Monday, 10 November 2008

Of Paphs and Vanilla

To nonchanantly throw around the name "paph" is a risky thing. You run into the possibility that serious gardeners will mistake you for one of their own and then you will be tragically, out of your depth. I am making tentative steps towards growing "paphs" or PAPHIOPEDILUM (say it: paf-ee-oh-ped-i-lum...the Slipper Orchid), I am now the proud owner of Paph. Maudiae; who like a true slippered-lady, is most kind and tolerant of learners. She has come home with a striking flower just to cut a little style.

The pictures really do not do justice to the beauty of this flower. I suspect that I may be a true slipper-lover but it remains to be seen whether the feeling will be reciprocated. Growing conditions are quite similar to phaleonopsis.

Unfortunately I have never been successful because I still do not have a proper orchid house.

So it was with a certain amount of vicarious-ness that I brought Miss Slipper home. At the moment she is ensconced on my windowsill, keeping company with my fussy ferns. I hope they make her feel welcome and reassure her that it is not my intention to kill her! As the rainy season is coming to an end, I will try with tomatoes again. I find growing them in the rain a useless and frustrating exercise. But I had fairly good results last year so I shall try again.

Do not be fooled by the casual nonchalance of this leaf. It is the shy VANILLA plant. Apparently it is likely that I shall have to hand-pollinate to get a pod, but I am willing to dress up as a large insect if the prize is a vanilla pod.


garden girl said...

Hi Sharon, best of luck with your new orchid, and with the tomatoes and vanilla.

So will you be posting photos of yourself in your bug costume? because I'd really like to see that!

Cynthia said...

I wish I had your green thumb.