How to define a collection?

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

shakkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
0
I would be very interested in people sharing their opinions about defining a collection. The things that I have are just too varied and there doesn't seem to be 'a plan' - and I like to have a plan...:wink:

The two things I'm mulling over during the holidays (after New Year's seems like the best time to start things like this!) are 1) my overall collection - which is made up of Paphs & Phrags, Pleurothallids, Neofinetia, Dendrobiums, and an assortment of other odds and ends. Now, do I focus on maybe one or two of those, instead of all of them? 2) The thing that really started me thinking about this in the first place.... my Paphs. I've got quite a mixed lot, again, some of this type, some of that type, some species, many hybrids. Do I want to try to keep within on section, maybe two? Or is a 'postage stamp' collection something that is manageable and satisfying?

What do other people do? What strategies have you used? What would be a good 'plan'?

Thanks in advance for your help with this!
 
G

goldenrose

Guest
My plan is simple ... my collection is what I want it to be, as I think you will find others to be. Most of us have a variety of different genus & slippers.
Why limit yourself to one or two sections of paphs? Aren't we attracted to slippers because of the diversity of sections? If I can provide the right conditions anything is welcome in my GH!
 
E

Elena

Guest
I suppose use the word "collection" in it's most basic meaning - as in "a bunch of things" ;)

I grow what I like rather than, say, sticking to a theme. Plants cost money, take space and require us to spend time, effort and resources to look after so I see no point in having plants I'm not all that excited about. If I love it then I'll try growing it even if it might be just one plant out of the whole genus.

I do have some preferences, of course. For Paphs,for example, it's multis, brachys and selected parvis and insigne paphs. Plus pink and white complexes. For Catts, I'm a sucker for whites and blues. I have to be picky because of the limited space but other than that I don't like to restrain myself too much.
 

cnycharles

Peloric keiki
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
9,872
Reaction score
261
Location
elmer, nj
maybe if you thought of your collection as a group of plants that might have very similar watering requirements (and maybe potting materials), then you might have a more cohesive 'group'! some have many different types but most of them are fragrant, some grow mostly multiflorals, others grow by seasonal types. if you like the slippers the most, call yourself a slipper grower who likes to dabble in many others
 

shakkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the responses. Elena, I think you have hit on some of the reasons I'm thinking along these lines...

Plants cost money, take space and require us to spend time, effort and resources to look after

I would hope to use my 'plan' not only when considering new purchases, but also as a way to "weed out" some plants so that the space could be better used by something I love more. My trouble is, that I love them all, so unless I have some kind of criteria, I won't have any hope of deciding which ones I could live without and which ones I definitely must keep.
 

shakkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
0
You are right, and this is one of my problems at the moment... watering requirements (and potting materials) are quite varied, and after a while it becomes harder and harder to manage things and give each of the plants just what it is that they want. I'm hoping that simplifying things will help.

At the moment, the Paphs are all in the same type of mix (apart from some that have some extra moss to keep them a bit more moist), the Phrags are all in rockwool, the Neos are all in sphag moss mounds, the Dens are either mounted, in moss (the moniliforme) or chunky bark, about two dozen other plants are mounted - so there is quite a mix of repotting regimes and watering schedules.
 
E

Elena

Guest
Thanks for the responses. Elena, I think you have hit on some of the reasons I'm thinking along these lines...

I would hope to use my 'plan' not only when considering new purchases, but also as a way to "weed out" some plants so that the space could be better used by something I love more. My trouble is, that I love them all, so unless I have some kind of criteria, I won't have any hope of deciding which ones I could live without and which ones I definitely must keep.

That makes sense. I had to de-clutter a little earlier this year myself. The plants that went first were the plants that I wasn't that bothered about and they mostly consisted of the impulse buys I made as an over-excited newbie. Next I had to let go of the plants that weren't thriving in my conditions. Those were a bit harder because I really liked some of them but deep down I knew I wasn't going to do them justice.

Good luck with the 'weeding', sounds like it might be a toughie! Having said that, it IS easier to have a slightly smaller collection. The watering doesn't seem like such a daunting task any more so you get more enjoyment out of fewer but more carefully selected plants. And that way you can also offer a little more individual attention to the plants that might need it.
 
