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kathy
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Introductions

So who is in our orchid community?  Let's share our orchid stories here.  Tell us about yourself and how you went down the slippery slope to an interest in growing orchids.  Can't wait to hear your stories!

kathy
kathy's picture

I will start since I am the Crazy Orchid Lady!  Here is a description from one of my former blogsites.

I live in New England and I have been growing flowers in the garden since 1986 when I bought my first home. My passion was always beardless irises. I have been a member of our local iris society since then. Houseplants were treated with tough love. They either survived or not. I marveled at how well some folks grew houseplants. Along the way, I bought and killed a few orchids. I found it hard to find information to keep them alive. Then I moved to this paradise for gardening-a former dairy farm with full sun and amazing soil with some 20+ year old flowering trees and totally overgrown gardens. I went wild, ripping sod, transplanting, giving plants away and buying new plants. After a few driven years, the gardens settled in, getting more and more lush. I started inviting friends over for annual garden tours during the flower peaks in June and July. But after a few years, I dreaded the end of gardening season. I figured I should get an inside garden for winter. I had a group of garden friends online and asked one who was an orchid grower if I should get involved with orchids. I noticed that there was much more information about orchid culture available since I last checked. That was 2005, the year I bought my first Ascocenda. My friend told me I had picked one of the hardest orchids to bloom but the challenge worked and I bloomed it a few months later. As always, I became obsessed and collected madly. I am now up to over 450 orchids which I grow inside a converted barn in two rooms-one warm, one cool. I get up at 5:30-6:30 AM to water daily before work. I have a reverse osmosis watering setup and a generator for power outages. I live a life dedicated to orchid health, but they reward me with many colorfully scented blooms throughout the fall, winter, and spring. They go outside in late June till frost when most of them put on new growths. I am a serious hobbyist and I don't sell orchids. In 2010, I started my first forum for orchid growers within an online gardening community and in 2011 I struck out on my own with this forum, Crazy Orchid Lady Forum: An Orchid Community dedicated to all orchid growers around the world.

Western Massachusetts, USA

bree
bree's picture

Im on the north coast of NSW Australia, it doesn't get to cold here so i can grow alot of orchids just under shadecloth all year round. I got into orchids like most do getting one than not being able to stop. hehe! I have a small greenhouse so am gradually waiting for each orchid to bloom and getting rid of it if i just think its ok, keeping only the ones i really love which includes all my beloved Paphiopedilums (i love these and think there the most beautiful orchidss ever). Paphs are my passion but i grow Carnivorous plants, Lithops and have a huge veggie garden also. I do work and have a daughter so i don't spend as much time with my orchids as i should.

kathy
kathy's picture

Hi Bree!  Thanks for introducing yourself.  Love that Paph by the way!  

I don't think I've ever seen your carnivorous plants or the lithops but I just started a succulent thread today if you want to show us what you are growing! http://forum.crazyorchidlady.com/node/57

Should I start a carnivorous plant thread for you?

What is the coldest it gets there?  Is it like California?  I'd love to see pics of your veggie garden too!  What can you grow there? Funny how I can know your orchids so well from other websites and still know nothing about what it's like where you live! 

Western Massachusetts, USA

kathy
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Here is Jim Hawk's introduction.  This was on his local TV channel!!

Western Massachusetts, USA

tarev
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I used to be just admiring the wonderful orchids grown by my aunt in San Fernando Valley, and later on, with lots of time in my hands, I got a noid cymbidium from a garage sale. At first I thought it was hard to grow them, but later, on close observation,I noticed that it was starting to come up with buds! And from then on, I have started to be more observant of the specific culture and attributes of orchids. I have a prolific doritaenopsis

which always sends out spikes and reblooms on same spike or gives me a shiny new leaf  every other year, and have this noid mini-cymbidium which is now in 3 pots and is now actively sending out a flower spike.

