June has been an action-packed month so far. It started with both of my boys’ birthdays and the migration of the orchids (finally!) from inside to outside the greenhouse. As we were moving the plants, I did feel a little sad that I wouldn’t be hanging out in the greenhouse I had waited so very long to inhabit. It was finally arranged just how I wanted it, and now we would be moving and have to do some re-arranging to fit the space. And have less space for potting. Well, one should be careful what one wishes for because no sooner were we out than we were back in with some because of the cold night temperatures. Then out again. Then back in again because of rain. Now more have come in because of the 50-90 mph winds we may get this evening. I am, therefore, both in and out of the greenhouse. Why does it not seem like the best of both worlds?
On a much more enjoyable note, it has also been a very sociable month. Right after the boys’ birthdays, they were done with school, and I took them with me on a speaking tour of New Jersey: Deep-Cut Orchid Society (NJ), North Jersey OS (NJ), South East PA OS (SEPOS; PA), and Mid-Hudson OS (NY). First, I must thank my kind hosts, Carrie and Tim Buchman (that’s them with the boys in the picture–you guys are the best), who put us up for the whole week (including the boys who loved them and their lovely house). What a treat. We were shown a great time by all the societies we visited—they were lively, entertaining, friendly, and excited to hear about Neos. Who could ask for more? My poor sons had to listen to my talk four times, but by the second time, they were able to answer questions about the plants and be truly helpful. I was impressed, and we were all entertained.
Once back, it was more plant moving, and then two truly enlightening and enjoyable talks by Dr. Martin Motes of Motes Orchids in Homestead, FL. I will also note that Mary Motes is quite an entertaining speaker herself! Aside from Neos (yes, I know they are Vandas), I have never had success with Vandas, but I do love them so. I once carted two enormous Vandas back from Florida as carry-ons. People were not happy with me. Later, the Vandas weren’t happy with me, either. But Dr. Motes noted that for us northern growers, we are better off with cold-tolerant Vandas in pots with very coarse mix to maintain that higher humidity. I admit that the thought had crossed my mind before, but when HE said it…well, that inspired me to go a little hog wild. And thank you very much, Ann Mudgett, for suggesting that I go to the talk and give the plants a try. I will keep you all posted on their success. Meanwhile, I am also inspired to do a little experimenting with the same mix and Neos. I have had good success with the few that I have grown bare root in a plastic pot, so imagine if I added some coarse mix… I foresee great success.
Post Script: It’s now August, and I have had those Vandas for a couple months now. I potted the plants in a 50/50 mix of large bark and large Grow Stone. They are going crazy!! I mist them very well every morning, and on very hot days, I mist them again, but most days it’s just once. They are in the greenhouse which is in the 60’s-70’s at night and into the 90’s in the day, so the fans are on all day, too. I think our nights are just too cool outside to make them really happy, but that heat in the greenhouse has been great. Finally, success!!