It seems like just yesterday we were writing about the views out the windows. Oh that’s right, it was just yesterday. Funny how time slips away when we are daydreaming. Anyway, as the photos were snapped for that story, we also took some shots from the greenhouse/sunroom. That is a room of windows and skylights we had built as part of the 2000 renovation to house and grow the orchids and start seeds. You can read the full story in an older post here. There are a few things blooming now in that room that might interest you. Let’s start with the cattleya that has decided to open quite early this year, Cattleya Slc. (Pumpkin Festival ‘Fong Yuen’ x Naomi Kerps ‘Fireball’). There are four fully open blooms on this plant, let’s call it Pumpkin, a gift from The Financier a few years ago for Christmas. There is the key to the problem as I see it. It should bloom at Christmas. Certain types of orchids are known for the length of time the blooms appear under the right conditions. Some can last several months. The catts are not known for that however.We did bring the orchids in slightly early after they had the death drench. There were some very warm days in October, near the ninety degree mark that caused the glass walled room of the greenhouse to heat up dangerously. Some tender perennials even lost their leaves with the heat. I doused everything with cool water to try and cool them down. The temps outside eventually became more seasonal. It could be that heat jolt was enough to force this orchid into bloom. It thought it was at the equator! Hope for blooms at Christmas time should not be high, but we can enjoy the beauty before us right now.A new little plant that was given to us for free from a local nursery when we took our friend Gail there on our plantextravaganza shopping spree while she was visiting here is this little begonia. Isn’t it just the most luscious color?We know zero, nada, nothing at all about these plants. It is believed that they must winter over inside the greenhouse. That is the extent of our knowledge. We do remember some breathtaking photos on some of the blogs last winter and had thought about trying one at some future date.That future date became now when this little one was spotted on the ground way in the back of their greenhouse. I was going to purchase it but the owner just gave it to me. Gail was buying a few things and I have spent considerable wealth at this business in the past so this was not unreasonable. It was the only one they had, I don’t remember seeing any of these begonias there before either. The name is not known but we love it and will raise it as though it were our own. Added: The tag was found and this is tuberous begonia ‘Mocha Orange’. If anyone out in the blogdom has some helpful tips for properly caring for this begonia, I am assuming that is what it is, there was no tag, please leave them in a comment. A google search did not yield much info. I would like to put it out for the summer with the orchids in a shady protected spot. That is if it can be kept alive over the winter.This lady slipper is the type of orchid we are attracted to right now. The plant is small and takes up little space in the close quarters of the greenhouse. The blooms are longlasting and several buds can be produced on a single plant through the year. This one is Paphiopedilum ‘Starr Wars’. There are many more names to this but we have shortened it for the sake of our sanity. This plant has been in bloom since April.This is another Paph. that is bearing the tag P. Raven, but I know this is not Raven. As the name implies, Raven is a dark red, not this lighter shade. There must have been a mix up somewhere along the way. We will try and find out the correct moniker for this lovely. Wish me luck, for tags are not a high priority with the orchids. They come in, go out, get repotted, dunked, fooled with by squirrels, it is hard to protect those little white plastic pieces with the vital information printed on them. It could have fallen out while the plant was outside and blown far away by the wind into the birch leaves by the fence, then sucked up into the blower/vac to be used as compost on the beds all around. Who knows?
The greenhouse is a marvelous place for plants. The fan runs constantly, the humidity is high and the light strong but not too intense. The temperature has a good high and low range with the cold of night penetrating the glass more than the single heat vent can make up for. The sun warms the room in the daytime. That spread of temps is what triggers the bloom in the orchids. It has taken years to find the right mix of conditions for these finicky but fabulous floozies to thrive. I think we are there.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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