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    Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
  • Interests
    Botany, Ornithology, Gardening, Photography and Hedgehogs!
  1. Last weekend I ordered a Vanda orchid from Easy Orchids and received it Wednesday. It was very soundly packaged and is in excellent condition. I will certainly buy orchids from them in the future. Simba
  2. Simba

    Vanda Coerulea

    I'm quite sure it depends on the quality of the wine corks! I packed broken cork bits and a little sphagnum moss around the roots of my Vanda when it was first purchased, and have given it a twice daily spray. It is now looking very healthy and is sending out a new flower spike. By the way, the cork was from a bottle of Pagos de Tahola Rioja, 1995 vintage. Simba
  3. Besides the cps, I have two odd plants growing in my bog tub, obviously seeds blown in, or introduced with the sphagnum moss peat used when I assembled my tub, over a year ago. The first to appear was Isolepis setacea a kind of Sedge (Cyperaceae family). Then Juncus effusus 'Spiralis', the Corkscrew rush, top right of my pic. The Isolepis is already sending out many rooting runners that are steadily taking over. Weeding is fast called for. I do have a fine specimen of the Corkscrew rush in my pond, so no doubt seed has blown in from that. What next I wonder! Simba
  4. About two weeks back, I scattered D. capensis seeds on a tray of chopped sphagnum and sphagnum moss compost. This last weekend I noticed, to my amazement, that I now have a tray full of what looks exactly like minute D. rotundifolia seedlings. I wasn't aware that capensis seedlings have rounded leaves when first germinated? I learn something new every day! Simba
  5. Simba

    My new Gibba Tub

    I hope to see a few flowers before the Autumn/Fall, it will make my Gibba project all worth while. I'll take pictures for you, keep watching this space! Simba
  6. I am having one more go at growing Gibba. Last time I grew it in a large glass bottle in my conservatory where the Gibba was quickly 'destroyed' by water snails. This time it is outdoors in a big green tub without any signs of snails. My thanks go to Bob H. for all his help. Simba
  7. No, read my message again! I suspected wood pigeons destroyed my sunflowers THIS YEAR, when the plants were nowhere near 6½ feet tall. Last year they all flowered well. ( the sunflowers, not the pigeons). We have collared doves as well as wood pigeons, the doves respect our garden and the plants, the pigeons certainly don't. Bring back gamekeepers! Simba
  8. For the second year running, I grew my sunflowers from birdseed. Last year I had a good selection of yellow and orange flowers, the plants growing to about 6½ feet tall. However, this year has been a failure as all my sunflowers vanished in just one night. As you have suggested, I grew them individually in small pots and planted out in the garden when they had grown too big for their pots. Each sunflower had been nipped off just above the ground. I suspect our three resident wood pigeons, Simba
  9. My Epiphyllum hookeri have started to flower, so far there have been four flowers which early morning and evening, are filling my conservatory with a delightful perfume. It's a shame I can't add scent to my message. Simba
  10. I too have been experimenting with various soil media for my Mexican pings. One of the most successful so far has been a mix of Fullers Earth ( Cat litter) and Perlite. i have also had good results with ericaceous compost and a little sharp aquarium sand. It's a pity a use can't be found for crushed pistachio nut shells. Simba
  11. My wife and I were recently given this Vanda to add to our orchid collection. As you see from the photograph, it is in a small plastic basket suspended in a wire frame. Apart from giving it lots of sunshine, we have been advised to pack the basket with broken wine corks. The aerial roots have grown considerably in the past two weeks after spraying the plant daily with soft water and packing a little sphagnum moss in with the corks. Any other cultural advice would be most welcome. TIA. Simba
  12. Too early to know if my Sarrs are benefitting, but I think they DO look aesthetically better without the moss. I have noticed that a few of the new pitchers are growing weakly, so it will be interesting to see if removing the sphagnum will help them to grow stronger. As I only have a very modest collection of cps, and not much storage space, I find that compressed blocks of Supersphag are ideal for my purposes, no matter the cost involved. Thank you for the replies. Simba
  13. After reading somewhere that it is most unusual to find Sarracenias growing in the wild through beds of sphagnum moss, I decided to remove the mossy top layers from all my conservatory grown Sarrs and top-dress with a mix of two parts Supersphag, one part aquarium sand and one part sphagnum peat. Having now finished, I must say that my Sarrs look a whole lot better already. Have I done right? Simba
  14. Our Echinopsis cardenasianum has just finished flowering. Now well over 27 years old, it has flowered faithfully for the past 22 of them. One year it even decided to start flowering just when we were due to go to Norfolk for a holiday, so we took it with us. Simba,
  15. Hi frangelo, I too think that your Drosera platypoda is wonderful. Congratulations! Simba