Back in January I moved house. It was a nerve wracking and anxious time, made more difficult because I grow a lot of plants inside terrariums, bottle gardens, and orchidariums, which I can’t bear to be parted from. These enclosures all needed to be emptied and washed up, and the plants and glassware required careful packaging and wrapping.
Mother Nature reminds us of her immense power today. Storm Eunice currently has us firmly in her grip. Eunice is battling against the trees, pushing them, flaying, whirling, and then ruthlessly discarding anything that isn’t tied down securely enough. As I write, I am eternally thankful that my sturdy glasshouse and Vegepod are both intact and remain where I left them, safely 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.
Just over four and a half years ago (back in February 2017), I decided to build an Orchidarium to house some of my miniature orchids and supply my plants with automatic lighting, misting, and air circulation. Inside my Orchidarium, the automated plant care is provided by a misting unit, a hygrometer, LED lights, and fans.
I’ve designed and created so many terrariums, including a number of terrariums and orchidariums that I’ve written updates for (see my Orchidarium, my Rainforest Terrarium, my Tall Orchidarium, my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, my White Orchid Trial Terrarium, and my Madagascar Terrarium). Each terrarium update I publish takes an inordinate amount of time and energy to put together; hence why I’ve not published a full update for this Orchidarium in an absolute age!
I spend a vast proportion of my time running Indoor Trials and Outdoor Trials. When I’m working on Orchid Trials, I find it such a thrill to discover beautiful miniature orchids that look stunning visually, but are also easy to grow and flower. I love to write about these plants to help you discover orchids that aren’t demanding or difficult to grow.
This is Deinostigma tamiana, a truly marvellous plant that thrives inside terrariums and bottle gardens. Deinostigma tamiana is a Gesneriad species from Vietnam. If you’ve not seen it before, yet Deinostigma tamiana looks somewhat familiar, it’s probably because these plants are related to African violets (Saintpaulias).Growing Deinostigma tamiana
Deinostigma tamiana is an easy going, adaptable plant that’s content growing in a range of terrarium environments.
Last year, I discovered Crematogaster scutellaris ants on the cork I purchased for my new Tall Orchidarium. Crematogaster scutellaris ants are known as acrobat ants, but these ants are found in many different countries, so they’re bound to have many other common names, too. With their distinctive amber coloured heads and pointed abdomens, these ants are easy to identify.
I’m currently in the process of setting up a new terrarium, which is very exciting! Don’t worry, I’ll take you on a tour of my new Tall Orchidarium in due course. However, today I wanted to tell you about something unexpected that happened to me, while I was gathering together the materials for this new enclosure.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to create an Orchidarium with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care. This wasn’t about creating a beautiful enclosure; I built this Orchidarium to house as many orchids from my collection as possible inside this enclosure and to provide these plants with automated care.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to create an Orchidarium with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care. This wasn’t about creating a beautiful enclosure; I built this Orchidarium to house as many orchids from my collection as possible and to automatically administer the plants’ lighting and watering, and control their growing conditions.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to build an Orchidarium to house some of my miniature orchids, with equipment that supplied the plants with automatic lighting, misting, and air circulation. Inside my Orchidarium, this automated plant care is provided by a misting unit, a hygrometer, LED lights, and fans.
I designed this Orchidarium in 2017; it was constructed in the early spring of 2017. If you’re interested in the materials I’ve used, you can see the step-by-step process of my Orchidarium build here. I thought I’d share some of these pretty orchid blooms with you. These orchids are all in bloom inside my Orchidarium, today.
Let me introduce you to Phalaenopsis parishii alba, a miniature, epiphytic orchid species that originates from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Assam, Burma, and the Himalayas.
Phalaenopsis parishii alba is the white flowered form of Phalaenopsis parishii.Phalaenopsis parishii alba growing conditions
In the wild, Phalaenopsis parishii can be found growing in humid areas. This miniature orchid species produces flattened roots that nestle into the damp, moss laden branches, which overhang streams and ponds, in the areas where this plant makes its home.
It’s so wonderful to be able to share these photographs that I have taken of my orchids’ latest flowers with you – these photographs are of the very same inflorescences that are open now – these are the orchid blooms that I am enjoying today – I hope that you’ll enjoy these miniature orchid flowers with me.
In the early part of 2017, (which as I am writing to you, was over eighteen months ago now) I decided to create an Orchidarium: an enclosure complete with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature and small sized orchids and provide them with automatic care. I chose to create this orchidarium as a functional terrarium, the planting and style of this Orchidarium is not designed, or intended, to be naturalistic or beautiful, instead this Orchidarium allows me the opportunity of growing a greater number of plants, all mounted individually, so the plants can easily be removed or rearranged as I wish.
In November 2017, I conducted a large scale reorganisation of my orchids, moving plants from one terrarium into another. My intention, and the end result of all of this disruption, was to group my orchid plants more interestingly: placing plants from different orchid species that originate from the same genus together wherever possible.
During periods when I find myself at home, working longer hours than I would like, I am ever more grateful for my plants, especially my houseplants, terrarium plants, and orchids. At these times, when I am unable to escape to a meadow or a forest, my orchid flowers remind me of the beauty of our natural world, providing me with a cheerful pick me up, just when I need it most!
This weekend, I have been admiring the beauty and grace of some of my orchids that are in flower. I am very fortunate to have been able to gather my orchid collection together; I don’t want to keep these orchids away from prying eyes, far from it – I’d love to share their flowers with you!
It may surprise you to know that in the garden, as well as on the catwalk, fashions change and evolve, often quicker than we expect. A plant that’s regarded as a ‘must have’ plant one minute, can soon be taken for granted and neglected, before being cast aside to make way for the latest modern plant introductions, when the superseded ‘must have’ plant is then at risk of being forgotten, often within a shorter time period than you might anticipate.