Orchid afternoon…in Paris, perhaps.
A little ‘Ambiance’ this morning from another Amaryllis.
I ordered a few extra Amaryllis bulbs in January and I’ve been potting them up over the last few months so I have weeks and weeks of blooms. I soak the bulb roots in an organic compost tea from Authentic Haven Brand for about 20 minutes before potting them, and then I water lightly over the next few weeks. The end result: multiple flower stems and huge blooms. After the flowers fade, I’ll put them in the ground in an area reserved for Amaryllis. This is a flower bulb that can be enjoyed through early summer, with a little planning ahead.
Orchids in the Temperate Palm House at RGBE.
Playing with (house)plants: forcing Tulips with organic manure tea from Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew.
Happy Floral Design Day: February 28th (pictured: Bromeliad, Orchid)
As if we needed an excuse to talk about flowers! More than sixty years ago, Carl Rittner founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, MA. February 28th is Carl Rittner’s birthday, and is now the designated day we celebrate the art form of flower arranging.
The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to decorate with flowers, as early as 2500 BC, by placing cut flowers in vases. Formal arrangements were also created for burial processions, and garlands were left in the tombs of loved ones.
The Greeks made laurel wreaths and presented them to the winners of ancient Olympic competitions, and to military commanders after successful victories. Laurel wreaths were also presented to notable poets of ancient academia (the word “laureate” in “poet laureate” refers to the honor of being acknowledged with a laurel wreath). The Europeans didn’t begin the techniques of flower arranging until 1000 AD, after emerging from the Dark Ages.
As the world emerges from a Recession, the importance of flowers is ever more relevant: they are beautiful, affordable, readily available, and make meaningful gifts for dozens of special occasions - not to mention for our own personal pleasure. And it seems it has always been this way.
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” - Claude Monet
Orchid afternoon. Odontocidium ‘Pacific Sunspots’ is an Oncidium-type orchid with long, cascading wands of golden-bronze flowers. This orchid was previously classified as Colmanara catatante, but was recently reclassified by the American Orchid Society so as to combine two intergeneric hybrids (Oncidium and Odontoglossum).
Orchids will bloom for weeks in bright, filtered light (no direct sun). This particular orchid should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings, especially while in bloom. Its leaves have a natural drooping-appearance which is not an indication that it is dehydrated. Feed once a month with an orchid food that is specifically formulated for orchids. Be aware that orchids growing in a “bark medium” will require more nitrogen than those growing in a perlite, fiber, charcoal, and peat moss medium. Orchid roots will naturally grow outside the pots in search of humidity and light. If any of the roots take on a withered or desiccated look, they should be removed and discarded.
Amaryllis, a proliferation of blooms, February.
Round Two of Three, this season’s bulbs. Round Three in another few weeks.
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. Home of Jim Ede, who was the curator of the Tate Museum during the 1920’s and 30’s. He developed an appreciation for white-washed walls and minimalistic furnishings during a stay in Morocco. The house and all its furnishings were donated to the University of Cambridge in 1966. The works of many artists, including Joan Miro and Henry Moore, can be seen in the home today.
The “Island Vessel Vivarium” is a terrarium inside an aquarium. Designed by artist Alberto J. Almarza, show-cased at the Geek Arts / Green Innovators Festival in April 2010. Glass blower: Pittsburgh Glass Center.
“As a passionate nature lover, there is nothing more gratifying than observing this active and thriving little ecosystem as if seen through a magnifying glass.” ~Almarza
Living ingredients include moss, violets, a spider, and a centipede for the terrarium, and for the aquarium: Java moss, banana plant, barnacles, ghost shrimp, and zebra danios.