by Colleen Rochette
During the last weeks of summer, my heart has been tightly wrapped around two very specific things – Dendrobiums and miniature orchids. Rest assured, there was no dilly-dallying. I instantly fed my new-found love and an array of these gems bounced into my home.
The Dens have been gently hung and the minis have been nestled into their new aerial homes. While placing them, I began to reminisce. Yes, it was almost as if I was decorating a Holiday tree fashioned out of jungle foliage. These mounted miniatures were truly pocket-sized, they could hang just about anywhere. As I pawed through the hanging leaves and the swaying mounts, I felt as if I was searching for the perfect branch for that special, shiny ornament. I suppose Dendrobium peguanum is one of those special, shiny ornaments.
My chance encounter with this fairytale orchid was indeed ‘love at first sight.’ While surfing the interweb, I stumbled upon these striking photos of Dendrobium peguanum and managed to find the website where they originated from. The outrageously beautiful orchid pictured below belongs to Thomas Ditlevsen of Thomas orchids. He is a orchid grower and photographer in Sweden.
A full shot of Thomas’ Dendrobium peguanum and her multitude of blossoms.
And above, a close-up of her miniature flowers. The greyish-purple coloring throughout the clumps of petals in combination with the dry husks from her deciduous leaves make her feel antique, as if she was dusted with ashes from Mount Vesuvius. I sat in my chair for a moment, emotionally breathless. Then I wanted one…
…But then I found two. Orchids by Hausermann spread their angelic wings and delivered two of these beauties to my doorstep. This is only my second time ordering from this great Illinois greenhouse and I was so happy with the quality of the plants that were sent to me. Despite the fact that Orchids by Hausermann does not feature photos of the actual orchids on their website, I have grown to trust them. They always seem to have the odd-ball orchid that I cannot find anywhere else. Each of these little Dendrobium peguanum orchids came in 2.25″ pots and stand about 4″ tall. They are considered blooming size. At $12.99 apiece, I bought two. You can find them here: Orchids by Hausermann
Above, the bitty bambinos have just been untucked from their slim black pots. Only healthy, white and green roots smiled back at me, I did not have to trim away any dead strands.
After removing the pots and cleaning the bark bits from Dendrobium peguanums’ roots, I prepared a cork mount. The sister orchids will live here together. The cork is irregularly shaped and is approximately 4″ wide x 6″ long.
Quite a few green flower stakes have been floating around the studio, so one of the stragglers became the hook for this particular mount. I cut the cork down to size with a hand saw and drilled a hole through the top. After bending the stake, I used a small hole punch to make a hole in the tag so the tag could easily slip onto the stake. The stake was then curled inward with a pair of pliers to secure both the stake and the tag.
The final mount is pictured above. Both of my peguanum babies are loosely covered with New Zealand sphagnum moss and secured with 10lb fishing line.
As a side note, I do not put moss beneath an orchid’s roots. The orchids rest directly on the cork and the sphagnum is only placed on top of their roots. I feel as if the mount dries more consistently this way. Oh, and a little more information on Dendrobium peguanum can be found right here.