N

nikv

Guest
shakkai,

I'm probably more varied in my "collection" than you. I have collected what I like for twenty years now. Everything from Cattleyas, Laelias, Sophronitis, Lycaste, Stanhopea, Encyclia, Epidendrum, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Neofinetia, Ascocentrum, Promenea, and Schomburgkia. If anything, I probably have more plants from the Stanhopea and Schomburgkia genuses (geni?) than anything else. They are all what I like and they seem to do well for me in my greenhouse. Personally, I see no need to define my collection any other way. You may decide to specialize more into the areas that you like best. That is entirely up to you. But would you miss the plants that you sell or give away?

Best Regards,
Nik
 
B

biothanasis

Guest
Hello,

I love the definition Elena gave for "collection"!!!! I do what Rose mainly does, as far as the candidate species can grow in my conditions! Sometimes I try new things and adjust my growing conditions, but mostly (because of expenses, energy, badget) stay with the ones I have found that are doing best in my growing area! On the other hand, I like to elaborate my collection with new plants and from different genuses! I guess there is no need to limit oneself in specific genuses/species, unless this is what you need and like...:D
 

Yoyo_Jo

Catt's Meow
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,464
Reaction score
0
Location
Qualicum Beach, BC
...they mostly consisted of the impulse buys I made as an over-excited newbie...


Ha ha! Perfect! That describes me and my "collection" in a nutshell. And I'm good with that for now; I know down the road my tastes and buying habits will refine themselves. Until then, pretty much anything goes. :drool:
 

shakkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
0
I don't think I will ever specialise in just one genus - probably not even two. There is something to be said for variety - and it certainly helps to have some different things in bloom throughout the year.

I do find it a lot easier to think of things in groups, and lately, I've been feeling that some extra time and attention to my Paphs has been taking away time and attention from my Masdies, etc. I also think that the only way I am going to have the time and energy to make real improvements in my growing is by streamlining things some so that I can focus my attention more.
 

shakkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
0
Yes, I think Elena did word it perfectly! And I think that what she described is exactly what I need to do... impulse buys that really aren't as great as I imaged they would be, as well as some things that just aren't truly happy.

Thanks Elena!
 

swamprad

Memphis Orchid Society
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
1,084
Reaction score
15
Location
Memphis
I am like you, I like them all. A collection changes with time, as you refine your tastes and decide what you want to emphasize. Slippers are my emphasis, all types and sections, all paphs potted in (almost) the same mix and same types of pots (exceptions are the big multiflorals and a very few others). Everything else (about equal in number to my slippers) is either mounted or in semi-hydro. I have to make some compromises to be able to grow a diverse collection, water appropriately, and stay sane. There are many people who have an extremely diverse collection of many different genera, all growing happily in the same greenhouse (or living room). Others are different, as one friend of mine who has a large greenhouse with nothing but phals. He is totally uninterested in any other genus. So as time goes on, as you grow different things, you will figure out exactly what interests you the most and what you want your collection to become.
 
H

Hera

Guest
I'm at the point where I want to focus on what will grow well in my environment. There is so much to chose from and the expense for dabbling can be daunting. Its hard to resist when the spring shows come around, but this year my purchases are going to be more focused on certain genus.
 

SlipperFan

Addicted
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
43,287
Reaction score
36
Location
Michigan, USA
I call my collection "eclectic." Other than that, I collect "orchids."

The interesting thing is that I find my tastes, interests change and grow as time goes on and I become more aware of what is out there and what I can grow. 10 years ago, I never would have thought I'd be interested in species, or growing orchids on mounts. I liked pretty Phals and mini-Catts. But then I moved, started working at an orchid greenhouse after retiring from teaching. And now all of the forum members are partly to blame for my ever-expanding interests.
 

shakkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
0
Thanks everyone! Eric, I have my own little collection of 'tombstones' stuffed into a 4 inch pot- I don't know exactly why I feel compelled to keep them, but hopefully it represents a learning experience. I have only seldom tried growing again something that I killed once. Each one I have tried has been successful so far - so I must be learning something!