I still have a lot to learn, patience, patience, patience....right now I grow 8 types of orchids, some have been very nice to rebloom, and some are cranky pots..oh well, at least still alive smiley  Everyday is a learning day!

kathy
kathy's picture

Hi Tarev.  Thanks for your great introduction and your wisdom.  That is a great pic of the Doritaenopsis!!  I agree with the amount of slow learning and patience involved with orchid growing. And I'm impressed that you are disciplined to stick to just 8 types!  I get excited and jump into too many species! Poor orchids, I am a tough mommy!  Here's a blogpost I think you will relate to!

Western Massachusetts, USA

Jo
Jo's picture

I do not know why this comment is called Normal...

I am a relative newbie.  I picked up a fuchsia phalenopsis (noid) about two years ago at Ikea for about eight dollars.  I had watched my mother, a serial orchid killer, purchase and lose orchids for years, and figured this one was destined for the same.  It had several buds and lots of beautiful blooms, so I thought I would get $8 of enjoyment out of it before it's almost certain death.  I casually read about it's care, and put it where I thought it owuld be happy for it's short life, then watched in amazement as it produced a second flowering on the  spike.  In all, I had more than 6 months of beauty that I had grown attached to (it has since re-bloomed twice), so the next year I decided to go the the Amherst Orchid Society show in Northampton, not far from where I live in Deerfield, Massachusetts.  I then had two healthy plants, and the next February, (2011) I went to the AOS show to tempt fate yet again.  While there I ran into Kathy, the COL, who I knew from my  life as a speech-language pathologist.  She encouraged me and gave me the address of her cubit.  She later took me to a show and helped me select a couple more plants, then gave me a cute little lueddemaniana delicata (which is now well  established and producing foliage, and some other wonderful orchids. She has further inspired me with visits to her house which puts most shows to shame.  

I now worry about my orchids constantly.  This fall, when we lost power for a few days, I was apoplectic.  My husband, who has made a few remarks about my new hobby (not all of them positive) inquired as to why I was so undone, and I had to explain that it had nothing to do with being without heat, water, shower or toilet, (though those things are nice) but that I was concerned about my orchids.  He immediately warmed up his car, backed it up to the house, and took all of my orchids to his office, which had a generator.  That incident made me realize that Paul actually appreciated my orchids, how much they meant to me, and that I was probably hooked.  

I am now anxiously waiting to see which of my 27 plants rebloom.  This forum has helped me through a few challenges (BUGS) and has continued to inspire me with stories and photos!

kathy
kathy's picture

Hi Jo!!  I guess in your title you are reinforcing that it is perfectly NORMAL to care more for your orchids than having a working bathroom!

Thanks for your wonderful introduction.  I really enjoy being able to share my excitement with you, often in person.  Wait till the shows start up in 2012!!

Western Massachusetts, USA

Jo
Jo's picture

not sure what this emotocon means, but it seemed apt!

kathy
kathy's picture

It's the happy dance for Orchid Shows and new orchids and spikes and never seen before flowers, etc!

Western Massachusetts, USA

Albert David
Albert David's picture

Where do I start and how back do I go ??hhmm.... I suppose my parents introduced me to growing, as they where members of the American Begonia Association. So we had plenty of plants around. Growing up in the Mid-Hudson Valley region of New York, Orchids where not very popular then, a rarity acctually.

Cut to present day:

I moved back to Florida in 2003, I saw ORCHIDS in Home Depot... ??? whoa they're everywhere. I bought a few thinking that they would do well here considering the climate. (Or So I Thought). After many failures I decided to consult the Pro's. So I found the A.O.S. in Delrey and volunteered in thier nursery for the sole purpose of learning and extracting info.( A Bit Selfish Sounding, Isn't It?) I jumped in as I always do with my interests and soaked up all I could. That was 5 Years ago... I wish I had more time and money, I'd make an indoor Jungle... Anywho.. that's where I'm at now. Most of what I have in my inventory are specimens that are either local grown or imports from areas with similiar climates to South Florida. Cat's, Encyclia's, some Dendro's, etc, etc.. most are attached to tree's a few in baskets and various mounts. I probably could have become an Orchid Doctor, but since there's little to no money in it, I couldn't persue it...

kathy
kathy's picture

Great to learn more about you Albert! I'd love you to be MY orchid doctor!   How did you get into photography?  

