Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eastern Districts Orchid Society Show - Cattleyas | Part 1

Hey Everyone,
I have spent the most wonderful two days with the members of Eastern Districts Orchid Society (EDOS), of which I'm also a member.  Last night was the set-up for our 47th Annual Autumn Show, and today was the first day, and tomorrow the last.  I bought some wonderful plants, and there have been plenty of anecdotes, but they shall have to wait, because for now, I think I'll just upload some of the Cattleya place-getters, and then pop off to bed, so I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the show tomorrow.

Cattleya Alliance Hybrid Exhibition Type - Any Other Colour

First Prize: Blc. Alma Kee 'Tipmalee'
Second Prize: Rhynchosophrocattleya Glenn Maidment 'Southern Cross'
Third Prize: Brassolaeliocattleya Mount Isa 'Jean'

Cattleya Alliance Hybrid Exhibition Miniature Type - max bloom 60mm

First Prize: Rhyncattleanthe Free Spirit x Rhyncholaeliocattleya Serene Beau
Second Prize: Sophrolaeliocattleya Precious Kate 'H & R'

Third Prize: Potinara Burana Angel 'Hsinying'

Cattleya Alliance Hybrid Exhibition Type - Predominantly Mauve/Pink/Purple

First Prize: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Burdekin Girl 'Louisa'

Second Prize: Brassolaeliocattleya Glenn Maidment x Brassocattleya Donna Kimura

Third Prize: RhyncattleantheDal's Girl 'Aerial'

Cattleya Alliance Hybrid Exhibition Compact Type - Max Bloom 100mm

First Prize: Rhyncattleanthe CRB's Supreme
Second Prize: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Love Call x Rhyncholaeliocattleya Dal's Sunset
Third Prize: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Chunyeah 'Good Life No 1'

Well, the show is now over, I started this post on Saturday, and I've been so busy since, and it's not until now (Tuesday) that I've been able to finish part one.

There's been some hectic plant related things going on lately, and it's been an absolute hoot.  But more on that soon... I promise,

Happy Gardening,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Poultry Parade

Hey Everyone,
Well, it's late at night, the whole world seems to be sleeping, and whilst I sit here in my armchair in my bedroom, with my warm cup of tea, listening to the rain softly coming down; knowing that it is watering in the Bearded Iris that I divided yesterday, and soaking the mulch that I laid earlier this week, and this afternoon, my mine has turned to our 7 glorious ducks.

We have always had ducks, namely Mammoth Muscovies.  The main one that we all think about was a lovely duck by the name of Ernie, and she died at the ripe ol' age of 14, and it was devastating.  She was a lovely duck whom we all loved dearly, and who had, on several occasions, been caught red-handed, rolling eggs across from the hens nest, across the chook pen, and into her nest in there corner, to then hatch out chickens 3 weeks later.  She was a lovely mother, but it was a bit scary when she tried to teach the chickens how to swim, LOL.

Anyways, now out of the Muscovies we only have a Drake, left, that my uncle gave to me a couple of years ago, because these two ducklings appeared in his backyard so he kept them while they were cute, and then when they reached the ugly stage he gave them to me :D, however sadly one night both Ernie and the other duck that came in the pair dissapeared, not a feather, or sign was left.

A couple of weeks back, it came to the surface that my mother was absolutely dotty about Indian Runner Ducks because they quacked with every step.  So in a few weeks, she had managed to convince herself to buy some, and then within a day or two she'd convince herself otherwise, and mum did this on several occasions.  So with a little bit of help from me, mum decided once and for all that yes, she would get some.  However, the only place we could find some half decent ones was way out Whoop-Whoop... I've just realised that, "way out Whoop-Whoop", as well as "beyond the black stump", and "out the back of Bourke" are all Aussie slang, so many of the overseas readers would highly likely not have a CLUE as to what I was talking about, so I guess it's at this point that I inform you that they're just Aussie slang for something that is AAAAAAGES AWAY, kind of like saying it's as far away as Timbuktu...  Aaaaanyways...

