Archive for the 'Photos' Category

Solstice Colors

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

To celebrate today’s solstice, enjoy this rainbow of orchids. Depending on which hemisphere you’re in, it’s the summer solstice or the winter solstice, the longest day or the shortest day. The seasons, and the cycles of life, march on everywhere.

Chain Orchids

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Ever heard of Chain Orchids? Also called Dendrochilums, they’re an unusual orchid family, lesser known than their close relatives, the Coelogynes. With multitudes of small, densely clustered flowers, they’ve earned the nickname Chain Orchids. Each “chain” consists of mini star-shaped blooms. Some people may sneer at tiny flowers, but massed by the dozens, or hundreds, […]

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 […]

How to Care for Mother’s Day Orchids

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Most orchids don’t deserve their fussy reputations, so don’t panic if you don’t know how to take care of your new Mother’s Day present. With a few basic care tips, orchids can keep their flowers for months, and then bloom again next year. Begin by placing your gift orchid in a shady place with good […]

More Mother’s Day Orchids

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Moth Orchids, or Phals, have been popular Mother’s Day gifts for years, but sometimes it’s time for something different. The orchid world has endless variety to choose from; these photos show just a tiny sample of what’s available besides Phals. Other popular varieties include Dendrobiums,¬†Cymbidiums, Dancing Lady Orchids, Lady Slippers, Pansy Orchids, and Epidendrums. Each […]

Spring at the SF Botanical Garden

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is bursting with new growth after a rainy winter. Covering about 55 acres (22 hectares) of Golden Gate Park, the garden is always full of life. During a recent visit, there were lots of spring blooms, and everything from tree ferns to giant redwoods were sporting new greenery. Also known […]

When You’ve Killed Your Weight in Orchids

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

There’s a saying that you become an orchid expert when you’ve killed your weight in orchids. Some people wince in horror when I repeat that, but orchid lovers usually just laugh and nod. Growing orchids means sometimes making mistakes and killing plants. I’ve grown them for over 25 years, and earned my expert status a […]

Ground Orchids Bloom in Tough Spots

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Spathoglottis, or Ground Orchids, are staples of the tropics. They’re sturdy enough to serve as landscaping plants in shopping plazas, like these orchids on the island of Kauai.¬† Grown alone in pots, or in flowerbeds with other tropicals, they make gorgeous displays. These terrestrials are easy to keep in the tropics, but hard to grow […]

Hawaii’s Native Species Face Uncertain Future

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Among the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the last refuge for many of the state’s endangered native flora and fauna. They face threats from invasive species, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. With human help, however, some are recovering and rebounding. During our recent visit, it was a joy to see that many people on the […]

Orchids to Celebrate the Equinox

Monday, March 20th, 2017

As today’s equinox brings spring to Northern California, we’re happy to be done with our long drought. Lots of strong storms over the winter have filled reservoirs and piled up the Sierra snowpack, but they have also caused some damage. We’ve had some minor problems in our garden, but most of the bruises on my […]