Getting to Grips with Hardy Orchids

I can see a new addiction coming from a mile off, so on the whole I steer well clear of orchids. Over the ages thousands of plant collectors have been consumed, even broken, by their passion for orchids and I do not wish to join their ranks. Hence they are the only family of plants […]

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April Showers

Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to British weather, but one old proverb certainly promises to ring true in 2019: ‘March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.’ Whilst the warmth and vitality of May still feel a long way off, March and April are fulfilling their time-honoured roles as […]

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RHS London Orchid Show & Plant Fair 2018

Orchids are extraordinary flowers. They display remarkable diversity in colour, size and form. Some are scented, some are designed to entrap insects and few, like vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), produce edible seed pods. Among the 28,000 currently known and accepted orchid species, many are cultivated and inevitably there are still new species to be found in […]

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Golden Wonder

  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 […]

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Hide Your Credit Cards: The 2016 Catalogues Have Landed!

In parallel with the mercury in my thermometer, the spring seed, bulb and plant catalogues are starting to drop, drop, drop onto the doormat. A film of thin, clear plastic is all that stands between me and the treasures proffered within. Even in my Night Nurse-saturated state I feel excited by the prospects for my […]

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Spring Flower Candy: Pleione formosana

I will be devoting a post to a different spring flower each day this week, and they don’t come much more special than Pleione formosana. I had always presumed these to be tricky customers, reserved for the kind of gardeners that keep pristine alpine houses, but after picking up three plants for a song at a car boot […]

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