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Everything looks pretty healthy, although a couple of plants are coming up for re-potting. The only surprising thing (which can clearly be seen on the photo) is the fact that one of the ‘twins’ is still refusing to flower in spite of looking ok otherwise. I am sure it will start to flower again pretty soon however.

The original ‘Flare Spots’ on the left has a healthy flower spike which will soon be in bloom.

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Some flowers are starting to fade now, though there is still a mass of blooms.
The miniature phalaenopsis with the keiki now has a new flower spike along with its group of flowers. There are plenty of healthy green leaves on all of the plants too.
One of the ‘twin’ miniatures now has a well developed flower spike, whilst the other has as yet not shown any signs of flowering, however, this one is often later than the others.

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How time flies!
It is nearly the end of September and my phalaenopsis orchids are nearly all flowering again.

The only two not in flower are the ‘twins’ and they have not produced a flower spike as yet. You may remember that their flowers look like this in stereo.

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Twin miniatures.

Looking at the other flowers above:-
From top left the first is a faded flower on a plant which has just produced two new flower spikes, the second is one of these new flowers.
The next spike of flowers is on the single miniature, which has just started a new spike too.
Number four is on the oldest plant which is massive now and has a flower spike with three flowering branches.
Five and six are ‘Flare Spots’ and its ex-keiki, the flowers are more or less the same size on both.

During the resting period since June I have not changed the growth conditions whatsoever and spend the same half hour per week on all seven orchid plants.

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I have been growing phalaenopsis orchids for around ten years now and the one shown above is a mature plant of the variety ‘Flare Spots’.
This plant had a keiki (plantlet) which I removed and repotted and is now flowering itself.
I have seven orchid plants which flower almost continuously, though they are in a regeneration mode at the moment, and although many have flower spikes only three are in flower at the moment.
I thought it would be useful to go over my growth conditions once again for those who are new to my blog, and especially for beginners.
At the present time the orchids are grown in a shower room which gives it some humidity and also the preferred filtered light, provided by the obscured glass windows.
For most of the time I just enjoy the beauty of the plants but once a week I do my orchid care regime as follows:-
1. The day before I fill a plant waterer with rainwater from the butt, in order to let it equilibrate to room temperature.
2. On regime day I pour some rainwater through the orchid roots inside the pot to wash them.
3. I spray the aerial roots with more rainwater at room temperature. (Do not cut off the aerial roots).

4. I mix the remaining rainwater well (about 500 mls) with 8 drops of orchid food.
5. I give each of the orchids some of this liquid feed.
6. I feed the leaves with an orchid leaf spray.
7. Using secateurs (sterilised with boiling water) I cut off any dead leaves or dead stems.

This regime takes between 20 minutes and half and hour per week for seven plants and produces pretty good orchids.

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With this orchid blog it is and always has been my intention to prove to people that phalaenopsis orchid growing can be relatively straightforward, easy even – and need only take up 30 minutes of your valuable time each week.
All you need is a good supply of rainwater, a place to grow them out of direct sunlight, an orchid liquid feed and a foliar feed, (these both last for quite a long time), – the liquid feed is diluted eight drops in around 500 mls of rainwater each time.

Here we are in late July and although there are few flowers left, the foliage is exceptionally green and there are a total of seven flower spikes already appearing. In fact the only two plants not developing flowers as yet are the two miniature ‘twins’ which are busy producing new leaves at the moment. The ex keiki from the ‘flare-spots’ orchid for instance has two new spikes, as does the newest orchid which still has two mature flowers in addition.
I hope that this small blog will encourage some new growers to take part in what has proven to be for me, a very rewarding pastime.

Dave '71 copy

1971

It was back in the late fifties when I started to get interested in the bass. I then thought that the relatively new electric bass guitars were the answer for those musicians reluctant to cart around a full size double bass.
Little did I know how much other stuff was needed in order to create an acceptable bass sound. Electronics was my fathers profession in the RAF and he was very keen to try to build me a suitable amplifier. Unfortunately he was not so keen on the explosion of new music which had taken over the airwaves and had no idea about the kind of kit that I would need.
Eventually he came up with a small blue amplifier with a built in speaker, this was fine for the amplified acoustic which used an ‘overhead’ pick-up made from telephone magnets, but would have been blown to pieces with the bass guitar.
I used this tiny amplifier using a six string guitar for bass, also playing some rhythm guitar. In those days we had all the amplifiers in front of us in a line across the stage and the drummer in the middle of a line of musicians. As bigger equipment started to take the stage the more conventional system of drummer at the back, next the amplifiers, with the musicians out front.

Later I managed to buy a second hand home-made speaker cabinet containing an 18″ speaker which I powered with a 30 watt Leak hi fi amplifier, this made quite an acceptable sound amplifying my Burns Sonic bass. The speaker cabinet had been especially designed in order to get the correct frequencies of sound out of that large Goodman’s speaker.
I used this type of amplification for quite some years, eventually replacing the Leak Varislope with a 50 watt Linear Conchord amp.
The first ‘Heavy’ group I saw was when we supported Liverpool’s Big Three who were reputed to be the Beatles favourite band. They were using colossal block board cabinets as speaker cabinets not only for Johnny Gustafson the bassist, but also for guitar and an even bigger set up for the p.a. They used as you’ve probably guessed six 50 watt Linear Conchords, I think the four massive speaker cabinets each contained eight 15″ speakers.  That night in Sheffield playing with ‘The Roadrunners’ I heard them call these massive cabinets ‘the coffins’. This was perhaps the start of bands employing weight-lifters as roadies.
For those of you that were around…. what on earth would we have done without the 30 watt and 50 watt Linear Conchord amplifier?
What would we have thought if we could have taken a glimpse of the future and seen Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Airplane and the countless Heavy Rock bands that were to follow.
Pete Townsend’s uncle is non other than Jim Marshall, and I presume that the band tried out prototypes of his world of music changing, Marshall amplification.
The night that I saw them at the Esquire, I didn’t recognise anybody, that was because it was a team of roadies that were putting this colossal stash of gear onto the stage.
I counted ten Marshall cabinets. I couldn’t understand what was going on, but later learned that they were using a 200 watt p.a. and Pete and John 100 watt Marshall stacks. This equipment, along with Keith’s amplified drum kit took up the entire stage. Suddenly in walked the three musicians who looked in disgust at the cluttered stage, then played their entire set on the dance-floor in front of a stage exploding with unbelievable volumes of sound.
I had a life long love affair with Marshall amps after that night starting with a 50 watt amplifier and cabinet containing 4×12 heavy duty Celestions.
Eventually I bought another 50 watt straight cabinet (my first one was angled) and a 100 watt amplifier – I now had the classic green Marshall 100 watt stack. I had fun getting the cabinet back to my London flat from a West End music shop…. You’ve guessed it …..on the tube!
Later on I bought another stack during Marshall’s time of making coloured amps in the seventies. It was bright red.
Apart from using one 50 watt and a 100 watt stack together for some time I did once borrow a Marshall stack which had a 200 watt top and two cabs each containing four heavy duty 15″ Celestions. When you played a certain note it virtually lifted you off the ground.
Of course nowadays amplifiers are even more powerful, but I just have a very light, transportable 200 watt Ashdown combo!

Many flowers have died back and in mid June most of the foliage is looking good.
The original ‘Flare Spots’ plant has one flower left and already has a new flower spike. (large photo)
Apart from a couple of the plants that will need re – potting quite soon, nothing else is needed apart from the weekly regime of feeding and watering.
It won’t be long before the orchids are building up to a new flowering period.
The beauty of phalaenopsis orchids!
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