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.

 

 

 

Devil Flowers

Arum flowers (arum maculatum) are one of my favorite and although it is devoid of sweet smelling fragrances their shapes are beautifully sensual and photogenic. Among the weirdest species I came across were those found on the hills of Crete (Greece). The shape is amazing with its long thick spadix protruding from its very dark purple spathe. Botanically is called dracunlus vulgaris.

Many names are given, Voodoo lily, Dragon flower but I like to call it Devil flower not only because it gives me that somber feeling when looking at it, but it also sends out a terrible smell which reminds me of the unique Amorphophallus titanum that only grows in the rainforest of Sumatra Indonesia.

This particular gigantic flower which can reached up to the height of 10 feet also gives out a similar foul odor. Originally found in the Mediterranean and the Baltic regions, the Devil flower only blooms around spring time.

 

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Summer Gardening Tips

Mid-summer my garden still thriving in spite of the heat. Usually in the month of August here in the McKenzie valley, Oregon warm not overly hot without humidity. Since late spring when all seedlings are in the ground, I have been faithfully weeding, watering, and fertilizing to keep them healthy until harvest day. Next summer, if you want to keep your garden growing and being able to harvest a bountiful vegetables from your garden, you might want to consider this.

In addition using well-known water wise techniques such as drip irrigation and mulching, try grouping your vegetables according to their water needs when you plant them. That way you can vary their amount of water you give different plants of your garden. In general try giving your crops no more water than they need, rather than as much as they can withstand.

Mulching the plants is also beneficial suppressing the weeds and keep the moisture in. Use chemical free grass clippings this is important because you do not want toxic substance in your vegetables. They also can kill your plants. Compost as well as shredded leaves are good for mulching and an added benefit for the vegetables.

To fertilize I use a combination or compost tea and 2 tablespoons of fish powder per gallon diluted with water. I make my own compost tea, you can get them in the nursery, but, do ask how they make their compost. You do not want to feed your plants with unknown ingredients.

 

 

Camellias and the Zen garden

There is a place in Paris worth for a visit.  Created in the nineteenth century by its founder Albert Khan, French banker and philanthropist known also  for his auto chromes collection taken during his voyages in Asia.  The garden which once enhance his Parisian home was created to illustrate the gardens of the world.  His creative garden landscape is still kept alive till this day where visitors may enjoy the lovely walks through the French, English, the forest and especially a voyage into the meditative Zen world of Japanese gardens.

 

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The original Japanese garden created by Albert Khan in 1908, was given its contemporary style in 1989 by the Japanese landscape designer Fumiaki Takano.  Nothing much is left of the old Japanese garden except for the bridges, the small wooden door leading to the orchard and the wonderful  weeping purple beech tree.

Walk along the pond and sit under shady trees to listen to the sounds of dripping water while admiring some of the garden flower collection such as the many beautiful species of Camellias.  The visit gets even better in Spring when cherry blossoms become a wonderful background to the Japanese style houses surrounding the garden.

 

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The Iris Garden …

Iris of Bagatelle

Bagatelle is one of my favourite gardens in Paris, beautiful in all seasons and at all times especially in spring when the Iris garden is in its full magnificence. Here is a short slideshow video clip of the garden. Time for romance. Turn up the volume and let’s waltz with the Irises …

The month of May is the Iris flower season and if you happen to be in Paris, don’t miss the fabulous Waltz of the Irises at the Bagatelle gardens …

The Iris of Bagatelle

Devil Flowers ….

Snow capped mountains and olive grove on the island of Crete

Arum flowers (arum maculatum) are one of my favourite and although it is devoid of sweet smelling fragrances their shapes are beautifully sensual and photogenic. Among the weirdest species I came across were those found on the hills of Crete (Greece). The shape is amazing with its long thick spadix protruding from its very dark purple spathe. Botanically is called dracunlus vulgaris. Many names are given, Voodoo lily, Dragon flower but I like to call it Devil flower not only because it gives me that somber feeling when looking at it, but it also sends out a terrible smell which reminds me of the unique Amorphophallus titanum that only grows in the rainforest of Sumatra Indonesia. This particular gigantic flower which can reached up to the height of 3 metres also gives out a similar foul odour. Originally found in the Mediterranean and the Baltic regions, the Devil flower only blooms around spring time. Here are some images I took of wild Devil flowers during my walks along the hills on the island of Crete.

Dragon flower on the island of Crete
Voodoo Lily on the island of Crete
Devil Flower on the island of Crete