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’ve taken pictures of a few of my miniature orchids to show you the plants that I’ve been focusing my attention on this week. Currently, my main preoccupation has been to be poised and ready to pollinate my Aerangis macrocentra plants, in the hope that the last remaining flower of my first plant to bloom survived long enough for my second plant’s first flower to open.
Being around plants lifts my spirits. Watching my plants produce vibrant and healthy green leaves gives me endless pleasure, but I understand that many people favour growing flowering plants. Leaves are often taken for granted, as foliage is assumed to be a permanent fixture that doesn’t change and lives on forever; whereas the fleeting presence of a flower commands interaction and appreciation.
Welcome to my first update on the Phalaenopsis and other orchids I’m growing inside my Tall Orchidarium.
I am absolutely thrilled with my Tall Orchidarium.
I set up my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019. I am absolutely thrilled with this custom built terrarium, which Matthew (from Custom Aquaria) built for me in autumn 2019. I’m growing a large number of orchids inside my Tall Orchidarium, so I’ve divided up this update (which covers the period from November 2019 to March 2021) into three posts of slightly more manageable sizes.
Welcome to the first update for my Tall Orchidarium! I set up my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019. This update reveals how the equipment inside my Tall Orchidarium has performed over the past 15 months (from November 2019 until February 2021).
If you would like to find out how the Angraecum and Aerangis species I’m growing inside my Tall Orchidarium grew from November 2019 to March 2021, please click here.
Welcome to the Planting List for my Tall Orchidarium. This is a planting list with a difference! To find out more about a particular orchid, simply click on the orchid’s profile for more information, where you’ll also find links to every article about that particular orchid species on pumpkinbeth.com. Some individual orchids can be followed, as they grow from young seedlings to mature flowering plants.
I thought you might enjoy following one of my Aerangis citrata orchids through the course of the year; so I’ve been regularly updating this diary to give you the chance to get to know this orchid better. To make it easier for you, I’ve dated all of my photographs, so you can more clearly see the rate of this plant’s growth and development.
This Phalaenopsis pulchra flower opened fifty-two days ago (the bloom opened on the 8th September 2020). Phalaenopsis orchids can produce incredibly long lasting flowers. However, the blooms of Phalaenopsis hybrids tend to persist for more prolonged periods than the wild species plants. A number of the Phalaenopsis hybrids I’ve grown are particularly floriferous, sending out masses of long lasting flowers and blooming continually for longer than a year at a time, without appearing to flag or tire at all.
In November 2019, I set up this new terrarium, which I’ve christened my Tall Orchidarium. I designate a name to each of my terrariums to help you more easily find every article relating to the particular terrarium you’re interested in. If you want to know more about my Tall Orchidarium, you can find all of my articles that relate to this terrarium by clicking here.
My friend, Gary Firth kindly gave me this Phalaenopsis pulchra plant, for my National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species, exactly two years and eight months ago. I must say, it’s always a huge relief when I don’t immediately kill a plant that a friend has given me! Consequently, I’m celebrating the fact that this orchid remains alive and well and I am delighted to be able to share my photographs of this Phalaenopsis pulchra specimen’s first flowering with you.
This is Aerangis citrata, a miniature orchid species, that’s endemic to Madagascar.Aerangis citrata naming
The genus ‘Aerangis’ gets its name from the Greek words aer (air) and angos (vessel or container), as plants grow in the air (epiphytically) using aerial roots, and the flowers each feature a nectar filled spur. The second part of the name, (the specific epithet) ‘citrata’, refers to this orchid’s flowers, which are sometimes pale lemon in colour, when they first open.
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.
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.
When I was a child, it was my aim that by the time I became an adult I would have saved up sufficient funds to purchase, and forever after protect a beautiful woodland or forest, and at least one meadow! I haven’t succeeded in my aim – I sadly have been unable to protect any of our woodlands, forests, or meadows, but I still feel just as passionately about plant conservation.