31 January 2012 By Billy Hawkins
Such a wonderful morning in the conservatory here at Torberry, learning about the world’s orchids from Jim Durrant from McBeans Orchids.
People had come from the localities of Hampshire and West Sussex armed with queries about growing and arranging orchids into wonderful displays. Jim is a fascinating and incredibly knowledgeable speaker and he brought with him so many varieties of orchids that the conservatory was full to the brim with colour.
We learnt that there are 31,000 species of orchids in the world, including one which only grows underground. One in nine genera on the planet is an orchid and they have been found all over the globe, with the exception of the Polar Regions. They come in all shapes and sizes, from one inch tall to a whopping seventeen/twenty feet high! Jim’s top tips included using rain water, not tap water, and keep the right humidity for the type of orchid you have. He also reminded us that roots need air and instead of stamping or pressing roots into the soil we should leave the gaps for the roots to breath.
The orchid was popularised during the Victorian era and they thrived so much better than they do today largely because of the way in which we live. Our centrally heated houses, with all draughts excluded, kept at warm temperatures do not make for healthy orchids. If you have really caught the orchid bug you should think about a greenhouse or conservatory which adjoins the house and can keep its’ unique temperature zone, suited to the type of orchid which interests you.
Guided Alitex Factory Tour
After the lecture, our guests stretched their legs by taking a guided tour around our extended factory, which proved to be very interesting, especially for one of our National Trust Greenhouse clients who was able to clearly formulate in her mind her decision on which colour to choose. A presentation in our Design Studio was a real eye-opener for our guests as they realised how draftsmanship has become more technical over the years. Our two show greenhouses and conservatory on site allowed people to wander at their leisure. It was lovely to meet up with everyone this morning, thank you all for coming and please do look at our News and Events sections for other opportunities to come along.
For more Orchid information, click here.