A tiny orchid obsession

doublethecuddles.wordpress.comDid you know that there are approximately 26,000 species of orchid on our Earth and approximately 50 of those can be found in the UK!?!  Those of you that know me will know that I am more than a little fond of orchids, a BSc, a traineeship and a MSc later and I know more than a little about them!

At University I did my dissertation on the effects of climate change on UK orchid populations, there started the tiny orchid obsession…

Following my degree I became the specialist orchid trainee for the RHS at Wisley gardens taking responsibility for care of the huge orchid collection, displaying the most spectacular in the glasshouses for public viewing and assisting the RHS committee.

One of my Wisley displays

One of my Wisley displays

doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.com doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comThe year at Wisley also enabled me to see mass production of orchids in Holland, breeding in Jersey and get involved with orchid research in the field…. my first experiences of orchids native to the UK.doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comWhile the blousy rare and travelled species found in the glasshouses at Wisley were both exciting and beautiful when I saw the Early Spider Orchid growing in the Sussex countryside for the first time I fell in love.  These tiny inconspicuous plants would be easily missed but when you get down close (something you do a lot of when you have to count every single one within an area for 3 days) they are utterly amazing!

My first love! The Early Spider Orchid

My first love! The Early Spider Orchid

Following my year I made it my mission to see as many as possible and later topped it all off with a MSc in Plant Conservation so I could continue my research started during my BSc.  12 years on from the start of this tiny orchid obsession and I am no less excited by them, no less eager to discover them each year as they appear during their short flowering season.

doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.com IMG_9262doublethecuddles.wordpress.comDSCN5206orchids 041We are coming to the end of the season, this year I have regretfully had less time to hunt for them but I have not done too badly.  Below are some photos of the beauties I have seen this year, I hope they inspire you to look a little closer at the tiny things below your feet and maybe start your own tiny orchid obsession…doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.com


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One thought on “A tiny orchid obsession

  1. Pingback: 30 Days Wild Day 27: Orchid spotting | double the cuddles

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