I’m like a child in a sweet shop
Not far from where I live, there is a cottage garden with a stunning view of the river Wye and an extraordinary collection of native orchids. The house was previously owned by an enthusiast, who populated his garden with gems normally only seen on reserves and involving long motorway journeys. I am lucky enough to have an introduction to the current owner, who has generously offered access and seed from anything I desire.
There are dozens of Early spider orchid (Ophrys sphegodes) which is normally only seen on the South coast. There is Man orchid (Orchis anthropophora) and Monkey orchid (Orchis simia), mostly found on reserves in the South East and rarely, possibly never found together, which makes the Man x Monkey hybrid extremely rare. Yes, I took along a cocktail stick and did some cross pollination using the Man as the pollen plant. I am hoping to get some seed of the extravagantly coloured Orchis x bergonii.
There are also Late spider orchids, Twayblade, Bee and Pyramidal, Southern marsh, Common spotted. There’s a White helleborine which had its top chewed off by a passing deer before anyone could protect it. A couple of Lizard orchids were just starting to unfurl their lizard tails. Somewhere here there are supposed to be Tongue orchids and Autumn lady’s tresses and a couple of European Bertolini’s bee orchids. I’m like a small child in a sweet shop. I hardly know which one to look at next or how to do so without treading on something else rare and precious. I will be back for more pictures and seed.
Perhaps there will be seed of the Man x Monkey, then I’ll have to work out how to grow it.