So one day after school, mum and dad picked me up, I hopped in the drivers seat and off we went, on a 3 hour drive to pick up some ducks.  When we got there... finaly... the man had a lovely garden, and it turned out that he'd been a teacher at the Agricultural college, and had taught horticulture and a bit about animal husbandry, which was pretty cool in my opinion.  Well, we were there to pick up 4 Indian Runner Ducks, but when he mentioned that he had a pair of another breed for sale as well, my ears instantly pricked up... and I fell madly in love, so after a bit of subtle coaxing, which mum saw coming from a mile off, we ended up getting the 4 Indian Runner Ducks, and a Pair of Buff Orpington Ducks, which I'm hoping to breed.

The scary thing was, the area had recieved a lot of rain in the recent weeks, and as such the pen had been turned to dirty, disgusting, poop-filled mud.  And Indian Runners are white, and Buff Orpingtons are gold/brown, as you can see in the photos, but they were so muddy that you couldn't tell the difference between the two breeds.  So after a bit of confusion, we got the correct number of the correct breeds, stuck them in some boxes and loaded them into the back of the car.... well, then the real adventure started...

The PONG coming from the back was HORRENDOUS!  We had all the windows down, and the smell was still strong enough to turn the stomachs of dad and I in the front, so I don't know how on earth mum survived in the back... after an hour or so she fell asleep, but now I'm wondering if she just passed out.  LOL

But when we did manage to survive the stinky 3 hour trip home, we unloaded the ducks, gave them a tub of water so they could have a bath, and boy oh boy did they come up a treat.  The stink dissapeared and we could appreciate them in all their glory.

Well, it's now midnight here, the rain is still slowly coming down, and I'm dozing off peacefully to the thoughts of the ducks, and the sound and smell of rain, so I think I'd best leave it there and get off to bed.

I tried looking for a photo of our muscovy drake, but after going through 13,465 photos, and not finding a photo I decided to give up, and I'll take a photo tomorrow.

So for now,
Happy Gardening, sweet dreams, and may you never pass out from the stench of a dirty duck ;),

p.s. we're trying to think of names for them all, so far we have Jemima and Ferdinand for two of the Indian Runners, but we're as of yet to think of satisfactory names for the others, so I'd love to hear any ideas

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

First came flora, now comes fauna ;)

"Pip-Squeek" one of my baby Lavender Belgian D'Uccles

Hey Everyone,

Sadly in February, a 12 foot long Carpet Python got into our chook pen and proceeded to kill a total of nine of our hens, over the span of a few nights.  Our chook pen is usually filled with a bunch of menopausal old broilers, all of which have their own names, whom we love dearly, and are allowed to live out their "Golden Years" just being chooks. So it was really sad when during the week I found three of them on different days that had died unexpectedly during the night.  When I found the first two I thought it had just been a coincidence, and that they had died of old age, however when I found the third, I got worried.

The night after I found the third hen I took my sister down to the chook pen to show her my new rooster that my neighbours had given me.  But when we walked into the pen, with the little light on my iPhone we both pooped ourselves because hanging down from the rafters of the pen was 3 gigantic big coils, presumably part of a snake.  So we both bolted up to the house to get mum, who would know what to do.

Long story short.

We came back down, snake was gone.

Later that night (10:30pm) I was in the house and all of a sudden the chooks started squaking loudly so I race down to the pen, grabbed mum en route, to find my favourite hen being hung from the roof in the coils of a carpet python.... yeah, we weren't happy.

In the process of getting it out of the rafters and into the feed bin, we saw that the blighted had killed a total of six hens before we'd run down, mum got bitted, and the snake NEARLY got it's head chopped off with a shovel....

Once we got it in the bin, we chucked it in the ute and took it for a drive down the road to the nature reserve.  The next day dad and I fixed the chook pen up like fort knox, so now hopefully a snake/fox wont get in.