Western Massachusetts, USA

Albert David
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I've been around photography before I knew what a camera was. My father is an amatuer photgrapher, so I grew up in the dark room and infront of the lens. Funny thing is, I learned apature values before the times tables...LOL. Another heavy influence was and is Maxfield Parrish. The first mixed media artist to make it big. I really didn't make it a profession until I seperated from the Air Force in 1990. My mother was a classicly trained artist with a degree in Microbiology and as a child I would sit in on her classes or my father would take me to see films like "Barbarella" and "The King of Hearts" by Fellini. My father must have had a vision, because after one show, I asked "why are we still here" after what I thought was the end and the credits where rolling. He explained to me thats it's respect to the film makers and you never know, one day your name might be up there.... I wonder if he knew.. smiley.

kathy
kathy's picture

Very interesting and it conjures up some facts about my life.  My dad was a professional photographer and a WWII combat photographer.  I wrote term papers on Fellini and Antonioni in college and I miss the smell of hypo. I watch two hour silent movies quite often. I used to be a professional artist. We have a few things in common....

Western Massachusetts, USA

Albert David
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This probably why we are in sync smileysmileysmiley

kathy
kathy's picture

It sure makes sense!

Western Massachusetts, USA

Albert David
Albert David's picture

I Havn't forgotten this forum. I'm really having to push for more work This is me grabbing for $$

kathy
kathy's picture

Gotcha! Always the same here, Albert. 

Western Massachusetts, USA

kathy
kathy's picture

Can't wait!!!!

Western Massachusetts, USA

kathy
kathy's picture

Wonderful!

Western Massachusetts, USA

DottieB
DottieB's picture

Hi Everyone,

 

    I am new to the forum and are looking forward to speaking with other crazy orchid people like myself lol.    I have been into orchids and bonsai's for about 30 years.  Always dream of having a greenhouse one day, but for now i just settle for 2 full rooms in my house. I just love orchids although i am not very up on names and types as i usually just get the ones i find pretty.  I have about 30 orchids and 20 bonsai.  I find gardening to be most relaxing. My Grandmother had started teaching me about plants when i was a kid and it stuck with me all through my life.  Even though my grandmother is long gone i feel this is a peace of her in a way.  I will have to post some pictures soon.

 

Thanks

Dottie  

 

kathy
kathy's picture

Hi Dottie and welcome. Wow! Thirty years! We seem to be attracting people with lots of experience lately! I for one look forward to your information and wisdom about growing orchids successfully. Dottie, I also have taken over 2 rooms in my home! Also looking forward to your bonsais. You could start a forum about them HERE any time you want.

Western Massachusetts, USA

kathy
kathy's picture

Some of you know that my other life is as a speech language pathologist helping students and adults to be better communicators. I recently started marketing my skills so I am home more and set up a website. http://kathypuckett.com 

I also write monthly articles in a very active website for families. The first article came out last week and I just found out that there have been 5,000 views already! I am so excited! hilltownfamilies.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/puckett/

What do others do for a living? Are you retired? 

Western Massachusetts, USA

Lindsey
Lindsey's picture

In addition to learning how to better grow orchids I dabble in photography and crafty projects.

Many years ago I supported myself by making sterling silver jewelery.  This past month I took

a class in metal smithing and made a bracelet , pendant & earrings out of brass, copper and

found objects. It was fun to get back in touch with my creative heart!

Lindsey near Tampa, Florida

kathy
kathy's picture

OMG great jewelry, Lindsey!! You look super too! Looks like your new life suits you!

Western Massachusetts, USA

Lindsey
Lindsey's picture

Thanks Kathy, just making lemon aid with life's lemons!

Lindsey near Tampa, Florida

Lindsey
Lindsey's picture

might be more accurate to say making margaritta's with life's limes....

Lindsey near Tampa, Florida

kathy
kathy's picture

Bravo!

