The greenhouse build is nearing completion. Another week or two before it is all done and the orchids can start moving in. In the meantime the intermediate to warm growers have been enjoying summer outside in the shade by the summer cottage. They are really loving the humidity and warm days and relatively cool nights. There are new roots and buds forming all over the place. Still, I cannot wait to get them into the greenhouse where they will be better protected from the wind and rain. Then the cool growers will also get to come out and join them. Soon, very soon. Until then, enjoy a walk among the vacationing orchids, part two.
After a long winter and an unusually cold and dry spring, summer has finally come to Sweden! But there were times this spring when it felt like summer would never come. You can see scars from the drought and cold all over as many plants and flowers outside did not make it. Alas, one who waits for something good… Summer is here, we have about 18 hours of daylight now and the weather has been quite agreeable for several weeks. So, we decided to move out to the seaside cottage early this year and commute to work for a while. This weekend the first load of orchids made the journey out. Over the next few weeks I will shuttle the rest of them out as well. I usually bring a few selected orchids out with me for the summer (see 2012), but I still have to shuttle back and forth to the city every four days to water the rest. I always feel like I am missing a lot, and the longer we stay the more out of touch I feel with the orchids left in the city, especially the pleurothallids. But this year, that is all about to change… Right now I am in the process of building a fantastic greenhouse, so from now on I will be able to bring all my orchids out to the coast, and extend the season from (hopefully) early May through September. A very exciting prospect! I will share more on this as the project comes to completion in the next month or so. For the time being I just keep the orchids in a temporary location where they are sheltered from the wind next to the house.
Today I received a very nice package from a friend in France. It was a box filled with a new batch of orchid babies… All were absolutely beautiful, but I am especially excited about the Vanda coerulea alba. This is a very rare orchid, and a mature plant will set you back anywhere between $150-250. Yes, dollars. This little one will take many years to reach flowering size, but what a great day when it does. I think I might have to pick up a nice bottle of wine and put it away and save it for the big day. According to my friend the Rhynchostylis green is pretty rare in cultivation as well. This is going to be a fun project to follow all of these when they grow. Here they all are, from back left: Rhynchostylis gigantea x coerulea f. bleu, Ascocentrum ampulleaceum f. alba, Vanda tessellata f. alba, Fuchs Charm (Aer. houlletiana X Aer. multiflora) x Aerides multiflora, Gastrochilus sp., Schoenorchis fragrans, Doritis pulcherrima f. coerulea (syn. Phalaenopsis pulcherrima f. coerulea) Vanda denisioniana, Rhynchostylis f. green, Vanda coerulea f. alba, Rhynchostylis gigantea f. alba, Vanda Happy Smile.