Dot, I think as my awareness grows - and you are right, forums really do speed this process up!! - I am finding that I don't just want 'a plant' of XXX... I want a really good plant of XXX. I also want to have the time available to do that good plant justice, which for now at least, mean limiting the number of orchids I grow.

Hera, Even limiting it only to those ones that will grow well in the environment I have leaves me with too many to choose from! I started off with Masdies as they were perfect windowsill plants for me and the conditions here seemed to suit them. From there is grew into Pleurothallids in general - and there are just WAY too many of them.... Throw in all of the other alliances I have represented and you can kinda get the idea of where I am at... Being more focused is a must, I think.

Mark - I think my trouble is that anything and everything CAN interest me... Even things that I really don't have a particular interest in can be fascinating and desirous in the right circumstances. Three to four years ago, I had no interest in Paphs whatsoever. I was happy with my Masdies and other Pleuros. However, repeated exposure from going to open days at a nursery that specialises in Paphs changed all that. Now, Paphs and Phrags are between one-third and one-half of my collection. I must say, though, that it was the Phrags that got me first, and that is what led to the Paphs...
 

Rick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
12,765
Reaction score
8
Location
Leiper's Fork, TN
Thanks everyone! Eric, I have my own little collection of 'tombstones' stuffed into a 4 inch pot- I don't know exactly why I feel compelled to keep them, but hopefully it represents a learning experience. I have only seldom tried growing again something that I killed once. Each one I have tried has been successful so far - so I must be learning something!

Dot, I think as my awareness grows - and you are right, forums really do speed this process up!! - I am finding that I don't just want 'a plant' of XXX... I want a really good plant of XXX. I also want to have the time available to do that good plant justice, which for now at least, mean limiting the number of orchids I grow.

Hera, Even limiting it only to those ones that will grow well in the environment I have leaves me with too many to choose from! I started off with Masdies as they were perfect windowsill plants for me and the conditions here seemed to suit them. From there is grew into Pleurothallids in general - and there are just WAY too many of them.... Throw in all of the other alliances I have represented and you can kinda get the idea of where I am at... Being more focused is a must, I think.

Mark - I think my trouble is that anything and everything CAN interest me... Even things that I really don't have a particular interest in can be fascinating and desirous in the right circumstances. Three to four years ago, I had no interest in Paphs whatsoever. I was happy with my Masdies and other Pleuros. However, repeated exposure from going to open days at a nursery that specialises in Paphs changed all that. Now, Paphs and Phrags are between one-third and one-half of my collection. I must say, though, that it was the Phrags that got me first, and that is what led to the Paphs...

My "collection" criteria is a bit different in that I am trying to speciallize in slipper species (but often I get carried away with other things like Bulbo and Phal species). So I try lots of different culture practices, and looking for special niches in my GH to do well with as many paph and phrag species as I can manage without going broke, insane, or guilty from loosing them. Eventually I will settle down, and quit trying to fit round species pegs into square culture holes (like I did for Draculas), and just focus on what grows best for me. But right now the learning challenge is keeping me motivated on the stuff that is tough for me to grow.
 
E

Elena

Guest
Hera, Even limiting it only to those ones that will grow well in the environment I have leaves me with too many to choose from! I started off with Masdies as they were perfect windowsill plants for me and the conditions here seemed to suit them. From there is grew into Pleurothallids in general - and there are just WAY too many of them.... Throw in all of the other alliances I have represented and you can kinda get the idea of where I am at... Being more focused is a must, I think.

Mark - I think my trouble is that anything and everything CAN interest me... Even things that I really don't have a particular interest in can be fascinating and desirous in the right circumstances. Three to four years ago, I had no interest in Paphs whatsoever. I was happy with my Masdies and other Pleuros. However, repeated exposure from going to open days at a nursery that specialises in Paphs changed all that. Now, Paphs and Phrags are between one-third and one-half of my collection. I must say, though, that it was the Phrags that got me first, and that is what led to the Paphs...

Maybe one day you could share your Masdevallia growing secrets. My Masdie was one of the plants that had to go as a non-thriver :sob:
 
Top