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Exotic bloomers made me go to jelly'

PUBLISHED: 17:22 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 August 2010

Well knock me down sideways with a wooden staff. Even my horticultural Zebra striped, smelly gardener s socks have been stormily knocked sideways. I m palpitating with joyous screams: Yes awesome readers, the native and exotic terrestrial orchids this y

Well knock me down sideways with a wooden staff. Even my horticultural Zebra striped, smelly gardener's socks have been stormily knocked sideways.

I'm palpitating with joyous screams: Yes awesome readers, the native and exotic terrestrial orchids this year have been absolutely stonking. What a flower festival. The nearby 18-hole Lullingstone Park Golf Course is absolutely smothered in tens of thousands of native Fragrant, Common Spotted, Lizard, Pyramidal and the quintessential Bee Orchid.

From a distance a jaw-dropping pink haze rattles across your horticulturally spellbound retinas. I've never know an orchid filled year like it.

Perhaps like with the Lilacs, Tree Peonies, and Roses and so on, the native orchids have needed the recent cold winter to really shine forth and juicily floriferously multiply.

The native orchids being cultivated in the World Garden in the form of The Common Spotted Orchid and the saucily fab Marsh Orchid Hybrid, Dactylorhiza x majalis, have also spurted forth in magnificent style.

Then come the wistfully thoughtful exotic ground dwelling orchids, such as the Hyacinth Orchid (Bletilla striata) from Japan, with its circular like disc for a rhizome.

Then there is the horticultural princess, The Queen's Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium reginae), from the Eastern United States of America.

This is the first time I've flowered a slipper orchid, and it makes me feel all funny inside.

The chlorophyll in my plant-induced veins goes all gooey almost instantaneously, as my dilated pupils make contact with this naughty woodlander specimen.

What's so joyous about these delicious stunner is that they are not difficult to cultivate nor expensive to purchase. All of the Orchids that are romping away in the World Garden, whether native or exotic, are not dug up from the wild but propagated in cultivation and sold to nurseries and garden centres as young plants.

I've found that if these hardy terrestrial orchids are in a nice sunny position in a well-drained, but slightly moisture retentive soil that tends to be on the alkaline side, they'll romp away just fine and dandy.

Suppliers range from Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex to bulb wholesalers like Parker's.

Go on, give these hardy crackers a go, they'll add an exotic element to

your patch.

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