Rhs Wisley Orchid Exhibition

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 15th April 2011


Fortunately I heard on Classic FM that there was an Orchid Exhibition on until the end of April. So, on my way to my sister near Maidenhead, I took a slight detour to Wisley. And what a reward – the Orchids were in the Glasshouse. Having not been to Wisley for years, I was most impressed with the Glasshouse which I think was erected in 2007.

Most of the daffodils etc. were over so there was nothing to stop me heading straight for the Orchids. One small room off the main area was devoted to three display triangles in which were shown single Orchid plants against Black Backdrops – perfect for photography (apart from the halogen lamps lighting the displays).

Then you wandered around the very large area –like a huge rockery - which was almost entirely given over to Orchids - large, small, trailing and ranging in colour from white through to almost black many growing from aged tree trunks.  I’ve never seen so many different species and didn’t have any idea so many existed.  Apparently there are 25,000 species worldwide.

I thought that orchids were parasitic but this is incorrect.  Although epiphytes are not parasitic on the trees on which they grow, all orchids are parasitic on the fungi that grow in their roots. If the right fungus first infects an orchid at the seed stage, the seedling orchid cells remove nutrients from the fungus to assist their growth, thereby parasitizing the fungus.

Two hours passes so quickly that I had no idea it was closing time.

The Exhibition is on till the end of the month so if you love Orchids and live anywhere near Wisley (just off the A3) then do make the effort – the exhibition will take your breath away.

(I must tell you that the cashier who took my entrance fee had given me change for £10 instead of £20 but I hadn't noticed.  She came looking for me to let me know I could collect the money when I left.  That really warmed the cockles of my heart.  In Perth at Christmas I found a very lovely bracelet in the loo at a shopping Mall.  On taking it to security, the woman behind the desk expressed surprise  - but I would not have dreamed of doing anything else.  I lost a bracelet in Canterbury which my son had given me - it was very precious because of that - and no one handed it in.)

This is just one of the beauties - I think it is a zygopetalum.  So busy taking photos and not having a notebook handy, I had to photograph the labels and hope I've married them up correctly.

Isn't she a beauty!


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