Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peninsula Orchid Society Show

This weekend was my first time attending the enjoyable Peninsula Orchid Society's Show. The showroom perimeter was full with vendor, society and individual exhibits, of which only two exhibits are shown below, while the center tables were filled with individual society member's orchids.

Exhibit by Peninsula Orchid Society members, I believe.

Cymbidium Green Sour (Katydid x Lunagrad) specimen plant, exhibit upper right, which received several show ribbons and trophies, as well as an AOS award.

Cym. Vallambrosa (Doris x tracyanum) 'Stirling', exhibit upper left.

Cymbidium Cranberry Velvet (Nancy Hatsuko Ikeda x Ruby Eyes) 'Gidget', exhibit lower center

Cymbidium Betty Court (Canterbury x devonianum) 'Gloria Bygdnes', exhibit lower left

Exhibit by Weegie Caughlan

Hazel Faye 'Cinnabar', HCC/AOS, exhibit upper right

Kirby Lesh 'Cinnabar' S/CSA, AM/AOS, exhibit upper left

Peter Dawson 'Grenadier' (Lunagrad x Solana Beach) G/CSA, AM/AOS, FCC/NZOS, exhibit upper center

Strathdon 'Cooksbridge Fantasy' B/CSA, AM/AOS, exhibit lower left

Below are three beautiful examples of orchids exhibited by Tom Perlite of Golden Gate Orchids. The Masdevalias are siblings of O'Brien's Passion: 'Ablaze' in red was awarded an AM/AOS, and 'Golden Sunset' in orange. I'm mighty tempted to buy one of these....

Here is the wonderful Oda. (Fort Point x Picotee). Wow-factor, indeed! 
Can you imagine how stunning a Cymbidium with such a bold and colorful picotee would be?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Climate

Growing Cymbidiums back in the DC region had its challenges. The summer nights were hot and humid. The winter lows were too cold, necessitating protection either in a heated greenhouse or being brought inside the house and kept under lights. Below is a graph of the 2012 temperatures from a weather station closest to my previous home. Heat- and warmth-tolerant Cymbidiums grew well outside for most of the year; whereas, the cool-growing Cyms melted in the summer heat.

Now that I'm back in San Francisco, one would think it will be much easier to grow the Cyms. However, San Francisco has a multitude--by some reports over seventeen-- of different microclimates, illustrated below.

My simple goal for the Cyms since their move is to just survive and produce new growths. Most are complying, but I think I've lost two or three plants. For myself, the goal is to learn about my new microclimate and its changes throughout the year. Below is an equivalent graph of the 2012 temperatures per the weather station closest to my present locale. You can see that the temperatures are fairly even throughout the year. Given that my local temps infrequently go above 70F, I no longer have a strong need for heat-tolerant Cymbidiums, and I'll be curious if my existing heat- and warmth-tolerant Cyms will flower for me in their new environment.

I think the more challenging variable is managing light levels due to the abundance of fog. The graph below illustrates how much light levels change from day-to-day. If I lived in one of the sunnier microclimates just east of my home, the April thru August daily light levels would average about 2000 to 3000(!) watts/m2 higher. The peak above 8000 watt/m2 in early June represents a sunny day, and indicates just how much light I'm losing to the fog the rest of the summer season.

Below is a graph of light readings on a sunny day: a nice smooth curve. Such a rare occurrence here.

Below is a graph of light readings on a foggy day. You can see how variable the light levels can be throughout a single day.

Here is another example of a foggy day, with the fog burning off late morning, but yielding a foggy afternoon variably interrupted with sunshine.

Here the fog burned off late morning and yielded a relatively sunny afternoon.

It is going to be a challenge to provide adequate shading for the Cyms when they are exposed to direct sun but also allow for sufficient lighting when under fog. There are already some sun-burnt leaves here and there while I find the right balance of shading and the plants acclimate to their new environment.