Orchid The Jungle Queen

Orchid, exotic from the far east.  Exquisite , dainty, fragile, simply gorgeous.  my late father an orchid enthusiast had well over 100+ plants in his collection.  As I am the photographer in the family, I captured these beauty every time I am in his garden.

Caring orchid in the tropic which is their environment is easy, but in another part of the world thy need a lot of pampering.  More important humidity, warm temperature, no soil needed just add bark in their container.  In the wild orchid grows latched on to trees, they absorbed food through their leaves.

I remember as a child growing up in the tropic, when my mother needed vanilla, she would go to the garden and harvested the slender dark bean.  fresh vanilla has a strong distinctive taste.  So delicious taste better than those bottled vanilla extract.  these photos taken all with film Canon SLR macro lens.

 

 

 

Elegant Peonies

Peonies are beautiful flowers.  With a sweet scent similar to roses.  Bloom in mid spring until early summer.  Did you know that peonies make superb cut flowers ?  The variety that grow in my garden is “Festiva Maxima” it has an old fashion rose fragrance.  Intoxicating scent through the whole area where the flowers grows.  Some varieties are fragrant.  Others have no fragrance at all, and a few tend to have an unpleasant bitter scent.  the “Festiva Maxima” produces large, white double blooms with a crimson flecks in the center.  Somewhat peculiar , though ants like to gather on the flowers.  Perhaps the sweet scent.

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When making your vase arrangement, harvest the flowers as early in the morning as possible.  Using a sharp knife or prunner,  cut the stems so they are 18 inches long.  Be sure to leave at least two leaves on each remaining stem and never remove more than on half of the flowers from a single plant.  This allows the plants to continue to photosynthesize.

If you to use the flowers in an arrangement immediately, select blooms that are almost fully open.  If you want a bouquet that lasts longer select flowers in various stages of opening.

 

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Daffodils Reflections of Spring sunshine

“I wandered lonely as a cloud. That floats on high o’er vales and hills. When all at once I saw a crowd.   A host, of golden daffodils”  -William Wordsworth-

A description of how daffodils seen by William Wordsworth, an English romantic poet from the 18th century.

 

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Daffodils and other narcissi and their color range from cream, white, yellow, orange and even salmon.  Some cultivar are big and bold and others are small enough to make an important contribution to window box and rock garden.

Most garden variety of the daffodil are descendant of the wild narcissus.  There are now more than 9000+ varieties of narcissi, grouped into a number of divisions according to flower shape and color.

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The word “narcissus” is used to describe varieties with a short central cup, even though the large cupped and trumpet daffodils are also botanically narcissus.

Daffodil bulbs are reliable, adaptable and easy to grow when left undisturbed in the soil for at least three years, it will produce  increase of flowers each season.  Not only they are hardy and beautiful, their bitter-tasting bulb repels rodents.  Besides the daffodil is one of the best bulbs for naturalizing in the garden.  Because it grows under deciduous trees and in open woodlands.

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Before deciding where to plant daffodils, you need to carefully prepared the site .  Mix well-rotted compost into the soil and let it settle for several days before planting.  Then, mix bone meal into the planting area 5 pounds per 100 square feet.

 

 

Plant narcissi from September onwards and no later than the end of October.  Partial shade is ideal, but full sun  tolerated.  As long as the soil is fertile and reasonably moist.  Allow the plants to grow on for at least six weeks, after flowering before cutting the leaves back.  This way the bulbs  will have sufficient energy for next year bloom.  Propagate by dividing clumps of bulbs after the leaves have died and replant in the fall.

 

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At The Floral Art Show …

The floral art show "Irisiades" in Auvers sur Oise castle
The floral art show “Les irisiades” in Auvers sur Oise castle, France

The floral art and plant show “Les irisiades” is held like every year in the wonderful gardens of Auvers castle, nestled on the hills of Auvers sur Oise. This charming village located along the Oise river was popularized by impressionist painters and especially home to Van Gogh where his paintings were greatly inspired by the environment. A lovely afternoon to spend in this historically artistic place with plant growers participating in this event. Plants stalls are set around the French style garden surrounded by colourful Irises. A particularity of this special floral art event is the flower arrangement section with some inspiring art work including special creations from Japan. This year’s theme goes to the artistic creation of vegetables fruits and herbaceous plants. Such as the flowing style of Calla Lilies one of my favourite flowers …

Flower arrangement at the floral art show in Auvers sur Oise
Flower arrangement at the floral art show in Auvers sur Oise

To the Zen beauty of Japanese aestheticism ..

Table art at the "Irisiades" floral show
Table art at the “Les irisiades” floral show

With more fabulous creation of floral art work on decorative dining tables as well as fruit and vegetables sculptural carvings …

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With more choice of garden greens and colourful petals for plant lovers

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Enigmatic sculptures alongside the plant show mingle with the ephemeral garden rendering a nice contemporary touch to it. “Les irisiades” usually takes place the third weekend of May each year. So, should you visit Auvers sur Oise around this time, drop by the castle and take a peek at the floral art and plant show …

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