Archive for the 'Misc' Category

Happy 150th Birthday to Golden Gate Park

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Happy birthday, Golden Gate Park! It’s one of the most famous parks in the world, and it’s turning 150 years old. Formerly barren sand dunes, it’s now full of plants, animals, museums, statues, hiking trails, lakes, and meadows. It’s one of our favorite destinations. (Of course, much of it is shut down because of the […]

Sheltering at Home for the Spring Equinox

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Today is a spring equinox like no other. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we have been sheltering at home for several days now as COVID-19 spreads. Dave and I are fine, and our two cats are getting spoiled since we’re home most of the time. Only essential businesses are still open. Roads that are […]

Buy First-Class Orchids at the Post Office

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

You can now buy first-class orchids at the post office. The US Postal Service has just released 10 new stamps featuring wild orchids. All the species represented are native to the USA. My photos show both sides of a 20-stamp booklet and the cover image. There are nine orchid species depicted. Three Birds Orchid, Triphora […]

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Orchids

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

Legendary American artist Georgia O’Keeffe painted extraordinary flowers, including orchids. The Winston-Salem Journal analyzes two of her portrayals of Cattleya hybrids. The first, Narcissa’s Last Orchid, 1940,  is depicted realistically. The second, An Orchid, 1941, is more abstract. Both paintings focus on the frilly flower lips. Orchid expert Arthur Chadwick ponders which varieties inspired these […]

Edmond Albius: The Boy Who Revolutionized the Vanilla Industry

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

The modern vanilla industry owes its existence to a young enslaved African, Edmond Albius. Vanilla vines had been imported from Mexican jungles to the tiny French colony of Réunion, in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. But without their Mexican bee pollinators, nobody could figure out how to produce vanilla beans. In 1841, Edmond Albius, then […]

Gardening Could Be the Hobby That Helps You Live to 100

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Want to live longer? Try gardening! Many of the world’s oldest living people are gardeners. In Earth’s “blue zones” where people live the longest, many of them garden into their 80’s and 90’s. Of course, fresh air and exercise are very beneficial, and homegrown fruits and vegetables can improve diets, too. Scientific studies have shown […]

Find Orchid Family Trees at OrchidRoots.com

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Find hybrid orchid family trees at OrchidRoots.com. This website compiles information about orchid species, hybrids, and hybrid parents. Searches can be done by looking for a named variety or browsing through genus lists. Hybridizers used to need to consult multiple volumes of The Sanders List of Orchid Hybrids for this data, until paid software offered […]

The Latest Orchid Science from Kew

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Want to stay current on orchid science news? Check out the latest at Kew’s Orchid Research Newsletter. Published twice a year, it includes updates on recent orchid papers, name changes, conferences, book reviews, and more. RBG Kew in London is a global center for plant science and conservation.

Rankafu, An Orchid Masterpiece

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Celebrate today’s spring equinox with these astounding orchid prints. Rankafu, which means Orchid Flower Album in Japanese, consists of 83 works done in 1946 by orchid lover Shotaro Kaga and artist Zuigetsu Ikeda. These woodblock prints are considered masterpieces for their exquisite colors, fine details, and expert use of difficult ukiyo-e printing techniques. In addition […]

Vertical Gardens in Buenos Aires

Friday, January 11th, 2019

During our recent visit to Buenos Aires, it was great to see lots of vertical gardens. We spotted green walls above stores, banks, and inside office buildings. With ongoing efforts to add green spaces to the city, it’s certainly an effective way to include more plant life in crowded neighborhoods. Ferns, vines, and even Split […]