Golden Wonder

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This solitary, banana-shaped bud belongs to the one and only yellow pleione species, P. forrestii, just one of which has found its way into my fledgling collection. It’s a wonder that it’s there at all. The first pseudobulb I ordered got lost in the post; hardly surprising given its diminutive size. The second almost went in the bin, along with the tangled mass of packing material that was intended to stop it disappearing again. However, this pleione was lucky. Tucked into a tiny clay pot, nestled in a bed of moss and semi-decomposed leaves, it produced a single, pleated leaf last summer. I placed the pot under a garden bench in a shady spot and let nothing but the rain water it. Then, as Christmas approached, I remembered that pleiones don’t like winter wet, or frost, so I tucked my golden wonder away in the cold frame, along with its pink and white  cousins, until spring arrived.

Whilst tidying the cold frame this weekend I discovered that my precious pleione was preparing to flower whilst the others slept on. My heart had a little flutter as I realised that not only had I rescued the bulb from oblivion, but I had also persuaded it to bloom. When it does, the flower will be citrus-peel-yellow with blood-red markings on the lip. I have read somewhere that the flower will smell heavily of primroses, which is a delightful prospect.

I was only wondering at the weekend if I will ever achieve my dream of creating a truly great garden. I think I would be disappointed if I never my gave myself the chance. But, when I experience little wonders like encouraging seeds to grow, or bulbs to bear flower, I appreciate that a sense of achievement can be won just as easily (and much more cheaply) by taking the time to enjoy life’s little triumphs, one at a time.

If you’d like to learn more about pleione, I can heartily recommend Paul Cumbleton’s website, to which I refer for all advice related to these wonderful, rewarding little orchids.

14.03.2017: Here it is, my golden wonder –



Categories: Bulbs, Flowers, Musings, Plants

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

Greetings Garden Lover! Welcome to my blog. Plants are my passion and this is my way of sharing that joyful emotion with the world. You'll find over 1000 posts here featuring everything from abutilons to zinnias. If you've enjoyed what you've read, please leave a comment and consider subscribing using the yellow 'Follow' button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen. You will receive an email every time I post something new.

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4 comments On "Golden Wonder"

  1. with advance apology for errors…
    i have witnessed my keen gardener mom after a stroke which left her left side paralysed at age 85, and she was wheelchair bound plus had other health issues while spending last of her two summers with me, ‘garden’! watering with one good hand from her wheelchair, or deadheading.. ‘sense of achievement and gardening’ was a life cord, her depression would turn to joy of life adorned by a most beautiful smile…

    i have had a serious shoulder surgery 10 days ago, yes damage done by stubborn gardening and probably handling strong dogs for many years the last two being great danes almost twice as my weight in size; my good right handm arm and shoulder now in a strap and will be there for another 5 weeks after which therapy sessions will start only goddess knows for how long and the verdict is that i will never be able to garden heavily as i used to be is a curse!

    yet, i am rapidly learning to use my left hand/arm to be able to garden soonest; already managing a lot but i have become a ‘frustrated gardener’ of a kind learning to enjoy and be greatful for the ‘sense of achievement’ the gardening allows one.

    do take good care of yourselves -all; as much as we gardeners would like to achieve more than we do or did, please do not abuse your bodies beyond its capacity so that the sense of achievements and gardens of our dreams could be enduring.

    as the spring in this geography plunges into scorching hot summers in an over night i am bound to watch the day and spring go by without being able to do a thing is a lesson of a kind by the mother nature; maybe she’s simply telling me to sit back and enjoy the garden thoroughly simply by looking… be content, do not feel guilty, spare time to sit back to hear what the garden is whispering.

    enjoy your garden/ing/s,

    1. Another Frustrated Gardener! I am sorry to hear that’s the case. With care and rest perhaps you will get your strength back sooner. Him Indoors needed keyhole surgery on his shoulder many years ago after a bad skiing accident. It took a long time to repair itself, and I was the only driver for what felt like an eternity, but now he’s made a full recovery.

      I would enjoy the excuse to sit back and give yourself all the time you need to get better. Read some books, drink some wine or beer ….. I quite fancy hopping over to join you!

      Take Care. Dan

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