An almighty hail storm hit our district last November. Gardens were stripped bare. Huge river gums snapped - toppled. No leaf or flower left in the storm's wake. Except, bless 'em, our little Stonehenge circle of old bridge timbers where Vanda orchids flower in profusion.
It's a secluded part of the garden, right by a rainforest gully that a friend named The Lost Garden. We already had a Grevillea Hill, Pawpaw Island, and Lake Leaky. They are as they sound, but it's the Vandas behind the Orchid Igloo that radiate the real joy. Except in hailstorms.
By a stroke of luck the Vandas came to no harm in the tempest. Maybe tall timbers protected them. Or maybe, like bamboo, they can bend with the wind. In any event they budded up, bloomed profusely as never before. Quirky things orchids.
Vandas love growing on old fence posts and, given a spare tree trunk, they are away. Up! Up! Up! - the sky's the limit. Old disused bridge timbers on site gave us the clue. We concocted a kind of wooden Stonehenge, a circle of wooden uprights, where orchids cling close and radiate good vibrations. Even in inner-city Sydney we successfully grew Vanda coerulea on native Bangalow Palms. Blue coerulea Vandas appreciate warm days and cooler nights for plentiful blooms.
With garden space becoming an issue for city folk, the tendency is to breed smaller and smaller stock. Large inflated flowers on small compacted bodies is not my bag - a little like binding feet. Let Vandas run free I say. MaX