Archive for December 29th, 2010


Phil’s uncle raises orchids.  In a mad-scientist type of obsessive way!  It is amazing!!!

On his small city lot, he has built a greenhouse that is accessible by crossing a small bridge over the koi pond.  Darling!  (can I say that about a man’s yard???)

The first room of the greenhouse includes a workshop and his canaries.  He has the males in separate cages… about 10, I’d guess.   The other birds are in a large aviary (floor-to-ceiling) and had at least 20 birds.  Too cute!!  They are peach-colored, I don’t know the breed name.

The room to the south is his greenhouse.  It is FULL, I mean FULL of orchids!  I don’t know how many plants or varieties but I’d guess 100 pots.  Just full!!  It was rough enough to be manly but midst that was a bloom here and a bloom there.  Gorgeous!!  Deep purple, pink, yellow, and lime green blooms!

When we were eating dinner, I was near Uncle and asked him a few questions about an orchid plant I have.  He rattles the Latin names with ease and I’m still confused about which varieties I have!!  I asked if he had any for sale and he said he had some on special “for today”.  🙂

After dinner, I begged (it was easy) and we got to go see the greenhouse.  I had been out there several years ago as well.  But since then he got me started on growing them with a gifted orchid plant 3 or 4 years ago.

I loved the tour!

He had some plant clusters in wooden planters that he made.

I noticed one plant trailing across the ceiling.   That is a vanilla orchid.  He said it needs to be 30 FEET long before it will flower and THEN produce a vanilla bean.   Did you know vanilla beans come from orchids?  I had no idea!  No wonder they are expensive.   He doubted he’d ever see that one flower.

After I admired them all in the greenhouse, I asked if Phil could buy one.  He said, “No.”






And then he added, “but I have 2 or 3 Paphiopedilum {lady slippers} in the house you could have.”  I nearly hugged him but they are not the hugging kind of family.

We went back in the house and after a bit more visiting headed home after Uncle covered 3 plants with bags for our ride!  I was so very excited!!!

The three plants are sporting 12 flowers all together!  I have the smallest pot on the kitchen table and the others in the front window.  After the living room gets rearranged this week, I’ll move one to the coffee table.

Uncle has 2 of the flowers wired on the lady slippers so I want to find some coated wire for the other blooms.  Too bad I didn’t remember that when I was in the craft store yesterday!
Meanwhile, my Dendrobium has been in bloom since the end of October and is starting to wane.
My 2 Phalaenopsis plants have both just started to put out a flower shoot.   They are usually blooming by Valentine’s Day so right on schedule, I’d guess.

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