Saying Happy Father’s Day with a bunch of wild orchids

Bee Orchid with fathers day greeting

One of the primary motivations for embarking on this blog was as a Father’s Day gift last year, as a tool for communicating how things were going with the new bees, given that Dad was a major venture capitalist in the hive & honey project (a generous birthday gift). And given that he is interested in many aspects of nature, especially all things botanical – being a fabulous plantsman blessed with truly green fingers.

On safari in the garden, a few days ago, I came across this beauty, the Bee Orchid, which ties the two themes of bees and botany rather neatly together. It was a moment of pure serendipity, discovering such a beautiful flower, just metres from the house. I counted nine such stems in all.

Bee orchid (Ophyrys apifera)

Bee orchid (Ophyrys apifera)

As if that wasn’t enough, a few minutes further into the safari, my eye was drawn to this rather tangled bloom…

Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)

Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)

It’s a lizard orchid and the petals unfurl from the bottom of the stem to the top, and the largest specimen, over by the hen house,  is over a metre tall (a record 115 centimeters to be exact – I’ve just had to update Wikipedia!)

Wild Lizard Orchid, with furled petals

I was now on a roll, and soon spotted a third wild orchid -a pyramid orchid. There is a veritable patch of them, and they have superceded the grape hyacinth – at first glance I took them to be close cousins.

Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)

Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)

And finally, this single Tongue Orchid, discovered a few weeks ago is still going strong, despite the threat from the lawn mower.

Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua)

Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad – I can’t claim to have spent many an hour nurturing these beauties in a greenhouse or on a window sill, but I do hope that you like this bunch of wildflowers, free in many senses of the word.

Born Free

Born Free


One thought on “Saying Happy Father’s Day with a bunch of wild orchids

  1. What a lovely gift! The photos are beautiful. It must be lovely to have all those beautiful orchids in the garden. I’d love to see the lizard orchid but I am not sure it is so common in my immediate vicinity.

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