Sunday, 25 August 2013

Australian Native Orchid Society conference

I had reluctantly set yesterday aside to do the paperwork for my tax, but brother Tony called on Friday and said he was heading to the 7th Australian Native Orchid Society conference and orchid show at Strathpine, a northern Brisbane suburb, on a bus trip with his local orchid society and suggested we meet up . 

That sounded like a much nicer way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning, so I was only to happy to agree.  If you remember from my last post, Tony has a fabulous collection (click on Tony's garden to revisit), and his particular favourite is the King or Rock Orchid, Dendrobium speciosum. As soon as I entered the exhibition, I was blown away by the number of these cream through to yellow beauties. And there was so much more...

Here are just some of the wonderful orchids on display.

D. speciosum


I think this was  Dendrobium 'Colonial Bullion'


Love this gorgeous striped Dendrobium 'Julie Mitchell'

Dendrobium 'Kathy Gee...' (part of the name was obscured)

Den. 'Pacific Pride"

Den. 'Vivid' x speciosum

Den. 'Desert Rose'

Den. Helix x trilamelatum

Den. Burgundy Bride 'Melbourne' x delicatum 'Tracy'

As above

Den. (Burgundy Bride 'Dell' x Tie Dye) x speciosum var speciosum 'Windemere'

Den. Aussie's Sweetness x polysema

Den. canaliculatum

Thought this lovely orchid looked so much like a hellebore.

This terrestrial orchid is Ptst. Hoodwink

This tall Swamp Orchid Phaius australis was local to the area. (Tony snapped up a rare yellow version, but it won't be ready to flower for a couple of years.)

Love this colour combination so much. This was Den. Fraser's Lavender Curls.

Den. 'Angelline' x Rutherford Sunspot

 And my final five, not Australian natives, but stunning Zygopetalums available in the Sales section.

This was Cynosure, a rare blue.

My only purchases, despite overwhelming temptation, were a packet of plant tags and a marking pencil. (I know, I can hardly believe it either!) However, I didn't come away empty handed.  Tony bought me a lovely Dendrobium (speciosum, of course) as a very early birthday present. And on top of that, when I checked on my own at home in the poinciana tree, there are at least six or seven flower spikes.  I am going to have to think about moving it a little lower so that I can really enjoy it.




Sunday, 11 August 2013

Orchids and authors

'Head on down. The orchids are just about to peak.'

I'd phoned brother Tony to ask if a friend and I could stay overnight with him and the lovely Leanne and use their home outside Ballina as our base for visiting the fabulous Byron Writers' Festival last weekend; the orchids were a bonus.

We were a bit late leaving Brisbane on Saturday, so we went directly to the festival, but I got up early Sunday morning to give myself a quick tour of the garden, and especially those orchids.

Tony had already headed to the beach for a surf, so I didn't get the full run down on names, but generally speaking there were two main types in flower, the strappy-leafed Cymbidiums and the daintier-flowered Dendrobiums, including his 'speciality' the Australian native Dendrobium speciosum.

Cymbidium orchid

Orchids were everywhere.

A dendrobium orchid

Dendrobium speciosum

Dendrobium (not in flower) on the upper branch, and a cymbidium on the lower fork of a frangipani in the front garden.

D. speciosum in various stages of flowering in one of the orchid houses.

One of my favourite cymbidiums - I think I gave this one to Tony.

The dendrobiums are epiphytic and happily grow on tree (or palm) trunks or rocks.

More D. speciosum about to flower

Elsewhere in the garden, the always reliable bromeliads were in flower.

This bromeliad is Guzmania wittmarkii

Bromeliad Aechmea gamosepala is known as the matchstick plant.

Tony and Leanne's house was named 'The Magnolias' by its previous owners. Although sometimes these beauties get a bit lost in all the tropical growth, this is their time to shine.

Heliconia 'Red Christmas'

... and the festival itself?  We had a fabulous time in a beautiful setting at Belongil Beach, just outside Byron Bay.

Indonesian writer Ahmad Fuadi. His novel 'The Land of Five Towers' was my only purchase on the day, but I have added some other great books to my wish list and hope to get a chance to track them down and read them later in the year.

And just over the hill from the festival, we were able to take in a final dose of beauty before heading home to Brisbane.

Looking towards Byron with its famous lighthouse on the distant ridge just to the right of the couple on the beach

Julian Rocks with Belongil Creek in the foreground.

Belongil Creek


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