Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cyms and Twinkles

I am very pleased at the growth going on in the greenhouse right now.  I have new growths coming in on most of my Bulbos, which have been a struggle for me, and spikes everywhere.  The whole place should be a blast of color come Spring time.

I have a couple of bloomers right now, and some others not far behind.  First up, the Oncidium Twinkles.  I have a 'White Shower' and a 'Pink Profusion' currently blooming:

Here is the 'White Shower'

And here is the 'Pink Profusion'

Then, I have a Cymbidium division that I received from a member of the Orchidgeeks forum that I belong to.  This one is called Cym. Caitlin 'Pink Delight'

I have another mini Cymbidium that is currently throwing out 8 spikes, and I can't wait until they are all bloomed out!  Its a Magic Flora 'Red Falls', and I got that one from another Orchidgeek buddy that had fallen out of like with it.

You know, I don't think I've said much about  I found it by trying to find information on reblooming a Cymbidium that my nephew, Baron Jr., gave me for Mother's Day a few years ago.  I looked on a few other orchid forums, but this one was much easier to navigate, and the people there seemed so friendly.  I got a lot of great advice, brought my plant and my mom's back from the brink of death, and developed a new hobby / addiction.

The forum is like a meeting place for orchid growers.  There are many experienced growers that post pictures of the plants they have in bloom, and then there are those of us new to the hobby that come there to seek advice or growing tips.

Well, while you are searching for the information you need, you see all of these gorgeous flowers and you have to have one!  So, you go online and find a vendor that sells the one you want, then while you are there, you see all these other beauties and next thing you know, your shopping cart has 3, 4, 5 orchids in it.  ( You gotta make the shipping cost worth it, right? :-D

I've made a lot of friends there.  Some I've met in person, some I keep in touch with via email, and some I just chat with in the private message section of the forum, but all are amazing people.  Maybe people that grow flowers just naturally have a great attitude.  I'm still working on mine...LOL!

I've found that I can't wait to check out what's going on in the forum every morning, and after coffee, its the first thing I do - grab the iPhone and log on.  It never fails to satisfy.

OK, I have to get back to work, but I'm sure I will have more to post soon.  Until then...Happy Growing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Now that Thanksgiving is over...

I was able to get back into the greenhouse and take care of some serious business.  There was a show in S.B. by the Orchid Society of S.B. that my OS as invited to do a display table for.  I sent up a few plants for the display, since this is kind of a down time for most orchids and they needed a boost.

I was told there wouldn't be any judging, but when Rich from my OS brought my plants back, my Prosthechea Green Hornet 'ISO' had a 3rd place ribbon on it!!  Woo hoo!!  This is my first ribbon ever, and I hope the first of many more to come.  I think I"m getting a little bit good at this orchid growing stuff, and a lot of my babies are rewarding me for taking such good care of them.

Since my last orchid post, I've had a couple more bloomers:

This is Bulbophyllum longissimum.  The bloom were 9.5 inches long!  Here's a shot of the top:

I had another one that had started a spike, but then the whole spike, along with a new growth, turned brown and dried up on me.  Hmmm, the plant is in a tray that sits in water, so it didn't dry up...gonna have to watch that one.

This is the second bloom on my Phalaenopsis bellina.  I love this one, because it smells so good!
This one had a much better form than the first one, so I hope subsequent blooms will get even better.  I repotted this one, as I noticed quite a few dried up roots that needed to be trimmed off, and a couple of slugs have been lurking in a couple of my pots.

Here is Mama's little winner with its ribbon:

This Cymbidium belonged to my mom.  She got it from George Hatfield when my husband and I took her with us to check out his greenhouses.  Its called Hungarian Rapsody #2

Brassavola nodosa, called the Lady of the Night because its scent come out when the sun goes down.  Something munched on half of the bloom, but there are two more coming, so hopefully they will be intact.

The whole plant on its mount

and finally, Ascocentrum pumilum.  I got this one almost exactly a year ago, and its a cutie.  A micro-mini, it takes up very little space in the greenhouse.  I think I'm going to have to look for a few more of this genus.

So, that's it for now.  I have a lot of spikes coming in - the Twinkle 'Pink Profusion' is starting to open now, so I should have some new pictures to post in a couple of weeks.

Until then....Happy Growing!!

Seriously lagging...

I'm still getting used to posting on my blog, so I hope you all will bear with me.

Thanksgiving was, in my opinion, a HUGE success! The food was great, my husband's family was amazing, everyone was happy, and my house was full.

I met two of my husband's cousins, Rod and Randy, and their respective spouses, Heather and Cindy, for the first time.  Randy and Cindy were passing through on a road trip to check out some bands they liked, but stopped in to have Thanksgiving with us.  Randy helped my husband fix my apple peeler, slicer, corer just in time for me to be able to make my Upside Down and Caramel Apple pies.  I'll tell ya, if they hadn't been there, I'd STILL be peeling apples!  LOL!

