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