Sunday, March 31, 2013

Knitting up Rhinebeck 2009: Kid Hollow Cowl #2

Kid Hollow Farm Boucle "Brilliant Jewels"

Having happily solved one Boucle problem by creating a fluffy warm cowl/scarf with one skein of luscious hand-painted Kid Hollow Farm mohair/silk/merino blend, I was happy to solve the second Boucle problem the same way! The skein of "Brilliant Jewels" became another fluffy warm cowl/scarf, this one a gift for a friend. Small amount left over -- I miscalculated the amount needed for bind-off -- became a hat. (The other yarn there is a leftover amount of Dream In Color Classy.)

Fluffy Boucle Cowl

Stripy Hat

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Where have all the orchids gone...?

So like all orchid collections, mine has an ebb/flow thing that goes on. New plants come in. Old plants go bye-bye. Sad but true. What comes home from the orchid show in big bags quietly leaves the apartment in small bags...*sigh.*

With every new plant comes that settling-in period...and I've had my share of good surprises. I was astonished when I first began flowering certain mini-catt hybrids, having thought the 48" fluorescent tubes I use were inadequate. I was happy to get so many flowers from Cochleanthes Amazing before I rotted the poor thing by overwatering it -- and, to be fair, I just couldn't keep up with the root system.

I was lucky to go to the Deep Cut show in February 2012, and to the SEPOS/Longwood Gardens show in March 2012, and to various society meetings with vendors. My 2012 acquisitions are a mixed bag, per usual. Some were safe bets. Some were mere whims. Others are evidence of my deep stubborn streak. This list is by no means complete...

Angraecum dideri is breaking my heart again. I gave up ever trying to grow young ones after the one I got in 2011 decided to just shed all its leaves one day. My 2012 plant also started to shed leaves, but at least it had backup plans in place, in the form of 2 basal keikis. Cinnamon application and increased watering seem to have halted the crisis, for now, and new leaves are in evidence. I'll cheer louder when I also see new roots. Perhaps repotting is in order, the old mix looks kind of dire. I got a new one in January, also from Cal-Orchid, and so far this very robust one is extending its roots and showing signs of blooming from the two initiated spikes.

Oeceoclades roseovariegata hasn't done much, but it still looks really good. I'm slowly finding out more about this rather strange species. It's from Madagascar, and apparently prefers slighly arid conditions. I got it from Erich Michel, who advised high light and good drainage. I think it's mix is staying a bit too wet these days, so I am contemplating repotting it very soon.

Neofinetia falcata has grown so slowly I barely can notice the new leaves on each of the three growths. New roots? Not so much. Probably not good. Since then I've acquired two more Neofinetias -- one is a pink variety, the other a small but sturdy "common" variety -- and they seem happy enough. A few new roots are visible there.

I got Gomesa crispa  (pictured above) in October from Parkside, in bud; the small yellow flowers are not spectacular but cute. It seems to be doing well. That is to say, even the old growths on the plant seem to be expanding. Roots everywhere. New growths all over, two of them quite large. Not even very much leaf-pleating going on, so I count this as a personal triumph.  I suspect summer will be a problem, but I refuse to be pessimistic in advance.

Christensonia vietnamica has grown tall and sturdy, but wasn't really thriving until just a couple of weeks ago, when it suddenly sprouted two new roots. My friends helpfully tell me theirs are much shorter and have bloomed several times. THAT'S NICE. Well we shall see what happens.