Archive for the 'Cool Growers' Category

Yes, There Are Orchids in Iceland

Monday, August 13th, 2018

In a chilly, windy July rain, near a trail with a long name, in between glaciers with longer names, orchids bloom in southern Iceland. Orchids near the Arctic Circle? In fact, orchids live just about everywhere on earth, including Iceland, which is home to seven native species. Two of them are shown here. The Heath […]

Magical Masdevallia Orchids

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

When it comes to spring blooms in our garden,┬áthe Masdevallias really stand out. There are still some Cymbidiums flowering, and the Epidendrums never stop, but these brilliant colors steal the show. The orange flowers belong to a hybrid, Masdevallia ignea x falcata. Some of the blooms are battered by the elements, but they last for […]

Fermilab Plants Rare Native Orchids

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

What do rare orchids and particle physics have in common? The folks at Fermilab are in the business of subatomic discoveries, but they’re also part of a project to restore native prairie. On their campus outside of Chicago, they’ve been bringing back native plants like the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid. This species is endangered throughout […]

Winter Blooms in Our Garden

Monday, February 5th, 2018

The Northern California coast is already a beautiful place, but winter orchid blooms make it even better. The plants in these photos are reliable performers in our garden every year. We grow lots of Cymbidiums, which do very well in our climate. And so do some other orchid varieties, like cool-growing Zygos, Epidendrums, Laelias, and […]

Cymbidium Season

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Cymbidiums adorn much of the California coast. Many varieties bloom in autumn, when orchid lovers can spot them in flowerpots and gardens on the coast of the SF Bay Area. Plants in my and my neighbors’ gardens are currently blossoming in Pacifica, and we’re enjoying another fantastic Cymbidium season. Many people are amazed that orchids […]

A Tough Odont Orchid

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Do you think that all orchids are fussy hothouse flowers? This brilliant Odont orchid lives outdoors all year long on the chilly Northern California coast. Despite heavy rains, strong winds, hail, heatwaves, and mischievous raccoons, it’s a very reliable bloomer. These flowers look delicate, but they can last three months through winter. This hybrid is […]

A Tiny But Stubborn Stelis Orchid

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

In all the years I’ve been doing this blog, this tiny Stelis orchid has not bloomed — until now! It had flowered in past years, but not since 2006. I don’t know what’s made it so happy, but it now boasts eight flower spikes, despite some hot and dry weather. Dave and I were finally […]

The Dracula Ball

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Want to go to a fantastic party and help orchids at the same time? Enjoy the Dracula Ball: Gala under Glass on October 19th at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. This fundraiser celebrates Draculas — not the Transylvanian kind, but the Latin American orchids with the same name. Tickets start at $75 […]

Our Garden Blooms

Friday, October 6th, 2017

With warm days lately, we’re enjoying lots of flowers. Orchids and other greenery keep our front and back yards full of color and buzzing with local wildlife. Cymbidiums, Epidendrums, and Masdevallias are such reliable bloomers here that they rarely take a break. Poppies, nasturtiums, and bromeliads add to the show. Even though we don’t have […]

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, […]