Finding Flowers indoors inside my Orchidarium & Outside in my Garden

Finding flowers indoors inside my Orchidarium & outside in my garden

I find if I’m feeling a little jaded, taking a tour of my orchids or popping outdoors to reacquaint myself with the plants and nature in my garden is an almost guaranteed way to lift my spirits and rejuvenate my soul.  If you’re feeling weary, I hope you can recharge your batteries by spending time with your houseplants, or relaxing outside in your garden, or perhaps escape to visit a park, garden, or enjoy a revitalising walk at a nature reserve nearby.

It has been a long week and I’ve been aching to see how my plants are getting on; here’s a closer look at how two of my plants are growing…..

Rosa ‘It’s a Wonderful Life

Rosa ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in bloom on the 16th September 2021. I’ve only been growing this rose for a short while but after my plant’s flowers faded I found ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was quick to re-bloom.

My life instantly became more wonderful when I was sent this ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose!  I love meeting new roses, especially scented roses that have won the prestigious title of Rose of the Year 2022!  This ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose was sent to me by Roses UK at the beginning of June 2021.  I thought you might be interested in seeing an update on how this rose is growing.

I’ve found my ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose doesn’t waste any time in producing new flowers; this is my plant’s third flowering since I gave you the low down on this rose.  So far, this rose has genuinely impressed me with how eager it is to bloom.

Rosa ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ flowers have a lovely medium strength rose scent – it’s a delightfully rosy perfume with a hint of citrus. Pictured on the 16th September 2021.

My ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose has lovely dark, glossy green foliage.  I’ve noticed that my rose’s leaves have become even lovelier and shinier over the past couple of months, which is something I didn’t expect to see so late in the growing season.

Here’s a closer look at my ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose’s handsome leaves. Pictured on the 17th September 2021.
I just popped outside to show you one of the flowers on my ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose. Pictured on the 17th September 2021.

I don’t spray my roses or any of my garden plants.  I have never used any pesticides or insecticides in my garden (or in any of my previous gardens or allotments), as I don’t want to harm a single insect outdoors.  The aphids and caterpillars on my roses are controlled by the Blue Tits, ladybirds, hoverflies, wasps, and other predators that visit my garden.  I have so much love for caterpillars – so I am happy to see these insects – spotting a caterpillar in my garden is often a joyous occasion for me, as I adore caterpillars, and butterflies and moths!

I don’t want to mislead you, this rose is not a bee magnet (I can recommend other plants that are more popular with bees), but just a second after I popped outside this lovely bee appeared. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ roses are accessible to bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects.

If you’re interested in butterflies, moths, bees, and hoverflies, you’ll find plant pages with tips for growing insect-friendly plants by clicking here.  Here’s a link to all the articles I’ve written about pollinating insects.

I love growing plants for bees and butterflies. The arrival of this bee improved my day immensely!

We’ve had plenty of rain this summer, but I have on occasion watered my roses using water from my water butt.  Roses need enough moisture to grow and bloom successfully.  If you’ve not got a water butt I would absolutely recommend installing one; a number of water companies give water butts away or sell these products at discounted prices, and you can sometimes find water butts being given away on Freecycle or on the ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook groups.

This rose is growing in a container on my patio table – my arms couldn’t reach any higher, but you can see the bee in the centre of the flower.

In case you’re wondering, my ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose is potted up in a container filled with a blend of peat-free composts; I’ve mixed Melcourt SylvaGrow John Innes Compost and Dalefoot Composts Double Strength Compost together, and I’ve also added some of my garden soil into the mix.  Roses thrive in peat-free composts, there’s no reason whatsoever to destroy peatlands to grow roses – roses love being planted in any moist but well-drained soil (roses aren’t desert plants and nor are they aquatic plants – regular garden soil that’s neither waterlogged nor very dry is ideal for roses).  Roses thrive in peat-free growing media.  I want to encourage everyone to protect our peatlands and our planet and go peat-free!

As I was potting up this rose, I coated its roots with mycorrhizal fungi.  Plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain species of fungi – they effectively work together to create a wider reaching root system; this greatly benefits the plant, making it more resilient in times of drought and more able to find nutrients.  If you’re considering planting roses or any other plants this autumn or winter, I would absolutely recommend buying mycorrhizal fungi for your plants.  Certain strains are better for different types of plants, so check the range online before you buy – I purchased mycorrhizal fungi designed for use with roses.

This ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose bud is awakening. Pictured on the 17th September 2021.

My experience of my ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose’s perfume hasn’t changed; this rose produces a lovely warm and rosey scent with hints of orange – it’s lovely!  ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ roses won’t fill your garden with perfume, but their medium-strength scent will enhance any close encounters you enjoy with the flowers.

Here’s a closer look at an older flower on the same plant. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ roses’ pollen is available to bees, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ roses have accessible pollen for insects, so this rose is more useful for pollinating insects than double roses without any available pollen.  However, this rose will not be drawing all the bees and butterflies in the locality to your garden; my rose enjoys a slow but fairly steady stream of visitors.

