Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back in time for Bloom Day!

After deciding that I needed to find different living accommodations (I must be a glutton for the punishment that is moving) I spent most of my free time searching for my new new home. As some of you know, I lacked an internet connection sufficient to make blogging, or even reading other blogs, easy. Now I've found a nice, quiet, somewhat quirky flat above a quiet business and after a week of using the wifi at the local Starbucks to check my email, I finally have my own internet! And I'm just in time to post for October Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

While Fall is in full swing outdoors, my indoor garden is only just hitting its stride. I'm cheating more than usual, as four of my seven blooms were purchased or acquired either in bloom or developing flowers.

 First up, Phragmipedium pearcei, which opened its first flower while in its packaging during the trip from Washington to Wisconsin. It has continued to put forth successive blooms, one after another, though I believe you are looking at the second-to-last flower. I'm hoping another flower spike will arise from another mature growth in the grassy leaves of this beautiful little orchid. I have a couple backlogged posts involving this orchid, so I'll save more details for later.

This table full of plants in my new bedroom showcases some of my current favorites, including four blooming orchids.

This Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian 'V3' also made the trip from Washington in spike, though it only opened its first elegant white flower a week or so before the second move to my current flat.

Though they are perhaps the most common orchid, seen in grocery and big box stores everywhere, I love the big, lush, yet simple and elegant flowers. Somewhat more special than the average white Phalaenopsis, Sogo Yukidian 'V3' can form spectacularly long chains of blooms, as can be seen in this Google image search. I'm afraid mine won't be making any such display until I have a greenhouse and learn to keep to a proper feeding schedule, but it never fails to produce at least a half-dozen 5-inch white flowers every year around this time. They aren't quite as big as the flowers of my first-ever orchid, a nameless discount Phalaenopsis purchased at a Fred Meyers that turned out to have massive 6" white flowers, but if I can hang on to it until I get that greenhouse someday, it should put on a brilliant show.

The crisp white petals are highlighted by Chinese dragon-style mustachios on the intricately-structured lip, dipped in yellow with paprika-red markings inside.

A new orchid, purchased in spike at the Milwaukee Orchid Show (for which I still need to finish my post), Phragmipedium Olaf Gruss is a hybrid between Phragmipedium besseae and the species shown above, Phragmipedium pearcei. The flowers are a blend of sunset pinks, oranges, and yellows.

The color was difficult to capture in the lighting I had available, being slightly less pink and more orange than these photos show.

Unlike its parent, Phrag. pearcei, Olaf Gruss can have more than one flower open at a time. The spike also branches, the beginnings of which can be seen on the lower half of this one.

Another new orchid from the show, Paphiopedilum Lynleigh Koopowitz is a lovely hybrid with flowers up to 4 inches across. I love the tessellation on the petals and the greenish yellow on the petals and dorsal, which is brought out strongly by the backlighting in this photo. The dark column forms a spot of depth in the center. And then there's the inflated pouch, which reminds me of nothing so much as...well, a toilet bowl, and causes an irreverent grin to twist my lips when I start taking things too seriously.

Paphiopedilum Stella Scope is the third orchid I purchased at the show. I love the delicate green, white, and mahogany shadings throughout the flower, with a scattering of solid mahogany speckles on the petals and even tiny specks of mahogany running up the green lines on the dorsal.

My Begonia 'Starry Night' has been blooming its head off this fall. While the foliage is definitely the, um, star attraction, but the pale pink blooms are a surprise that causes one to look again at a stalwart foliage plant.

The winged ovaries are surpassed in their oddness only by the twisted antler-like stigma.

My fourth new plant is Kohleria 'Peridot's Kitlope', a relative of African violets. This was a freebie from work, as plants were culled to fit all the tender specimens back into the house from their summer vacation on the patio.

The orange tubes covered in red fuzz open to reveal a heavy dose of pinkish-red speckles on white petals.

My Aglaia odorata has lots of buds, much more than it has ever had before in its young life. Only a couple bloom spikes are shown in the photo below. Known sometimes by the common name of Chinese rice flower, the tiny yellow blooms are closer in size to grains of cousous. Since couscous probably isn't all that common in China, I'd say its other name, Chinese perfume plant, is more appropriate. The minuscule flowers pack a fragrant punch. Even a few are enough to emit a delightful scent that is something akin to orange blossoms. Thus, I'm awfully excited for the numerous flowers to open and scent my entire kitchen, if not my entire apartment, with the clean, sweet scent. 

Thanks for visiting my indoor garden. I'll post pictures of my (new) new growing space, but I'd like it to look a little less "work in progress" first, so it may be a before and after post in the future. Until then you'll have to be content with glimpses around plant close-ups.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens. Follow the link to see what is blooming in her garden and the gardens of other bloggers this month.

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see you back, Evan! It's great you're settled now and I look forward to your future posts. That Paphiopedilum 'Stella Scope' is fantastic and all your orchids are beautiful. It's quite impressive to see what you've got going with your indoor garden. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks, Kris! Good to be back! I hope I won't bore too many people with my blog now that it's going to be so heavily indoor-oriented, but then it's mostly for my own enjoyment and anyone else that wants to look at it is welcome to. Thanks for sticking with me. Happy GBBD!

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  2. Happy GBBD! I'm so amazed at your orchids, every one I've ever bought has died on me. So...regarding living quarters, you've moved again? Are you no longer in the place you showed with the charming kitchen?

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    1. Thank you, Alison! I can't take all the credit for those orchids. Three of them were purchased in bud. It took me a moment to realize what kitchen you were talking about. Then I remembered that I posted those pictures on Facebook! The place with the charming kitchen (and charm in the rest of the place, too) is where I just moved to. It took me over a week to get internet installed because I had some trouble with my address.

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  3. What an amazing collection. I'm very impressed.

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  4. So glad your back in the blog world. Honestly I've never been an orchid fan (don't hate me) but that Paphiopedilum Stella Scope is dreamy...I love it.

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    1. Only if you promise not to hate me for not being an agave fan. ;) Wait until you see the foliage on Stella Scope.

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    2. Wait, you don't like agaves!?

      Ya, that foliage is pretty amazing. As is the Paphiopedilum Lynleigh Koopowitz...

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    3. Lol. Sorry, I don't really care for them. I think many of them look cool, and I do like bracteosa and variegated attenuatas, but there are so many other plants I prefer that I just don't really make room for them.

      Lynleigh Koopowitz has one of the most intricate foliar patterns I've ever seen. I love tracing the lines along the leaf.

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  5. It must be nice surrounded by all those fab plants! I can just imagine the stress of finding a new home and moving but glad to hear you're settled now and back in the blog world :)

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    1. It was stressful, but well-worth the effort to find a place that really fits my lifestyle. Thanks, guys!

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  6. Hooray for your new digs and internet connection! Your indoor garden is looking great! Glad you're back and happy belated GBBD!

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  7. Seeing all the orchids together, I feel like I should go for the visual impact of the Winged Toiletbowl,;-) which I like to think looks more like an angel, but color-wise, I really like the sunset colors of the Phragmipedium Olaf Grus. But the dorsal on the Stella Scope is so impressive, like a tower on Red Square. tCongratulations on finding a new apartment where you can grow your plants.

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    1. Hahaha! I like the Winged Toiletbowl visual. Do you grow orchids? If not it sounds as though you could be converted.

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