Archive for the 'Cool Growers' Category

Our Winter Garden Blooms

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

For over 30 years, I’ve been living and gardening in California, and I’ve certainly become spoiled by the fact that we can garden year-round here. But I did grow up in New Jersey, and went to college in upstate New York, so I also remember ice cold winters when nothing was growing. Outdoors was mostly […]

The Streaked Rock Orchid: A Tough Mini from Down Under

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

The Streaked Rock Orchid is a wonderful Australian native. Its strange flowers resemble elaborate birds in flight. Its little, pencil-like leaves turn purplish-red in the sun, making it look like a pointy, colorful hedgehog. In the wild, Dendrobium striolatum lives attached to rocky cliffs in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. Our […]

A Beautiful Laelia Orchid Species

Sunday, November 29th, 2020

I love this gorgeous Mexican species, Laelia gouldiana, but our garden pests annoyingly love it, too. The first row of photos above shows happy, uneaten flowers from recent years. In contrast, the three rows of photos below show damaged flowers, the worst from this year, and some milder damage in 2016 and 2018. Whatever chomped […]

A Very Different Orchid Subspecies

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

These brilliant magenta flowers belong to an unusual orchid subspecies. It’s a little orchid with a big name, Arpophyllum giganteum subspecies alpinum. It bears many similarities to its close relation, Arpophyllum giganteum, whose purple flowers are shown in the final photo below. Both are cool growers. They’ve been reliable bloomers for years, putting up clusters […]

Our Early Autumn Garden

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

I’ve got garden pictures to share, but mostly this post is a chance to brag about my Epidendrum, which has been in constant bloom for over 17 years. It began flowering in early 2003, and has never stopped. Through heat waves, driving rains, light frosts, strong winds, pounding hailstorms, pest attacks, and smoky conditions, it […]

The Yolk-Yellow Orchid, Prosthechea vitellina

Friday, August 21st, 2020

I’m glad I splurged on this Prosthechea vitellina at the Pacific Orchid Expo in February. It was on my shopping list as a cool grower that I figured would do well here on the Northern California coast. Happily, it’s proven to be a great addition to our garden, and has settled into its new home […]

Summer Orchid Blooms

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Summer brings plenty of blooms, including these four orchids which live outside in our back garden. In the first row of photos, there’s a mini Sarcochilus hybrid with deep red flowers. Hybrids like these have been popular in Australia for years, and lately I’ve been seeing more of them available in the USA. It’s less […]

The Deceptive Ways of the Calypso Orchid

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

In Defense of Plants exposes The Deceptive Ways of the Calypso Orchid. This dainty, charming species grows in northern forests of North America, Europe, and Asia, where it’s pollinated by bumblebees. The bees are attracted by the orchid’s sweet fragrance, yellow hairs on the flower lip which mimic pollen, and nectar spurs. But the yellow […]

Summer Solstice Orchids

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Here on the Northern California coast, summers are often cool and foggy. Right on schedule for today’s summer solstice, we were greeted this morning by a heavy fog bank. It’s the perfect weather for Dave’s and my favorite orchids, Masdevallias, which live in high mountain cloud forests. These tropical, triangular beauties feature stunningly brilliant colors. […]

Samurai Orchids Fight to Survive in the Wild

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

In Japan, BotanyBoy describes the plight of the Samurai Orchid. Cultivated for centuries, they’re now endangered in the wild. Populations have shrunk as native habitats have been destroyed or altered by humans. Old growth forests only remain in small, disjointed pockets. They include areas around temples, shrines, rivers, and the very tops of mountain ridges. […]