The last of the flowers has fallen from Manager's Special, the insane orchid bought on a whim from Mr Sainsburys. Quite unlike any other orchid I had ever seen, it had profuse masses of butterflyish blooms on short stems all the way up fleshy stems which seemed crazily top-heavy (I secured them quickly on short canes). To the library! Orchid books seem to concentrate on a very specific type of photography where the bloom is shown in precise detail against a black or white background, with all other details of the plant suppressed. But a picture of potted cuttings marked "Yamamoto-type Dendrobiums" looked about right, which are cane orchids (Dendrobium Nobile) with a profusion of flowers. I celebrated my success by buying some orchid food and overwatering it, in the traditional way. Sadly, it's in a dark place, in the kitchen, so I'm not sure it will last. But the best orchid spot in the house is already taken by Seasonal Clearance (a bulletproof bright pink Phalaenopsis) and the terrarium already contains Checkout Offer (a miniature moth) and Christmas Special (a heady-scented red orchid, no idea what species, maybe a miltonia?) is on the kitchen windowsill currently deciding whether it will fall into a terminal post-flowering funk. Hope not, the scent was something special.
From top left: Manager's special in full bloom, Christmas Special in high scent phase, Seasonal Clearance at the end of a flowering cycle and a long-gone white phalaenopsis).