Western Massachusetts, USA

drdawg
drdawg's picture

 

Hi, everyone.  My name is Ken and I live in NE Mississippi, in the small college town of Starkvlle.  The town is the home of Mississippi State University.  I orginally lived on the MS Gulf Coast and built my first greenhouse while living there.  It was 32'x15' and was an aluminum framed glass structure.  I grew not only tripicals but cacti as well.  A hurricane destroyed the greenhouse in the summer of 1985, and I rebuilt it in the fall.  I moved to my present location in NE MS in the fall of 1995.  Since I had no place to house my many tropical and cacti plants, I simply gave them away to friends and patients who had room for them.  One of my staghorns that I gave away was then 25 years old and weighed approximately 100 lbs!

I built my first greenhouse in Starkville in 1996, and began to again grow and propagate tropical plants.  I was simply a hobbiest who grew plants for my own enjoyment.  When I retired in 2010, I decided I would sell some of my abundant tropicals.  Truth be said, I had to either sell them, give them away, or throw them away.  I just had too many to overwinter.  Selling them made more sense.   I built my second greenhouse in the spring of 2012, and that has now become my orchid and seedling greenhouse.  I overwinter my other tropicals in the other greenhouse or in my enclosed, heated back porch.

I prefer to sell only mature plants and thus typically sell one at a time.  I have just posted three varieties of Cattleya Alliance orchids for sell and have fiddleleaf ficus and staghorn fern plants for sell at this time.  I only have approximately a month left to ship plants, then I shut down for the winter.   Above (below?) are the pics of the three orchid varieties I have for sale.

 

 

kathy
kathy's picture

They are really pretty ones! You have so much experience with tropicals! I am duly impressed!

Unfortunately with 500 plants and no greenhouse, I am only interested in mini mini catts at this point, especially ones with a sophronitis parent that grows cool. If you ever have any of those, please let me know. But other members may be interested in these.  Love that green one! 

Western Massachusetts, USA

drdawg
drdawg's picture

Hey, Kathy.  I am not sure how small you are interested in (mini mini catts), but the following are all compact cattleya alliance orchid plants with smallish flowers:

Otaara Hwa Yuan Bay 'She Shu' AM/OSROC - 3" flowers, compact growth, blooms 2-3 times ea. yr.

Lc. Mari's Song 'CTM 217' HCC/AOS - 4" flowers and compact growth.

Lc. Final Blue 'Royal Purple' - 4" flowers and compact growth.

Sc. Royal Beau 'All'i' HCC/AOS - 3" flowers, compact growth, blooms 2-3 times ea. yr.

Lc. Supersonic 'Striking Lip' BM/JOGA - 4" flowers and compact growth.

Lc. Blue Grotto 'Takagi' - 3" flowers growing in clusters.

Slc. Ann Komine ' Breathless' AM/AOS - 4' flowers growing in clusters.

These are all small plants growing in 3-4" pots.  I will be glad to send pics of anything you might have interest in.

Ken

kathy
kathy's picture

I am interested in:

Slc. Ann Komine ' Breathless'

Lc. Final Blue 'Royal Purple'

  

Western Massachusetts, USA

drdawg
drdawg's picture

Slc. Ann Komine 'Breathless' AM/AOS

Lc. Final Blue 'Royal Purple'

Good morning, Kathy.  These are pics of the two you are interested in.  They are both growing in 4" pots and are small plants.  They will bloom with clusters of flowers as you can see on the pics.  The price is $8.50, for each and shipping will be $7.95.  We can do the deal through PayPal.  Just let me know.   Ken

 

 

Dan796
Dan796's picture

This Lc. Final Blue 'Royal Purple' is awesome!

I love the Slc. Ann Komine 'Breathless' AM/AOS also.

What size did you buy? And how have they done for you Kathy?

Have they bloomed yet? pics?

Dan from the mountains of West Virginia!

kathy
kathy's picture

Not sure if I killed Lc. Final Blue since it's not on my list, but Slc. Ann Komine is still there. I don't usually do well with small plants without a greenhouse, but sometimes many years later flowers "appear."

Western Massachusetts, USA

Lindsey
Lindsey's picture

Hi Ken,

Welcome to our fun group!

Lindsey near Tampa, Florida

drdawg
drdawg's picture

Thanks, Lindsey.  Tropical plants are what I grow and orchids, particularly the Cattleya Alliance, are my favorites.

Lindsey
Lindsey's picture

I love the Cattleyas as well, such bright colors and many with beautiful fragrance . I have the best luck with them!

