I adore orchids and houseplants. I get so much enjoyment from being surrounded by foliage and flowers and I simply love growing orchids and houseplants. Since Brexit, the range of orchid nurseries open to UK customers has dramatically reduced. Thankfully, we still have a number of UK nurseries who are growing orchids in Britain. Love Orchids are a small family-run, British company, based in Southern England. Love Orchids have been growing orchids since 2004; they specialise in growing hybrid Phalaenopsis. The Love Orchids range includes small and larger sized Phalaenopsis, delicately scented cultivars, and plants that have been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Love Orchids also stock some lovely planters chosen to compliment their plants, which are the perfect size and fit for their containers.
Orchids with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit
The Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit is presented to orchid cultivars that stand out as reliable growers that will perform well and flower easily, given their appropriate growing conditions. These plants are sometimes listed with AGM after their name, for example, Phalaenopsis ‘Dover’ AGM. Love Orchids sell the following Phalaenopsis orchids that have all been presented with an Award of Garden Merit:
- Phalaenopsis ‘Dover’
- Phalaenopsis ‘New Life’
- Phalaenopsis ‘Sunshine’
- Phalaenopsis ‘Violet Queen’
- Phalaenopsis ‘White Apple’
Orchids Grown in the UK
Love Orchids is a small company based in New Milton. Jonathan leads the product development at Love Orchids, assisted by Alice. The wider Love Orchid team consists of about six people; then there are the all important team of packers who fulfil all Love Orchids’ customer orders. Lois manages the staking area for Love Orchids, she makes sure the plants are displayed at their best as they come into bloom. Lois is a passionate grower, she started at the nursery after leaving school and has worked at Love Orchids for over 30 years! Karen is another experienced Phalaenopsis grower and long-time member of the Love Orchids team.
Love Orchid’s nursery raises 1.7 million Phalaenopsis orchids a year! The orchids move to different glasshouse areas as they develop; each area provides the optimum growing conditions for plant’s current stage of growth. The orchids are grown on for around two years until they reach flowering size. When the plants come into bloom, they are finally ready to be sold in Love Orchids’ online shop.
Watering & Fertilising Orchids
All of Love Orchids’ Phalaenopsis orchids are watered with rainwater. I’d really encourage you to set up a water butt and collect rainwater to irrigate your orchids and houseplants. I water all of my house plants and orchids with rainwater. Tap water contains salts that are harmful to the long-term health of orchids. Another question I get asked about is fertiliser – I use Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom to fertilise my orchids.
The Edible Bus Stop
At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021, I enjoyed meeting Mak Gilchrist, Pascale Duval, and Maree Featherstonhaugh from the Edible Bus Stop. Here are two of the pictures I took of the Edible Bus Stop’s Pharmacy of House Plants at last year’s show.
Love Orchids’ Phalaenopsis at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022!
I’ve missed visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022, hence my lack of photos from the show! However, in the run up to Chelsea I have been working with the Edible Bus Stop, so I can tell you a bit about the Edible Bus Stop’s amazing new Houseplant Studio, Botanical Rhapsody! This Houseplant Studio is influenced by Japan and the new ‘Japandi’ trend for interiors. Created for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 and sponsored by Close Brothers Asset Management, Botanical Rhapsody was designed by Pascale Duval and produced by Mak Gilchrist. The Royal Horticultural Society judges awarded Botanical Rhapsody a Silver-Gilt Medal.
Botanical Rhapsody is inspired by Japanese Forest Bathing, ‘Shinrin Yoku’: making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest. Pascale Duval and Mak Gilchrist have employed sound, vision, and touch to engage visitors inside their Houseplant Studio; highlighting our innate connection with nature. Sound artists, Natural Symphony joined The Edible Bus Stop at Chelsea to demonstrate bio-sonification: a technology that translates the bio-rhythms of living organisms into sound. We might not be able to see it, but plants actually respond to our touch. Chelsea Flower Show visitors have the opportunity to discover how a plant reacts to them. Natural Symphony have attached electrodes to the foliage of key plants inside the Edible Bus Stop’s exhibit; when a visitor touches a leaf the electronic equipment instantaneously measures the micro-current fluctuations that occur across the surface of the leaf and convey these interactions by interpreting the plant’s reactions into sound and playing a ‘song of the plant’.
This exhibit encourages visitors to interact with the fascinating range of plants exhibited as part of Botanical Rhapsody at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022. The Edible Bus Stop are keen to remind us that being with plants and nature improves our mental health and well-being. Many of us have become over-worked and out of touch with our natural rhythms and the physical and mental changes that happen over twenty-four hours – during our natural sleep-wake cycle. Specially selected, dynamic lighting has been installed inside the Edible Bus Stop’s Houseplant Studio; the lighting is programmed to reflect mankind’s natural circadian rhythms and simulate the changes in light intensity and colour temperature we experience through a day’s cycle in natural sunlight rather than the standard bright artificial lights we usually use.
Botanical Rhapsody features amazing houseplants, including some superb specimen foliage plants. Deep crimson and gold flowered orchids add panache to this immersive Houseplant Studio. Phalaenopsis ‘Cosmea 20’ is one of the gorgeous Phalaenopsis orchids from Love Orchids that Designer, Pascale Duval has used in her Botanical Rhapsody.
Here are the other Phalaenopsis orchids that featured in the Edible Bus Stop’s Houseplant Studio, Botanical Rhapsody and the Phalaenopsis that were used in the Close Brothers Asset Management’s area on Press Day. All of these Phalaenopsis were grown by Love Orchids.
In case you’re wondering, all of these Phalaenopsis plants, plus the containers I’ve highlighted in my captions were sent to me by Love Orchids. To buy your own Phalaenopsis orchid from Love Orchids, please click here to visit Love Orchids’ online shop.
See pictures of Botanical Rhapsody at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 over on Close Brothers Asset Management’s website.
Botanical Rhapsody also featured Brassia, Bratonia, Burrageara, and Dendrobium orchids from another of my favourite orchid nurseries, Spiceotic Plants. See all the projects where I have purchased plants from Spiceotic Plants, by clicking here.
To see my guide to growing and re-flowering Phalaenopsis orchids, please click here.
For more articles about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, please click here.
For more articles about orchids, please click here.
To see my houseplant plant pages and discover information on growing a wide range of orchids, please click here.