Archive for the 'Photos' Category

Our Rain-Soaked Winter Garden

Friday, January 27th, 2023

After years of drought, we don’t typically complain about rainy days in California. More than three weeks of storms, however, led to lots of complaints. From December 26th to January 19th, we received approximately 20 inches (50.8 cm) of precipitation, including a single day when we had over 5 inches (12.7 cm.) We also had […]

Lots of Hard Work Goes into Orchid Awards

Sunday, January 8th, 2023

Lots of hard work goes into winning orchid awards. Growers spend long hours mastering plant care in order to coax out exceptional blooms. Orchid judges spend years studying and training to find and evaluate those perfect flowers. It’s challenging work. These photos spotlight winners at recent shows. The first row of pictures above features an […]

Orchids for the Winter Solstice

Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

Orchids work wonders for brightening the shortest day and longest night of the year. Having attended three orchid shows in 2022, after a two-year pandemic break, it was easy for me to find a few brilliant photos. The first four pictures are from the Pacific Orchid Expo last winter, the next four are from the […]

Big, Bold Sobralia Blooms

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

This Sobralia orchid has been a reliable cool-grower in our garden for over a decade. Its scientific name, Sobralia macrantha, means “big-flowered Sobralia” and it’s no lie. These large, purple blooms with their frilly lips can span 10 inches (25 cm,) but mine are usually a little smaller. A few years ago, I moved this […]

Rare Orchids in the Utah Desert

Sunday, November 27th, 2022

Not many people would expect to find orchids in a desert in Utah, but orchids can turn up in unusual places. Platanthera zothecina, the Alcove Bog Orchid, is native to the upper Colorado River watershed in southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, and far western Colorado. It’s rare and endangered. The area is harsh, high-elevation desert, with […]

A Very Reliable Cochlioda Orchid

Monday, November 14th, 2022

This brilliant pink Cochlioda orchid has been a reliable bloomer for years. I bought this charming miniature almost two decades ago, and it flowers every autumn. Each of its spikes can hold over two dozen blossoms which open sequentially, so the pink keeps going for three or four months. This fall, it’s already been in […]

Spots, Stripes, Swirls, and Splotches: Orchids with Variegated Leaves

Thursday, October 27th, 2022

Variegated plants are in vogue these days, just like they have been many times throughout history. Centuries before Instagram made them the latest fad, orchid lovers in East Asia noticed leaf color variations in Cymbidiums and Samurai Orchids, and began cultivating them. Of course, many plant varieties besides orchids have colorful leaves, too. Gardens around […]

Weedy Orchids in the Wilds of Pacifica

Friday, October 7th, 2022

True to their nickname, Weedy Orchids are tough enough to survive harsh conditions. This invasive species is also known as the Broad-Leaved Helleborine or Epipactis helleborine. Last year, I did two blog posts, here and here, about Weedy Orchids thriving in a small forested area of our neighborhood. They’ve returned this year, their blooms flanking […]

Orchids for the Fall Equinox

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

The Northern California coast is usually warmest in autumn. The summer fog eases, and lets the sun shine through. In Pacifica, the warmer weather has arrived on schedule, and that’s reason enough to celebrate today’s equinox with some gorgeous blooms. They’re only photos from an old orchid show, but they fit the seasonal cycle quite […]

Orchids in Our Late Summer Garden

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Our Pacifica garden is finishing up the summer with radiant orchids. There are lots of great colors, small blossoms and large, and a swelling seedpod on my Prosthechea. It must be have been pollinated by a busy little Anna’s Hummingbird. The fruit has been growing for over two months already, its wilted flower still hanging […]