Cindy was really nice.  She's really tall, just like Randy, and just seemed like a happy person - lots of good energy coming off of her.

Rod is super smart and really nice.  On Friday, he asked if there was a Best Buy close by, and had my father-in-law take him.  I thought he was just taking advantage of some Black Friday deals, but no....he came back with a bag full of universal remotes for each family member!  (I guess he wasn't impressed with the 4 remotes we used to run our TV and components, LOL!)  He spent a couple of hours programming it for our stuff and VOILA, we only need 1 remote now to run our TV, Blu-Ray, Amplifier and Direct TV DVR.  He said he's had this remote for 5 years and loves it - I can see why.  Its pretty awesome.

Heather.  This woman is a firecracker!  She's gotta be 5'0" or less, but cracks a whip like a pro!.  IN fact, she has whip-cracking app on her iPhone that she used on a regular basis to get Clan Campbell motivated and moving.  It was hilarious!  She's got a huge personality packed into that little body, and I have to say I really liked her a lot.

Randy and Cindy left Friday night, but the rest left on Saturday.  We had a gigantic group breakfast in Simi Valley, and my husband and I invited my in-law's best friends to join us as a surprise.  Check out this group shot:

So, with everyone gone, there was a lot of clean-up to do, but not this weekend.  I"m telling you, I was TIRED!  I'd been cooking since Monday, and I was not going to clean the house, too.  My honey was very understanding, and didn't say a word as I feel asleep on the couch for half the afternoon.  Sunday I had to work, so I spent a couple of hours each night during the following week trying to get the house back in order.  Thanksgiving down, Christmas to go!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I forgot I had a blog!

I almost forgot I had started this blog until my 1 follower reminded me the other day.  There's been so much going on that I don't know if I'm coming or going.

My husband's family is coming in from all over the place for Thanksgiving, and although I'm a little stressed out about cooking for over 40 people, I'm sure it'll be great.

THEN, I threw my back out a couple of weeks ago, and have been going to a chiropractor to see if he can straighten it out.  I've never been to one before, so am not sure what to expect.  It seems to be getting a tiny bit better, but by nighttime, I'm just about done.

His office is kind of odd, for me.  He runs it like an assembly line, and he is constantly telling his staff what to do and what his expectations are - right in front of the clients!  On my first visit, I heard him bitching out one of the girls on the phone.  Her fault for having it on speaker, but he has a real potty mouth!

I do enjoy the roller table, though.  I'd love to have one at my house so I can get on it 2-3 times a week.  Its so relaxing.

SO!  On to the good stuff!  My orchid babies are still making me very happy.  Since I Moved most of them into the greenhouse they've been growing and thriving, just as I'd hoped.  I have new growths, some spikes, and a few blooms.  Of course, there are some bugs in there, too, so I've been spraying my Safer Soap on everything, but may have to go to some big guns soon.  Mealy bugs are gross, and I think I may have some spider mites.  We have a pest control company that comes out and sprays the perimeter of the house every 2 months, and I spoke with our technician, Kelli.  She said she would be more than happy to spray the greenhouse, too, but we agreed to do some research on both our ends to see what would kill the bugs but not harm the plants.

Here are some pictures of what I've got going on right now:

Encyclia garciana - this one seems to be a pretty easy grower.  At least from a semi-newbie's perspective.

Ascofinetia Cherry Blossom 'Carmela'

This is just a cutie-pie!  I love it, and it gave me three spikes.  It was my Mother's Day gift to myself this past May.

Oncidium clowesii

I got this one from a silent auction at the Orchid Society meeting two months ago.  

Prosthechea Green Hornet

I have two of there - 1 potted and one mounted.  The potted one seems to be growing better than the mounted one, but both are in bloom right now.  In this picture, the one I'm holding is the mounted one, and it just said Green Hornet on the tag.  The one on the right is a Green Hornet 'ISO', and the bloom seems to be a little smaller, but it is more prolific.

close up of the 'ISO'

Well, that's it for now, but like I said, there are quite a few spikes going on right now, so I'm looking forward to some blooms in the next few weeks.  Until then, I guess I'll post about the new orchids I have coming in!  LOL! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday, Monday...

I've never had a diary or a journal, so this is a new experience for me.  I think its going to take a while to get used to this blogging stuff. 

At any rate, since this is mainly about my orchids, let's get on with it.  I've had a couple of recent blooms, some on plants that have already bloomed this year, some are new.

First up is my Haraella retrocalla.  It started blooming about a month ago, but there are three spikes so far, and they are quickly budding up.  I have two flowers on it now, with another one or two soon to follow.

Next is Prosthechea Green Hornet.  Got this one last year, and it struggled a little after I mounted it.  Its looking pretty good now, though.

This is one I am particularly happy about.  Its a Bulbophylllum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry' FCC/AOS.  I also got this one last summer and it sulked a little after I repotted it.  But, I got a spike!!  Loving the blooms...

