Odds and Sods


​​Seasonal Notes
​   It's finally March. We've had a stormy winter this year with good snow cover. At this time of year  temperatures here are just above freezing in the daytime but still dipping below freezing at night. Most of our Cyps are still under about 5-10 cm of snow with a few areas free of snow. Remember the Cyps are totally  hardy and will tolerate freezing temperatures.  At this time of year as temperatures fluctuate with cycles of freezing and thawing some Cyps may 'heave' and become exposed. This is usually only an issue in newly planted spots. Take the time to take a look and cover any exposed Cyps with just enough loose soil to cover them. The snow cover will soon completely disapear as spring approaches. I can't wait till the new growths begin to show!


Phragmipediums

   Phragmipediums are another favourite of mine. A wonderful and diverse genus of slipper orchids. I'm currently building a collection of select Phrags.  And yes I'm working on  flasking them too. In time, divisions and seedlings will become available. I'm having particular success growing Phrag. fischeri and Phrag. kovachii.  

    The potting mix I'm using for Phrag. kovachii and Phrag. fischeri is a mixture of 1.5" Grodan rock wool cubes, coarse perlite,
and crushed oyster shell. I take the 1.5" rockwool cubes and cut each one into four equal cubes. Place the cut cubes in a bowl, soak and rinse thoroughly with water. Start by placing a layer of perlite in the bottom of the pot. Scatter the rockwool cubes, with slight gaps so they don't touch, then add perlite  to fill in the gaps. Sprinkle a little crushed oyster shell and fill the pot, layer by layer, in and around the plant's roots. Sprinkle a little more oyster shell on top and your done.  This creates a nice open mix with good drainage which works well for us.

    I use reverse osmosis water, which has a pH of 6.7-6.9. I water every other day. As the rock wool cubes dry out you'll notice them change slightly in appearance,  which will tell you when to water.  For me, the key, regardless of your potting mix is to provide these Phrags with an alkaline  pH.




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Awards

  • Cypripedium flavum 'A Bloom'n Addiction' CHM/AOS
  • Cypripedium henryi 'A Bloom'n Addiction' CHM/AOS
  • Phragmipedium besseae var. flavum 'Lemon Sparkles' AM/AOS

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VIDEO GALLERY
  1. Display at a German garden show with 46 different hybrids.
  2. How to divide a big clump.
  3. Planting.
  4. Garden example .