My Zen Time
Playing with orchids.
My Orchid Living Wall hadn't been planted for long when I snapped this photo, but it is thriving.
I loved creating this project. Constructing it gave me a few hours of focused peace.
This corner of the veranda has a better vibe now. The plants receive morning light on the veranda. Happy plants.
The plants are Broughtonia sanquinea (pink/red) and Dendrobium (white with purple on canes).
I planted Hoya carnosa in a pocket on the bottom-right corner to wrap around the frame for fragrant off-season blooms. It's epiphytic like the orchids (grow in trees), the leaves blend with the orchids nicely.
In this photo, the house hasn't been repaired from the hurricane damage, Irma took out our doors, windows, and lifted the roof and then Maria tried to finish it off two weeks later. The paint was beaten off... a patch is showing above the orchids.
My plants were inside but still they suffered. This little project helped to repair my orchids and my Zen.
Transplanted out of pots, divided... some of the leaf damage was from Irma, even though they were inside...
My white Dendrobium is spiking, can't wait. The blooms are large and fragrant. this photo is from last year. A little green cricket came to live in each flower, some type of symbiotic relationship. Happy bug = pollinated flower.
Coilostylis (Epidendrum) ciliare, a night blooming, fragrant, moth pollinated orchid. Native of Puerto Rico. Love it! Not many orchids have a scent.
It has a full 6'+ wing-span of spikes this year.
Big pots, not in bloom yet... still coming out of their hurricane shock.
The two pots closest to the wall (under the hanging wall) are Epidendrum ibaguense. The pots in front are a Queen of the Night. Epiphyllum Orchid Cactus Night Blooming Cereus. And a mix pot of orchid starts.
I created a hanging wall with what I had on hand; bamboo, screen, moss, bark, florist wire and cable ties...
The pink orchid opened for my birthday and is still blooming beautifully, the others are following with long spikes; not too upset with me for the transplant (wrong time of year).
My Zen corner.
The big white one in the foreground, is waist high and could be 4-5' ! (if I staked it better).
Mid-bloom and gorgeous, flowers stayed for 3 months last year...
The one in the background; Coilostylis (Epidendrum) ciliare, has a full 6'+ wing-span of spikes this year.
On the wall the purple and white cane orchids are still blooming... like the bright pink one, since November.
Having tea with them. I think they enjoy the company because the reed orchid is spiking, Yip!
When I'm not there, the cats are in the chairs beside the orchids... the corner has a good vibe.
Some have asked how I made this orchid wall display and how it is maintained.
The bamboo I cut and zip tied together, and later I pretty it up by lacing the corners with coconut fiber jute over the cable ties. I cut a piece of screen to fit the bamboo frame and attached it to the bamboo with wire and covered it in jute. The screen back is for ventilation and frame support. Cut coconut fiber makes the pockets (to hold roots in bark / moss mix) and topped them with more moss.
I wired the pockets to the window screen with florist wire twisted on the back, and then again through the pocket once the roots and bark were in. The moss is all natural and uncured (for raising newts and building terrariums) so it can grow too. This is the Sphagnum Moss I used.
I spray the entire display every few days using a small pump sprayer with a bit of natural kelp fertilizer added in the water (I only use rain catch or purified water, so they don’t get burned by chlorine or dirtied with mineral spots).
Hang it securely, when damp it is heavy.
I used chains in the beginning, because I didn’t know if the place I had chosen was going to be too bright or too windy (I did not want to drill extra holes in the concrete/stucco wall like a jacked up wood pecker.) And when a storm comes, it gets unhooked and moved inside. The plants love it. Every little cutting thrives.
It's really no wonder plants find their way into my work.