I can’t believe its taken three posts just to cover day one of the Garden Blogger’s Fling. You’re in luck, though, because my camera ran out of batteries halfway through the second day, and I didn’t have a backup. Beginner’s mistake, I know.
The culmination of our first day garden-hopping was dinner at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, a place that is definitely more my speed. Orchids, pitcher plants – throw in some cocktails and tapas and I’m in heaven.
The docent told us the blooms on this orchid never opens more this – inside, the sexual organs mimic the behind of a certain kind of female beetle, tricking males into pollinating it. I didn’t catch the name of it, and I couldn’t find any information about beetle-pollinated orchids once I got home, so any help identifying it would be welcomed.
What I believe is a Dracula carderi. This genus of orchids was in full bloom during our visit.
An unidentified purple orchid and the fantastic Strophanthus preusii, often called “spider tresses”.
Words don’t really do justice to the greatness of the San Francisco Flower Conservatory – you could spend hours spotting hundreds of hidden gems, and no visit is ever the same (this is my second). Every square inch is occupied by horticultural treasures. Take, for example, this Huernia zebrina, hanging high up in the rafters.
And speaking of hanging, don’t even get me started on the Nepenthes up in here! I was beside myself. Above left is a Nepenthes bicalcarata, baring its striking fangs, and, right, what I believe is a Nepenthes mirabilis? The other two are unknown to me.
Check out this variegated Nepenthes. Could I be any more in love? Could I use any more italics? It’s almost too good to be true – one of my favorite plants in my absolute favorite pattern. A variegated Nepenthes is definitely at the top of my wish list.
In addition to all this, the conservatory’s popular Butterflies & Blooms exhibit was going on during our visit.
Monarch chrysalides in the nursery. Look at their stunning gold markings.
What I believe is a common cabbage butterfly.
Dinner was held in a large event hall behind the conservatory, and it was amazing. I can’t say enough about the great job the Fling organizers (Kelly of Floradora Gardens and Andrea of Grow Where You’re Planted) did. After a 14-hour first day, though, it sure felt great to get back to the hotel and curl up in those crisp white sheets.
Photos © Delen Kitchen