Lindsey near Tampa, Florida

drdawg
drdawg's picture

Since I have only one greenhouse dedicated to orchids, I had to narrow my scope of what genera to grow.  Since the Cattleya Alliance are generally warm-living plants, and living in the deep south with sky-high heat/humidity in the summer months, those are what I grow.  I also have vanda, dendrobiums, and phaelenopsis, but those were all "gifts", given to me by patients who thought they had killed the plant and wanted nothing more to do with them.  I call those plants my "novelty orchids".

The two pics show the two sides of shelving in my 10x12' greenhouse, and these pics were taken several months ago.  I have now brought in another 2-3 doz, large 3-5 yr old orchid plants that spend the spring, summer, and early fall outside, hanging beneath large oak trees.  The orchid greenhouse is now jam-pcked full of plants.  Ken

6 mo and 1 yr old orchids

the opposite side shelving with 1-3 yr old orchids

 

 

 

 

kathy
kathy's picture

Looks like a great greenhouse, Ken! 

Western Massachusetts, USA

Vivienne
Vivienne's picture

I found you while googling images of one of my orchids yet to bloom for me.

One of my passions is pottery, mostly custom tiles, I have a complete studio on my basement.  I studied pottery for two years in Canada then bought piece by piece  of equipment for my retirement.

Arizona is a constant state of mind.  It was a dream to go in 01, 05, and I just booked a hiking trip for  spring 2013.  I would live in Arizona if given half a chance.

Both my children are married and live in western Pennsylvania and western Virginia.

I read mostly biographies and some mysteries.  Cooking and authentic ethnic cooking are always fun and interesting.

I am trying to get into weaving on a floor loom that was given to me, lessons are very hard to find and transport to.

I live in Michigan on and island off the Upper Peninsula.  It is remote and a challenge for this ex-Chicagoan.

Orchids are more than a challenge I used to summer them outside, but prefer to avoid the bugs.  I raise them in a grow room in my basement.  While the orchids are there the houseplants are kept away to quarantine them somewhat.

This is a great site filled with news and laughter, been to the pet pages already.

drdawg
drdawg's picture

Welcome, Vivienne.  You have indeed found a wonderful site for all those interested in orchids, but other plants as well.  We all appear to enjoy the chats, not only about plants but things that affect our lives.  I hope you will post often.  I live in the deep south, with completely different growing conditions as you would have.  It was a frigid 31F here this morning (I guess a SURE sign of global warming), and we in Mississippi are predicted to get an early and colder than normal winter.

I grow all kinds of tropical plants, but orchids, particuarly the Cattleya Alliance orchids, are my main interest and what I know the most about.  Ken

P.S.  What keeps you in the frigid north?

Dan796
Dan796's picture

Hi Vivienne,

You are so lucky to have a floor loom!  That's something I've wanted to get into for over 30 years! I once found a book on "how to build an Oragon Loom" But, could never find the next book in sequence on how to set it all up, and use it! So, I never got to build one.

I went to a county fair when I was just a lad, and watched the weavers for hours working there. It fastinated me to watch!
In fact, I was so interested in it, a weaver insisted on teaching me how to weave, I remember that the owner of the loom was so very kind, and patient to teach me how to weave.And while I was sitting at the loom weaving (or trying to) learn what to do, Someone plopped a strawhat on my head while I was weaving and took my picture through the warp threads. The picture of me weaving ended up in a professional photography contest in a local art gallery, and won first prize! It was called "Determination of a Country Weaver" and sold for $5,000 back in the summer of 1980. Needless to say, I was hooked on weaving back then. Too bad I never got the chance to follow it through.

Thanks you for sharing Vivienne!

What a great memory that I had completely forgotten until you mentioned weaving on a loom. I'd love to see pictures of your weaving! I hope you'll share some with us sometime?

Dan from the mountains of West Virginia!

kathy
kathy's picture

A wonderful story Dan! I hope you get to weave sometime sooner than later. We have lots of weavers, knitters, and crocheters in my neck of the woods. I used to be a professional artist for many years and worked as a head decorator of custom tile murals.