I only popped outside for a couple of moments, but I also spotted a hoverfly visiting my ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose’s flowers. This hoverfly is also known by its scientific name, Syrphus ribesii.

If you’re interested in roses, you can see some of my rose pictures by clicking here; plus you can visit my rose section and see more articles about roses, by clicking here.

Barbosella dusenii

I adore miniature orchids. This is Barbosella dusenii, a very pretty plant with handsome leaves and gorgeous flowers. Pictured on the 17th September 2021.

I absolutely adore miniature orchids!  Over the years, I’ve found that when I’m buying orchids, the plants that are described as miniature can vary quite dramatically in size, and a large proportion of these orchids are not what I would describe as miniature, but here is a true miniature orchid species.  This is Barbosella dusenii, a delightful miniature orchid from Brazil.  I’m excited to show you my plant, as it’s flowering at the moment!  Hooray!

This fern self-seeded itself in amongst my Barbosella dusenii plant. The fern has been growing away for a while without causing this orchid any problems but I decided to remove the fern today. The pale area you can see in this picture, at the base of the fern’s stems is this ferns roots – they’ve pushed into the crevices in the cork and are growing underneath my orchid’s roots. In effect my Barbosella dusenii is growing epiphytically both on top of this fern and on this piece of cork.

I took this picture of my Barbosella dusenii plant last night.  All of the other pictures in this update were taken after this self-seeded fern was gently chipped out of the bark using an old pair of tweezers.  A small fragment of my Barbosella dusenii plant was torn from its mother as the fern was removed, so my new plant has now been given its very own cork stick to grow on.  Hopefully this tiny plant will be happy – whatever happens, I’ll let you know in a future update (find all articles about Barbosella dusenii by clicking here).

Here’s a cutting I’ve taken from my Barbosella dusenii plant this evening. Pictured on the 16th September 2021.

If you’re creating an indoor fairy garden, Barbosella dusenii should be on your planting list!  This cute little plant is so endearing; I am a Barbosella dusenii fan.  I love this plant; I admire its beauty, even when this orchid is not in flower – there’s something about the simple, calming beauty in its leaves.

This image shows a reddish-purple colouring on the two flowers near the bottom of this picture. This deeper colouring can clearly be seen in the flowers’ dorsal sepal – the top petal. Pictured on the 17th September 2021.

Let me give you a closer look at Barbosella dusenii flowers.  These blooms have a delicate iridescence and an elegant vibe.  I find Barbosella dusenii is an easy to grow orchid species that doesn’t require any special care or seasonal temperature changes to enable the plant to grow and flower.  This orchid’s homeland in Brazil doesn’t experience the variations in seasonal weather that we’re used to in the UK; although the weather conditions do vary a little in Brazil, the plants don’t require a period of drought or a few months of very low temperatures to induce flowering.

My Barbosella dusenii plant is growing inside my Orchidarium. This plant is misted every day by my Orchidarium’s automated misting unit. I mist my orchids with rainwater I’ve collected from my roof.

I cannot detect any scent from my Barbosella dusenii flowers.  I’ve closely examined these lovely flowers on multiple occasions but each time with same result.  However, just because I can’t smell anything doesn’t mean that Barbosella dusenii isn’t scented; these blooms may release scented oils or fragrances that attracts insects rather than people!

My Barbosella dusenii is flowering. I’ve just taken these pictures to show you this miniature orchid in bloom.

I’m growing my Barbosella dusenii plant on a piece of cork inside my Orchidarium.  All of my orchids and houseplants are watered with rainwater that I collect from my roof.  This miniature orchid is misted several times each morning (every day) by my Orchidarium’s automated misting unit.  If you’re interested in what the growing conditions are like inside my Orchidarium, click here to find out more about the equipment I use and learn about the growing conditions this miniature orchid has experienced over the past couple of years.

These Barbosella dusenii flowers are titchy but they are simply massive when the blooms are viewed in comparison to the size and scale of their mother plant!

I fertilise my orchids using products that are specially developed for orchids from the Orchid Focus Range.  I use Orchid Focus Grow on orchids that are growing and Orchid Focus Bloom on orchids that are in bud or in flower.  I’ve been using Orchid Focus products for about six years now.  I’ve tried a couple of other fertilisers, but I’ve always come back to these.

A closer look at two of my Barbosella dusenii plant’s flowers. These blooms are tiny, but they are HUGE when viewed in comparison to the diminutive size of this miniature orchid.

I feel so fortunate to have Barbosella dusenii in my orchid collection.  I hope that my little division will grow on and produce a new strong and healthy plant that will deliver flowers to another of my terrariums or bottle gardens in the future.  Fingers crossed!

Here’s a close in as I can get – a zoomed in look at Barbosella dusenii flowers. This miniature orchid’s flowers appear different colours depending on the light. Sometimes Barbosella dusenii flowers look pale silver or a sheer white, but in different lighting more of the flower’s yellow colouring is visible; there’s also a coral tone that’s evident at other times.

Find information on houseplants, by clicking here.  Discover information on different orchid species and hybrids by clicking here.  See more of my orchid articles by clicking here.

For gardening advice for September, please click here.

For gardening advice for October, please click here.

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