...an orchid blog
Orchids symbolize all that is exotic and bizarre in the natural world, and has done so pretty much since time began …or at least since we became obsessed with their sensuality and awesome eclectic weirdness. The boundary between stark madness and unbridled devotion in the orchid world is rather blurred, which makes life a bit more interesting.
Some background on me
I was born 1974 and I have liked orchids as long as I can remember even though I did not find the time to grow them until my final years in college, but I guess I have been a true enthusiast since 1998 or 1999 sometime. Moving back home to Sweden again after 15 years in Southern California and a short stint in Seattle I had to rebuild my collection from scratch and the passion quickly escalated to obsession, and once you get in this deep I am afraid there is no turning back. The big move back home took place in the summer of 2007. Because of the CITES laws I was able to import my 11-year-old cat without too much trouble, but I could not bring any of my orchids along. I simply had to start collecting all over again – admittedly much to my delight. It took a little adjusting; going from near constant light levels year-round and evenly warm temperatures to our cold dark climate. But it was nothing a little tenacity and good equipment couldn’t solve, and now I could finally grow some of the cooler growing genera I have admired for so long. I rigged up a fine growing room in what used to be called the guest room, but now I simply call it what it is. I have put up several shelves in the large turn of the century window to maximize the use of natural light in addition to the artificial lights. I have also converted a few old terrariums to create special micro climates for more demanding species. Two smaller intermediate vivariums and a huge one one for cool growers. It was actually a teen infatuation that opened my eyes to the orchids. It is almost a little embarrassing to admit, but apparently (according to some teen magazine back then) Morten Harket, the singer from the 80’s pop band A-ha, collected orchids. He was exciting, orchids sounded exciting… and the rest, as they say, is history. A bit more about me… I live in Gothenburg, the second largest city, on the west coast of Sweden. I also spend the summer out by the coast just north of the Gothenburg archipelago. I work as an art director in advertising so form and function comes natural, it also comes in very handy when growing orchids the way I do too. I was also the art director and editor in chief for the Swedish Orchid Society magazine “ORKIDÉER” from 2010 to 2013. A post which lead to many interesting meetings, virtual and not, and new orchid friends from all over the world. But aside from orchids I also enjoy good wine, photography, movies, electronic music and the company of my sweet Maine Coon kitty, Nova.
My favorite orchids
My favorite orchids I have not singled out one specific genus to focus on, like some growers do, but my absolute favorites are orchids of the Pleurothallid Alliance. I simply adore Masdevallia and Lepanthes for example, and I am constantly looking for more exciting species to add to the collection. That is exactly why I built a very ambitious cool vivarium to better accommodate them. My dream finally came true… a South American cloud forest in my inner city apartment in Sweden. However. I have to admit I am also a bit of a slipper-phile and neo-phile (in more ways than one) and a few other “philes” too, even though my Pleurothallid-enthusiast friends find this combination rather perplexing. A Paphiopedilum was the first orchid I ever fell in love with so this elegant genus will always remain close to my heart. And as far as I am concerned, nothing in the world smells nicer than Neofinetia so even though I don’t grow them specifically for the scent, it is a very nice bonus to an already intriguing orchid. But my focus is turning more and more towards intermediate and cool growers from Central and South America. blomma1Hope you enjoy my ramblings about orchids. Thanks for stopping by! //Karma
My name is Karma and I live in Gothenburg on the West Coast of Sweden. I work in advertising and I am a hobby photographer as well as a certified orchidophile. My heart beats primarily for slipper orchids and orchids of the Pleurothallid persuasion, but we don’t have an exclusive relationship... yet.
It is important to note that the writer of this blog is in Sweden and her process for growing orchids is that of growing orchids in Sweden. Indoor information might be useful and of course the images and descriptions are educational.