Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Early Doors

7 Comments

We were down in London last weekend. We took some time out to visit Kew  Botanical Gardens, it was three days after my annual pass expired. Sigh.

As we renewed the pass one of the staff commented ‘You’ll need that, you’ll be wanting to come to the orchid festival’

Yes, I thought, that’s why we’re here today. 

It starts tomorrow’ she continued. I was crest fallen, I’d really been looking forward to seeing it, I’ve often managed to ‘just miss’ finding out about  exhibitions, I’d never managed to arrive before one started before! I really should pay more attention…

And whilst the staff were in the throws of the final ‘set dressing’ of the displays, we could still access the glass houses, so all was not lost.

Kew orchid 9

a floating wheelbarrow, how cool is that. Some of the displays certainly took me back to my days worked as a florist (this one reminded me of a funeral tribute we made for a traveller family, it was so big that after we’d finished it we realised we couldn’t get it up the stairs from the basement workroom!)

Kew 13

The scent of this stephanotis, was a flash back to the 1970’s and many hours spent  as a junior  florist wiring the individual florets to be used in bridal bouquets

Kew orchid 8

And there were delicately strung dried helichrysum blooms, waiting to be artistically draped, what a labour of love.

Kew 16

But enough of them, we’re here for the orchids

Kew orchid 6

we were not disappointed,

Kew 15

they were everywhere even strung from the roof.

Kew orchid 4

Another floristry flash back, cymbidium orchids, the ‘go to’ flower for the mother of the bride in the 1980’s, not one bloom but two, as my colleague used to say, ‘that’s not a corsage its a ‘bustenklamper’.

Kew 14

I think this slipper orchid was my favourite

Kew 10

Or was it this one? I like growing orchids, it always seems like I’ve achieved something clever when they flower, although it’s not magic on my part,

Kew orchid 7

I do tend to guild the lily a little sometimes. But the greatest orchid thrill was the wild orchid that randomly, just popped up in the lawn a few years ago,  sadly it’s never made another appearance.

We may have missed out a little on the final flourishes of the festival, but that really didn’t matter.

* Early doors

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Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “Early Doors

  1. What a combination of bad and good luck. I am rather ambivalent about orchids but you have made them look wonderful.

  2. Thank you. Your visit to Kew is perfect on this snowy day in New England.

  3. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I have to say that I’m not an orchid fan. xx

  4. First: Kew Gardens? I’ve heard of them for years, but clearly haven’t appreciated just how marvelous they are. I love wildflowers, but clearly a visit to a botanical garden has its own delights. We surely must have one around here. I’ll have to pay attention. 🙂

    I went to the linked page about your wild orchid. On my trip into Arkansas, finding a ladies’ tresses was a highlight of the trip. I did wonder if a couple of things might be related. You mentioned that you had no idea how the orchid got there, and then you also mentioned that you’d had workers — big men in boots — around for quite some time. Is it possible, I wondered, that those men were the ones who brought in the orchid? When we go onto some of the native prairies around here, we’re cautioned never to drive into them, because of seeds carried by the tires of cars and trucks, and never to wear shoes or boots that haven’t been well-cleaned — because of the possibility of introducing different species into the prairie.

    Maybe yes, maybe no — but it’s at least one possibility for how you got your orchid.

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