Well, there we go. With Dr Pink Cucumber in Europe for a week and our puppy having killed my cattleya, I went to the orchid meeting. The problem is, I didn’t come home alone – a gorgeous Paphiopedilum haynaldianum came home with me! He is AWESOME!
Spending 10 days in Kruger is absolutely fantastic, unless you have (or)chids at home to worry about. Before we left, we created a … I’m not sure if we can call it a green house, but let’s go with it – all it took was R13 worth of plastic wrap and a clothes dryer.
One would not believe how well this worked! It was positioned under a north facing window (we’re southern hemisphere) covered with a sheer curtain. I placed humidity bowls inside it, there was about a 2cm gap on the bottom of the whole thing, and we left the window cracked.
When we got home, the orchids were dry, naturally, but they were happy and thriving and some of them prepared nice surprises for us – Bob the Zygo is growing tons of roots and Faf the paph started a new leaf!
Thank goodness it worked and now we have a solution for short holidays without chidsitter!
So yeah. I had a plan. I was happy with it. Dr Pink Cucumber was happy with it. Our wallet was happy with it. And then, it just didn’t work out. Instead of 6 orchids, I brought 15 new babies home… nobody judge me!
The first one, that was my dream for a while now, is Bratonia ‘Shelob’ Tolkien, now we just have to wait for the stunning flowers. With her came our Vanilla planifolia, another cutie, now sitting on the windowsill happily.
Afri Orchids pre-order consisted of Maxillaria schunkeana, Maxillaria tenuifolia, Bulbophyllum lasiochilum and the wonderful Prostechea prismatocarpa. Schunkeana has two flowers, I managed to split the tenuifolia, lasiochilum sits happily in Dr Pink Cucumber’s vivarium and Prostechea is this huge happy plant, the biggest of our plants by far.
As I mentioned, at the Nelspruit show, bad things (actually, very good things!) happened, and we ended up with four little babies from the bargain bin – Dendrochilum magnum, Oncidium graminifolium, Laelia purpurata and Oerstedella schweinfurthia.
As we were spending two weeks in Kruger, we were only picking all our plants on our way back home, stopping at the Afri Orchids nursery – what a fiscally irresponsible move! I, shamefully admitting, ended up with 15 orchids in a huge box sitting in my lap on our way to Pretoria.
The first thing I said when I entered one of their green houses was ‘I have died and gone to heaven’, and I meant it. The tour of the greenhouses was amazing, beautiful plants, and so much knowledge my head started to spin, but I tried to soak up as much as possible, like a little sponge taking on the ocean. It was stunning, and I am so going back, with Dr Pink Cucumber ready to go explore what the world of miniature orchids offers. So many stunning plants!
The new, unplanned, additions are: Oncidium Sharry Baby Tricolor (oh the car, and now our living room, smelled delicious!), Doritis (Phalaenopsis) pulcherima v. coerulea, a stunning Paphiopedilum gratrixianum with two buds, Oberonia disticha and Mystacidium venosum, both of which are proudly sitting in Dr Pink Cucumber’s little vivarium.
Yes.. a lot of new chids!