Give your home a touch of truly exotic beauty with some of the dozens of orchids on offer in our garden centre in South Ockendon. They're easier to grow than you'd think, especially the Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids, and come in a dazzling array of colours: everything from white to palest yellow to magenta.
Their habit of absorbing moisture and nutrients from the air – in the wild they grow halfway up trees, with no soil at all – means you don't have to stick to containers on the windowsill to display them. In fact, it's far better for them if you create a backdrop that's as close to what they'd find in their native rainforests as you can. Here are a few suggestions:
- Mounted on wood: imitate their natural habitat in a tree by picking a piece of driftwood or interesting branch with rough bark and a v-shaped nook. Tuck some moss in the nook, then mount your orchid snugly on top and tie it on gently with string or finishing line. Eventually they'll hold on by themselves, using their aerial roots: at this point, you can cut the ties and leave them to scramble over their supports naturally.
Hanging baskets: traditional orchid baskets are made out of wooden slats, but you can use any type of basket from our garden centre. Fill the basket about three-quarter full with coarse bark, then place the orchid on top and hold it in place with more bark. Thread the roots gently through the holes in the sides, taking care not to break them, so they can start to grow around the basket by themselves.
- In vertical planting displays: orchids adore the conditions found on walls and look sensational as a vibrant touch of exotica among ferns, ivies, heucheras and tradescantias. Fill planting pockets with bark instead of soil, and plant the orchids in ribbons of colour through the greenery. You'll find vertical planting systems available in our garden centre to create your own living work of art.
Please ask the staff in our South Ockendon garden centre for more information and advice about different ways to display your orchids.