This is a new one I picked up at Lowe's a couple of weeks ago.  THe crazy pattern on the blooms blew me away.  Its called Burr. Austin Powers 'Sweet Summer Morn'...YEAH, BABY!!!

The whole plant

I'm finding it a little hard to focus today.  Although I did manage to get my orchid stuff posted and out of the way, I'm blurry and feeling out of sorts.

Some very dear friends of my family lost a loved one in Afghanistan yesterday.

Those of you that know me know that I have very strong political views.  Call me what you will, Flaming liberal, etc. but I guess I prefer Progressive.  I didn't believe that we should have gone into Afghanistan or Iraq, I think our military should be here at home protecting our country, not fighting in other countries where you don't know your enemy from your friend.

However, our men and women chose to enlist and fight for us, whether they agreed with the location / reason or not, and we have to support them.  Its our duty as Americans to do so.

Bobby Billings was a husband, father, son and brother.  Nephew, grandson, and friend.  He died as a result of a landmine explosion, and left 4 little ones behind.

I hope that our country will take care of them the way that it should.  Veteran's benefits and support for those they leave behind are sadly lacking and may disappear completely if people don't speak up.

You don't have to believe in the war, you just have to believe in the people that have to fight it.

R.I.P. Bobby, we love you.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My greenhouse is finally up and running, and I finally have most of the orchids moved in.  There is going to be a period of  moving around, I'm sure, but for now they seem to be happy. 

Moving day - everyone almost in

I have a couple blooming inside right now, the Phal. bellina, which is making the greenhouse smell awesome, the Onc. charlesworthii is still going, and the Stenoglottis Venus is opening bud by bud.  Its a cutie for sure.

Phalaenopsis bellina

Onc. charlesworthii

Stenoglottis Venus

Haraella retrocalla

I have a couple that are spiking and are ready to bloom, first is the Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry', which I purchased last year.  There's only one spike, and one bloom that will come from it, but I'm excited nonetheless.  This is one I "had to have", and I'm glad that I was able to provide the conditions it needed to bloom.

There is also a Cattleya that has a bud on it, the Blc. Mari's Melody 'Carmela'.  I also got this one last summer in bud.  I don't know what I did wrong, but it only has one bud on it, but I'll take it.  Its really pretty and has a great fragrance.

I also have a Bulbophyllum longissimum with a spike starting, but it'll be a while before it's ready.

I'm in the process of getting my shadecloth now.  I've decided to go with the Aluminet at 50%.  Some of the 'chids need more light, and the 50% seems about right for here in So Cal.  Since the greenhouse is situated in such a way that the South end is in shade for winter, I won't have to worry about extra shadecloth for the Phals, Paphs and Bulbos for now, but I think I need to get a good light meter... 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So, I'm starting a blog.  It took a brand new hobby to prompt this new activity, but I love talking about my orchids, and my family is sick of hearing about 'em.

I started off with a couple of Home Depot Phalaenopsis orchids that died, then a few more that were barely hanging on.  But it wasn't until my nephew (and SIL) got me a HUGE Cymbidium for Mother's Day a couple of years ago that it became a situation.

I thought all I had to do was water it, but when it didn't bloom the next year, I started looking up care instructions.  I ran across a forum called Orchidgeeks, and things got crazy.  I posted my concerns about getting the Cymbidium to rebloom, got some great advice, and set about trying to grow it the right way.

Then, my SIL brought me back a beautiful orchid from Hawaii, and I almost killed it, so back to the Orchidgeeks I went.  Its still alive...barely...but I'm working on it.

The problem with the Orchidgeeks forum is that they are enablers.  They post pictures of all of the beautiful orchids they have that are blooming, and when you see the pictures, you want one!   Well, you go online to find the one you saw, and the vendors post all of these plants they have to sell and in order to make it worth the cost of shipping, you have to buy more than one (or two, or three).

The biggest mistake was trying to buy four (only 4) orchids from Carmela's Orchids in Hawaii.  The cost of the plants was reasonable, the shipping was okay, but they lost my order.  when I called to find out when I could expect shipment, they apologized about the mix-up, and said they would ship it out right away.  "But why didn't you order the 24 plant special?"  I said I wanted the ones I ordered, and the special was for 24 "seller's choice" plants.  There was no guarantee that I would get the ones I wanted.  I was assured that, if I got the 24-plant special, I would get the ones I had ordered, plus 20 additional seedlings AND it was free shipping, so the total cost would be less than what the 4 plants I wanted plus shipping would be.  I said, "My husband will kill me if I get that many plants!"  But I asked him anyway, explaining the cost savings. (LOL!)  He said, "Whatever makes you happy, my love," and a week later I got 24 baby Cattleya orchids in the mail.

This orchid was named for my mother, Rose Graham. I was given permission by the originator, Billy Baker, from Rex Foster Orchids in Lemon Grove, CA