Archive for the 'Cool Growers' Category

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, […]

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 […]