Sunday, November 14, 2010

Green-Fly Orchid

This basket of green fly orchid and fern has hung under this live oak at work for eight years, prior to that it lived in a former garden of mine. The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago and quite often it has a late season bloom even at this latitude.

The basket is composed of pieces of bark containing orchid and fern, rescued after a storm and placed inside a wire basket with a coco-fiber liner behind the bark. I do not remember what the basket is filled with but I think it was regular potting mix. The fiber has long decomposed and other types of fern have moved in on their own but the orchids continue to grow pretty much uncared for.

The peak bloom is early summer with an occasional spike anytime while the weather is warm. The basket hangs out all year long and the only protection is the canopy of the live oak. It would be hard to find a simpler plant to grow, but it is a hard plant to find or purchase!

While hunting for fallen snags with orchids on them I quickly learned that deer are also fond of collecting it after storms and if I want to find it uneaten I better be willing to go wading in the swamps the day after the storm. It is worth the trials because it rewards you with blooms for very little care.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Fall Vignette

Just a quick flash of fall for us Southerners, since the trees won`t provide the color we let the herbaceous and tropicals do it. This grouping of Mexican cigar flowers, Acalypha Jungle Dragon and a variegated hibiscus in a pot provide the warm rich colors that give us that fall feeling . That is if we are transplanted Northerners.
The potted hibiscus was just brought in the house for the winter and cut back. I also took cuttings of the acalypha because it doesn`t always return from the roots. The cigar flower is just a good doer and will be back with the spring. So far there has not been a frost or freeze, but this far inland it will happen soon and I want to be prepared.