums and other cool growing orchids. The group has branches throughout California, and one each in Hawaii and New Zealand. It also has members around the world who enjoy helpful online orchid tips and the quarterly CSA Journal. Activities include shows, […]

Canada Has Lots of Lady Slippers

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

The Ram’s Head Lady Slipper is very rare. Typically, this small orchid species grows in isolated patches with only a few dozen plants. Cypripedium arietinum is native to alvar forests in the northeastern USA, the Great Lakes region, and from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. Recently, an Ontario quarry, wanting to expand, hired field ecologist Dan […]

An Outstanding Masdevallia Orchid

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Masdevallias love our foggy weather, and we love our Masdevallias right back. This brilliant pink Masdevallia was a gift from a friend many years ago, and I’ve grown it outdoors ever since. Over the past month, it’s put out a bumper crop of 32 flowers and buds, most of them still going strong when Dave […]

An Imperiled, Hidden Orchid Waits Out the Cold

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

The New York Times reports on one of New York City’s hidden jewels, a native orchid species called the Downy Rattlesnake Plantain. This remarkable jewel orchid keeps its leaves over winter. Despite many threats, a few still survive in the city’s green patches.

Hyacinth Orchids, Big and Small

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

For years, I’ve had great success growing a Giant Hyacinth Orchid outdoors. With long, graceful leaves, it’s an elegant plant even when not in flower. But certainly, it’s at its best when it bursts into bloom. Tall stalks emerge, each boasting dozens of small, purple flowers. Every winter, this orchid reliably puts on a great […]

An Orchid Obsession in New Zealand

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

New Zealand’s native orchids are not big and showy like their tropical cousins, but they sure can inspire an orchid obsession. The article includes half a dozen photos of native species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Four Gentlemen on a Flowerpot

Monday, December 5th, 2016

The Chinese artistic theme of the Four Gentlemen refers to four plants, including an orchid. Recently, while Dave and I were enjoying dinner at a local restaurant, I spotted a nearby flowerpot illustrating the Four Gentlemen. I can’t read Chinese, so I don’t know what the writing says, but I recognized each plant. The first […]

Saving Minnesota’s Rare Orchids Before It’s Too Late

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is working to conserve rare native orchids. The Arboretum is building a seed bank for all of the state’s 48 native species, including the official state flower, the Showy Lady’s Slipper. The effort is part of a larger conservation project, headed by the Smithsonian Institution, to preserve seeds from all of […]