orchid – country living

Common spotted orchid and buttercup in meadowLast year, I bought an orchid from the last chance shelf at our local garden centre. I was optimistic. I bought a clear pot, orchid feed and soil. Everything to give it the best chance I could.

It died soon after, taking a formally thriving, neighbouring cyclamen with it. It seems that the orchid, was carrying tiny bugs, that spread to the other plant too.

I now have a bottle of unopened orchid feed and no plant

It turns out, and something you don’t read in the gardening manuals, I might have been better advised to drive a great big tractor over it several times, but I’m jumping ahead of myself as usual.

common spotted orchids spread out over the meadow

The orchid story

Let me set the scene. We have a beautiful meadow near us, with a public footpath going through it. It’s been left to its own devices for a number of years and flowers and wildlife have flourished. We spot deer and hare regularly, along with buzzards and pheasants.

This year, the new owners set to work on the encroaching brambles. It was a big job and they used tractors to clear the space. The field looked so much bigger by the time they finished. It also looked dug up by all the tractor wheels.

In one corner of the field, there is usually a big patch of the common spotted orchid. A beautiful and tiny plant that we look out for each year. It would be easy to miss them, if you didn’t look close. Unfortunately, this was also the area that the tractors used to make their three point turns. It was well and truly dug up. Poached, as they say around here. We wondered if the orchids would survive.

common spotted orchid in meadow

They did. In fact, they seem to have come back stronger. The movement of the soil may have actually helped them. I’ve not seen so many plants before in this spot. I love their delicate markings and am glad to see them back.


These photos were taken with my phone. IĀ  hope to take my camera back later, but I’m still wondering if my shop bought orchid might still be with me if I’d just reversed over it a few times, with my car. Or maybe the lawn mower.*

(*only joking!)

More information about spotting our native orchids.

8 thoughts on “orchid – country living

  • Thursday 1 July, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    That’s really interesting about the orchids in your field!

    I bought a margarita plant from Aldi earlier this year and at the beginning it really struggled but somehow it survived and now has lots of new growth. It can be a bit of a gamble buying a bargain plant but hopefully the next one you buy will surprise you šŸ™‚


    • Thursday 1 July, 2021 at 4:03 pm

      You’re right. I may be lucky with the next plant. In fact, the poor old cyclamen was also from the bargain aisle and thrived for several years, until the orchid finished it off. šŸ™

    • Saturday 10 July, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      Isn’t it just?

  • Monday 5 July, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Orchids really are beautiful flowers. It sounds like the tractor really has helped them in the field x

    • Saturday 10 July, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      I’m surprised it helped.

  • Monday 5 July, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    That orchid is so pretty. How amazing that it survived the three-point turns of the tractor. I’m sorry that your potted orchid wasn’t quite so hardy. The one on my windowsill is one of the few house plants I have managed to keep alive. #MMBC

    • Saturday 10 July, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      You’ll have to tell me your orchid secret. Although I suspect it will include not buying a bug ridden plant!

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