Welcome to the Irish Orchid Society

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    David Morse

    Access to expert advice from experienced orchid growers has never been easier since the advent of YouTube which offers many quality channels for viewers to follow covering a range of orchid cultivation topics that are not only informative and inspiring but can be entertaining and indeed the presenters can become like old friends! One such example for me is Roger Frampton whose channel tag is “Roger’s Orchids” who is an affable down-to-earth chap living near Bournemouth in the south of England owning a small conservatory and who gives regular updates about his collection often with a glass of red wine in hand. Roger particularly demonstrates prowess with Dendrobiums. On his recommendation last year, I bought his favourite species: Dendrobium hercoglossum and it did not disappoint as it thrived during the summer and has now begun early flowering this December (see photos below). This species is cool/intermediate growing and produces bamboo-like leaves on long thin stems which grow without rest until mature at about 3 years when they cascade downwards to become adorned in spring with an abundance of long lasting small pinkish flowers with a distinctive purple spot on the anther cap which are raspberry scented. Granted, it is one of those untidy types which would look best in a hanging basket but the spectacle of the sun shining through its crystalline blooms is magical. I grow mine in a pot although it can be cork mounted. The plant is widely available from online nurseries.
    Recently, I fortuitously stumbled upon another YouTube channel broadcaster, Howard Rice (tagged “Howard’s Orchids”) who is a softly spoken English gent living in Cambridge who is in a league of his own as an orchid hobbyist. He grows the most magnificent mature orchid specimens that I have ever seen cultivated by an amateur. Howard has a penchant for scented species, primary hybrids, and miniatures which he grows to perfection under intermediate conditions in his large lean-to greenhouse that provides a wonderful idyllic tranquil backdrop to his display.
    Other YouTube channels which are mines of information include those tagged as “MissOrchidGirl,” “Ninja Orchids” and the Irish “Gardening at Douentza” Perhaps you know of others?

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