I’ve decided to take another shot at Wordless Wednesdays, and have failed. How can I leave it without words?
I saw these orchids several times through our Thailand trip, and naturally referred to them as “Fried Egg Orchids.” I think the reason is fairly obvious.
Before posting here I did a quick search for “Fried Egg Orchid” and wouldn’t you know it, that’s what other people call them, too! Dendrobium thyrsiflorum if you’re being botanically correct.
I’m still suffering from extreme sleep deprivation and killer jet lag from hell, and have decided to roll out the Thailand trip coverage slowly with this Polaroid I took at the Mae Sa Orchid Farm just outside Chiang Mai. Thanks so much to Heather Champ who kindly gifted me with three packs of 600 film for the trip.
This was our first stop in Chiang Mai, visited directly after leaving the airport and on our way out into the countryside to have lunch and visit the Botanical Garden (which I will post about later). It was exciting to see so many orchids in one place and I was surprised by how enthusiastic I was to see more since we’d already been in Thailand for a while by this point and had seen our fair share. Orchids are everywhere in Thailand. Literally everywhere, including street plantings and highway underpasses.
Most of the orchids grown on the farm were vandas, which are extremely difficult to grow here in Toronto as they require a consistently humid environment. It was probably their extra specialness that contributed to my enthusiasm.
The farm presented each of us with a fresh orchid corsage on the way in, and I got another one when I flew Thai Airlines to Beijing. I even got one as a garnish when I ordered coconut water at in a cafe.
These Lady’s-Slipper orchids are currently in bloom in my friend Barry’s garden. If you can make it to his garden open house this weekend you’ll get a chance to see these and a few other species in person.
When we think of orchids, we tend to think of those finicky tropical flowers that are so often difficult to grow without the benefit of a heated greenhouse. Amazingly, some species of Cypripediums are cold hardy and even fewer still are native to the so-called cold north. You can still find them growing in woodland habitats in protected parks across this part of North America. I was lucky enough to catch one in bloom on a trip to Lake Huron several years back. I didn’t even have to go out to a protected spot — the plant was growing in the lot behind our cottage!
Last month, I spoke and signed books at the Annual Montreal Seed Fair held at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. When things got a bit harried at the event, I took the opportunity to relax with walks through the greenhouses.
Inhale deeply. Exhale deeply.
I’ve said it at least a dozen times, but of the greenhouses I’ve visited, those at the Montreal Botanical Gardens remain my favourite to date and always a highlight of any trip to Montreal. Oh how I wish we had greenhouses this inspiring here in Toronto! [Speaking of which... the super amazing Drawn & Quarterly bookstore is hosting an event for the book next month so I'll be headed back there soon. Stay tuned.]
The orchid conservatory was in full form during my trip, and possibly the best I have ever seen it. I took a ton of photos. Here are just a few of the orchids that caught my interest that day.
Jade Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum malipoense)
Ludisia discolor ‘Alba’
Phragmipedium ‘Court Jester’
Paphiopedilum ‘Green Mantle’