Archive for the 'Cool Growers' Category

Summer in Our Garden

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Summers on the Northern California coast are typically cool and foggy, and this year has been no exception. That allows us to revel in cool-growing Cymbidium, Epidendrum, and Masdevallia orchids, as well as other plants like fuchsias, poppies, and nasturtiums. Their bright colors stand out against the green background, enticing bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and humans. […]

My Little Red Sarcochilus

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

About five years ago, I bought this little Sarcochilus hybrid at an orchid show, and it’s been a reliable bloomer. It pumps out brilliant red flowers from a four inch (10 cm) pot for a month or two in late spring and early summer. They’re such a rich red that my cell phone camera can’t […]

The Surprising Putty Root Orchid

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Thanks so much to my friend Carola, who has generously let me post her photos of Putty Root Orchids near her home in Virginia. She’s taken pictures over the seasons, so they illustrate a year in the life of this extraordinary North American species. These orchids boast handsome leaves with alternating green and silvery-white pinstripes. […]

Orchid Post Mortem: Ada

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Every now and then, I manage to kill an orchid. Recently, it was my Ada aurantiaca. The species has been renamed Brassia aurantiaca, but I bought it under the Ada name, so that’s how I usually refer to it. After it died, I realized that we didn’t take many photos of it over the years. […]

Spring Equinox Orchids

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Lots of orchids have been blooming in our late winter garden, eager for today’s change of season. My favorite purple Zygo reliably boasts stunning flowers, shown in the first row of photos above. Their beauty is surpassed by their sweet fragrance, which is one of my favorites. The second row features a wonderful Coelogyne, which […]

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 […]