Western Massachusetts, USA

kathy
kathy's picture

A wonderful story Dan! I hope you get to weave sometime sooner than later. We have lots of weavers, knitters, and crocheters in my neck of the woods. I used to be a professional artist for many years and worked as a head decorator of custom tile murals.

Western Massachusetts, USA

Dan796
Dan796's picture

Thanks Kathy,

I hope someday, someone can provide me the info. on how to build, setup, and weave on an Oragon loom.

Artistic qualties run in my family, my sister is a painter.

My brother, a carpenter, wood worker.

Me?, I was always good at making a mess! LOL But, I try!

 

Dan from the mountains of West Virginia!

kathy
kathy's picture

Good question, drdawg. But I actually lived in AZ for 2 years and couldn't wait to get home to New England!  Incomprehensible to those who don't feel that way.

So nice to meet you Vivienne! We have a few things in common. Grown kids, one who is getting a doctorate at Northwestern and lives in Roger's Park. I  also like biographies and worked for 15 years as an artist (head decorator) painting custom tile murals! Now I work as a speech language pathologist for a school and in private practice. Can't retire!

But I can grow orchids no matter what!

What kind of orchids do you grow? Are you a gardener as well?

Western Massachusetts, USA

drdawg
drdawg's picture

"Home" is usually where the heart is.  Every location has its pluses and minuses, but when it comes to "home", we can live with the minuses a little bit easier. 

kathy
kathy's picture

Well said!

Western Massachusetts, USA

Vivienne
Vivienne's picture

Thank you Ken and Kathy  I will probably ask a lot of questions and wonder about comparisons as far as my having some of the same orchids as others.

Ken you might be unhappy to know that Mississippi was a few degrees more cold that the frigid north this morning.  Global warming indeed.

Here is my grow list cut and pasted.  As I said before been at this since 07 or 08, and have none of my original orchids.  I summered them outside for several years and they got all kind of wee beasties.  I fought the bugs and fungus for a while.  One by one they got tossed with bugs.  The bug killer was not good enough.

Yes Kathy tiles are more fun than people realize.

Orchids Grow List 2012

Milt. Breathless “Florence”  Berries & Cream Milt. Avranches “Bullseye x Milt. Anne Port “Pink Satin Doll”  2 plants

Milt. Rubenesque “Karismic Kay”C

Dtps. Lianher Happy Dancer

Dtps. Kitty Face

Dtps. Taida Sai.  (tag faded)

Paph. Prince Edward of York (sanderianum x rothchildianum)

Brassanthe Sunny Delight “Maj”  

Den. Discolor

Den. Spectibile

Dendrobium Aussie Chip.(this bloomed and I did not take a picture)

Maxillaria tenuifolia

Epi stamfordianum “Belize” x Epi. Stamfordianum “#1”

Phal. Noid  (this orchid was a reliable bloomer until 18 months ago when it grew a keikei, now mother and keikei both have spikes.  The keikei has bloomed for me once.  Maybe this plant is older than I remember)

Banfieldara Gilded Tower “Mystic Maze” 2 plants and my avatar

Alcra. Hilo Ablaze “Hilo Gold”  HCC/AOS  (this orchid bloomed much unlike it showed in catalog)

Bras. Rising Star “Orchid Man”  AM/AOS

Lc Chicora “Newberry” x Lc. Mini Purple “tamami” 4N

Onc. Papillo x Oncidium papillo (this bugger will not bloom for me !)

Onc Twinkle “Red Fantasy”

Rlc. Samantha Duncan “Red Hot”

Vaughara Golden Spice “Red Peppers”

Encyclia lowllei (Brazil)

Rth. Roys Magic (Burana Beauty x C. Tokyo Magic)

Pot. Memoria Shirley Moore “Newberry”

Tolumnia Golden Sunset “Red”

Catt. Rajahs Ruby “Sweetheart”

Catt. noid

Catt. noid

Blc Greenwich “Elmnurst” AM/AOS

Epiarthron Kevin Mark Ragbir cau. Bicomutum x Epi. Stamfordianum v. albus

Epicattleya Rene Marques “Tyler”

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