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Newsletter - May 23rd 2017

Hi Everyone

Orchid Workshops Rescheduled!

One of my friends contacted me recently to say that he had visited the site where I run my orchid workshops and was staggered by just how few orchids were out. Also he did not see a single broomrape and that the ground was rock hard. Clearly evidence of the lack of rain we have experienced so far this year. So I have rescheduled the Group Workshop to now take place on Wednesday 14 June.

On a brighter note (should that be wetter?) I don’t think it has actually stopped raining since so I am confident we will have a good show in June. All the 1-1 clients have been notified and new dates arranged. However some of the original group participants now cannot make this new date so there are places available on a first come first served basis.

As an aside I visited another chalk Downland orchid site yesterday, this time in Surrey and it is one that I first visited probably 20 years ago. My quarry was the weird and wonderful Bird’s-nest Orchid which grows there. It is a unique, fascinating orchid because it lacks chlorophyll and grows entirely on nutrients provided by underground fungi. Consequently this orchid does not need light to photosynthesise and actually prefers the deep shade provided by the beech and conifer woodland it inhabits.

In constant rain I searched the area for probably 30 minutes by which time I was completely soaked to the skin and just about to give up when I finally spotted the first orchid. From there I went on to find as many as 30 plants in various stages of growth as you can see from this fabulous group below.

Birds_Nest_Orchids

Bird’s –nest Orchids

The woodland terrain is on the North Downs close to Dorking and is dense and very steep so not easy going. If you have a heart condition this site is definitely not for you. This is not a location I can easily direct you to and I cannot really run a five hour workshop there just on the one species.

However if you would really like to go there for these unique orchids I would be prepared to meet you at a mutually convenient spot and take you there for a small fee of £50 to cover my fuel costs and time.

Best wishes George

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George on the Salmon Glacier in Alaska

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