Friday, December 21, 2012

A Jam-Packed December GBBD (Garden Blogger's Bloom Day)

Hey Everyone,
Well, today I figured that seeing as I've been writing about my adventure to Melbourne and back lately, that I'd use this opportunity to fill you all in on what's been happening in the garden, but also to tell you all about some AMAZING nurseries that we visited whilst in Melbourne.

So.. shall we begin?

I'll start off with some of the orchids that I have in flower at the moment.

Most orchid growers would not think twice about the two orchids shown in the three following photos, but to me, seeing them, I'll admit it, almost brings me to tears of joy, pride, and just sheer happiness and glee.  I bet you're all a bit confused and wondering why I'd have such an overwhelming reaction to these flower.  Well, the answer is simple; They were my grandma's.  The photos shown are two of the few culprits that started my very unexpected, expensive, and rather odd hobby (addiction?).  When my grandma passed away a few years ago everyone asked me if there was anything in particular that reminded me of her, or meant anything special to me.  Immediately my mind turned to her garden.

She had a modest garden, but it meant a lot to her, and she would spend hours out there watering, weeding, or just looking.  Her main garden beds were raised to about waist height so that she could still tend them up to the very end when she passed away at the ripe old age of 91.  Seeing as no one else in the family paid an interest in gardening, or Mummo's garden in particular, I plundered it for all the plants that meant something/anything to her.  I think it's at this stage that I explain that in her garden there was only one spot where, under no circumstances was I to water the plants there.  She'd been refering to her small collection of Cattleyas, Dendrobiums and Phalaenopsis that we'd given to her over the years as presents.  So as you can imagine, forbidden fruits and all that, that these were some of the first plants that I claimed.  These plants, through my determination that they WOULD survive were the reason that I started my love, passion and obsession with orchids.  And that is why they are so precious to me; The are not only my first orchids, but more importantly, they were my grandma's.

Also, another orchid that's in flower at the moment is my Myrmecophila brysiana.  This beauty was given to me by Bill, the wonderful man that I mentioned in my post: Overwhelming Generosity.  I've had this plant for a over year, but this is the first time it's flowered.  It's grown several new growths since I've had it and I nearly wet myself when I saw a spike developing.

Tolumnia Spotlight "Guy", Also given to me by Bill

Also, on the day of GBBD, I had the wonderful pleasure of finally meeting a long Facebook friend, Latoya.  Latoya is a fellow orchid grower like me and it is amazing the opinions, values and thoughts that we share, so there is no surprise that we get on like a house on fire.  And it's so nice being able to chat to someone that with whom you can just drop latin names in and they completely understand what you're talking about... ok, well, I should rephrase that... It's nice to talk to a young person with whom you can drop latin names into the conversation and they completely understand what you're talking about.  We spent a lovely afternoon showing her around my meagre collection, and my favourite part was the plant trade :).  I'm of the opinion that I by FAR got the better bargain in that trade.  I got some amazing Paphiopedilum Seedlings that she had brought home in flask from Elizabeth Chen in Taiwan, this beautiful Promenaea that she's been growing so magnificently, apparently it looks after itself (that's my kind of orchid), but it couldn't of grown to be this spectacular if it didn't have amazing culture, and last, but definitely not least, was a MASSIVE cattleya.

Encyclia ceratistes, I believe this plant is naturally pollinated by wasps seeing as it decided to encourage roughly a dozen of them into my bedroom last week.

Oncidesa Lemon Heart 'Sweet Sugar' (Registered in 1998)

Bulbophyllum lepidum x patens
I've very excited because all of my Stanhopeas, or Upside-Down orchids are coming into spike at the moment.  I have 2 varieties, Stan. wardii, and Stan. tigrina... except I have about 10 wardii and 1 of the other... but I lost the tags and can't remember which is which so I can't wait until they flower so I can find out :)
My Rosa 'Peirre De Ronsard', Yes people, I finally got it, and oh how the flowers are bringing back all those marvellous, wonderful memories
We had a bit of a panic with this one.  This is in fact in the same plant as the flower shown in the photo above, however, I believe that due to the low light that it received whilst we drove back from Melbourne while this flower's bud was developing, it has therefore not developed the pink pigment that it would normally have.  The plant had 5 buds on it as we drove back and all of which have come out pure white so Mum and Grandma have been determined that no, it obviously isn't what it's labelled as, we wasted all that time and money, blah, blah blah, where I was determined it was what the tag said it was, partly due to that fact that I had seen an open flower on it before we started driving home, and it was how it should be.  So tadah, this is what happens when you don't give your roses enough light :)
This is my new Thunbergia mysorensis, and I'm really looking forward to delving into the history and culture of this plant.  The pendulous flowers absolutely fascinate me and I love it.  I can't wait unitl the plant gets nice and big.

I can never remember the name of this plant.... oh how I wish I could... but aint it pretty?
Well, the millet it ripening and the birds are LOVING IT!
My Shrimp Plant and my Petunia seem to be getting along well together

One of the Carpet Roses we bought Whilst in Melbourne
one of my Georgeous Broms is flowering once more
The last Hippeastrums for the year I believe
This little brom is in the shade house and has been flowering for quite some time, it's slow and steady
My gloxinia that Reg gave me is producing buds, I'm very excited because it's my first one and I can't wait to see the flowers
Those Salvia cuttings I took a while back are flowering now to they shall be getting a trim soon and getting transplanted
My poinciana is going strong still, but after the recent rain not as many flowers remain
I am very happy to announce the cloe arival of the flower on one of the Melbourne Botanic Garden's Titan Arums (Amorphophallus titanum), I'm so sad that I wont be there in a week or two when it opens, but one day I'm determined that I WILL see one.  But at least I got to see the bud when I visited a couple of weeks ago.
One of my Masdevallias that I bought at Mt. Beenak Orchids.  More on the AMAZING Nursery in the upcoming weeks
One of my Masdevallias that I bought at Mt. Beenak Orchids.  More on the AMAZING Nursery in the upcoming weeks
One of my Masdevallias that I bought at Mt. Beenak Orchids.  More on the AMAZING Nursery in the upcoming weeks

Well, I've finally managed to write my GBBD, sorry it took me so long, But at least it's now here, for more wonderful garden-y goodness, visit Carol over at May Dreams Garden.

Happy Gardening,

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