Understandably mum and I were really upset by this, so we have now proceeded to go a tad crazy, and have bought quite a few more chooks since then, including Belgian D'Uccles (Mine), Pekin Bantams (Mums), Hatched and bought roughly 22 Quail chicks, 4 Indian Runner Ducks (Mums), and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks (Mine).  Most of which come in all different colours.

While I'm on holidays I'm going to try and get a nice photo of each of the chooks, so that I can post them up on here to show you my babies, and also so that I can show my other friends.

But I guess for now, I'll just have to show you the photos that I've already got, and I'll go into detail more about each of the chooks, and their stories in other posts because this one is starting to get a bit long, and I've got to go to bed because I've been gardening all day today, and have work tomorrow.

Some of Mum's Pekin Bantams
My Blue/Gold Mottle Belgian D'Uccle pair
One of Mum's Silver Laced Wyandottes
Well, I'm off to bed, and until next time,
Happy Gardening,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Eastern Districts Orchid Society Meeting - March 2013

Doritis pulcherrima var champorensis
Hey Everyone,

yeah yeah I know, Long time no speak... no surprise there... I'm going to just give up saying that, and just write what I do, when I can :D.

Life gets amazingly busy sometimes, aint it a fickle thing, LOL

Well, I attended my wonderful societies March Meeting last week and as per usual it didn't fail to please.

There was an impressive number of plants considering it was the Easter long weekend and a lot of people would have gone away, and of course with the Brisbane Orchid Society Autumn Show set up being on the same night as well.

But, it'll definitely be our time to shine this weekend when we hold our annual Autumn Show.  It's amazing, and it's always good fun, with plenty of plants for sale, and on display.  Fingers Crossed, I might even win a prize :D

Well, on with the photos :D

Miltassia Supreme
Ascocenda Ken Kone
Doritis pulcherrima var champorensis
Oncidium Butterfly Papilio x sanderae
Paphiopedilum gigantifolium x praestans
Paphiopedilum Maudiae Dawn x Red Maud
Paphiopedilum primulinum x roebelinii
Paphiopedilum Mary Franz Smith
Paphiopedilum Mary Franz Smith
Paphiopedilum Snow Squall
Phragmipedium Westmount
Phragmipedium Lynn Evans Goldner
Phragmipedium Green Hornet
Phragmipedium Green Hornet
This Bulbophyllum had a name on it, but I couldn't find it anywhere on the Royal Horticultural Societies database so for now it'll have to remain unknown to me

Dendrobium Albertine
Cymbidium canaliculatum
Cymbidium canaliculatum
Dendrobium Enobi Purple
Dendrobium Masako Taki
Dendrobium Salaya Candy
Dendrobium Salaya Candy
Dendrobium Sonia
Rhynchosophrocattleya Glenn Maidment
Brassoepilaelia Golden Spice
Vanda lamellata
Vanda lamellata
Bulbophyllum careyanum
Bulbophyllum grandiflorum
I know I've seen these before, and it's a species.... but I forgot to take a photo of the tag so I don't have the foggiest Idea of what it is :) LOL
Closeup of the above plant
Epidendrum porpax.  This thing had HEAPS of flowers, but I just loved the positioning of these comparative few... it most certainly out-shined mine on the night :D
Catasetum species (forgot to take a photo of the name tag)
Catasetum species (forgot to take a photo of the name tag)
Coelogyne species (forgot to take a photo of the tag)
Coelogyne species (forgot to take a photo of the tag)
Cattleya bowringiana
Bulbophyllum species (forgot to take a photo of the tag)
Bulbophyllum species (forgot to take a photo of the tag)
Paphiopedilum helenae
Phragmipedium longifolium
An interesting deformed Dendrobium in which the dorsal sepal and the two upper petals merged
Phramipedium Memoria Dick Clements X Phragmipedium richterii
Well, until next time,
Happy Gardening Everyone,