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  #76 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2007, 11:08 AM
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Arlene: Thanks for the info on the cart. There's a Costco store nearby. I'll check it out.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:45 PM
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I'm envious of many of these set ups! It's really interesting to see how other people grow.

I currently am currently confined to a closet. I have a 3' and 4' rack with a piece of ventilated shelving over the 3' rack where my larger catt-types sit and my mounties hang. I have a box fan at the very back of the closet to push air through the plants and out of the closet.

Since it's a slanted closet (one of those staircase ones), pictures are kinda hard to get, but you might be able to get a bit of an idea of my arrangement. I have the CFL's in shoplights and fan on a timer. I have another large CFL on a wall switch that's right up to the ventilated shelf where the larger catts are.

Stacy
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:32 AM
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Here are pics of mine growing space.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:04 AM
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Hi members what a wonderful thread.
Seeing all the growing spaces.
This showes not only me just how much dedication and passion that you all have for your orchids.
Well Done
Happy Growing

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Old 03-31-2007, 09:18 AM
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Hi turkeytaker,

Thanks for posting your pics. It's a good use of space and I am impressed with the clever, creative ways you and the others who have posted here have used the space you have. It's quite educational and it's great to share all of these ideas.

Cheers
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:54 AM
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Stacy, that's a neat set up..if I want something like that for myself..how do I get them watered without wetting the floor ? Do you have to move them out of the room sometimes to get really soaked in the sink ?
Tamara, lucky you..you have a lot of orchids flowering at the same time..
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:34 PM
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Prisana, the floor in the closet is concrete with an epoxy coat. With the fan going constantly, the floor dries really quickly, so I don't worry too much about water on the floor. I intend, at some point, on putting up marine board to replace the sheetrock, in case mildews or molds decide to take hold, but I haven't had any problems yet.

Also, on the bottom of the 4' rack, I've got big plastic pans (masonry troughs) with my phals to catch any extra water. I use a pump sprayer and mist the pots until they drip through every day, but not very much drips through the racks.

I've got a half bath right across the hall from the closet, so it's relatively convenient if I want to soak all of the plants. I take one of the extra masonry troughs (used for mixing concrete) and load up a few, walk a few feet across the hall, set the tub on the toilet, and fill up the sink with the plants in it. Drain, carry, and repeat for all the others.

It's definitely not the easiest, but it's the about the best I can do in this house. I do miss the days of having a decent outdoor spot for everyone where I could just hit them with the hose everyday, though.
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:47 PM
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Hi Stacy,

What a creative way to use space.

I can relate to soaking the mounted ones -- putting them in a pan to water, then drain, and hang them back. All that is just a few feet... I wish I can just hose them down.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:16 PM
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The 4-shelf unit is only available in the USA(item #459800). I checked with Costco (Canada)and they say they don't sell those here.

They really look nice and practical.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:54 AM
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pikevi -- Sorry they don't have it up there. Can't you order from a U.S. Costco and have it shipped to Canada (Ontario)?

Sharyn -- Does your nearby Costco have the 4-shelf unit?
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:59 AM
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Yes, it could be ordered online too.

But I contacted our Costco, Canada to see if it could be delivered to a local store here, which is a few minutes drive from my place.

I will see if I can go across to Buffalo and get it or ask my friends to buy and bring it (them) when they come for visits.

They shelves look ideal for orchids

FYI: While searching for the item I also found some of them were recalled for some problems with the wheels. Since you are not using the wheels it probably would not matter.Just thought I'd add this little bit of info.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:53 PM
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pikevi,

That's good it can be ordered online. I hope Costco will deliver it to your local store so you can pick it up.

Thanks for the info on the wheels.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:33 AM
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Hey turkeytaker?

Am i wrong or did i see an orchid basket made of red lego's, that is soooooo cool! And by the way awesome how you did to make use the limited space.

manuel
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:50 PM
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Hi Manuel,

You did see a pot of red legos. My mother has huge bins of legos from when my brothers and I were little and hasn't found anyone to give them to that she knows will use them, so I've taken some of them and made pots. The plants really love it, and you can 'customize' the size of the pot for the plant and change it as the plant grows. The roots don't really stick to lego plastic that well, so it's easy to scooch them off when needed.

It's also kinda fun!

Stacy
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:45 PM
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Stacy, I didn't notice the lego pot until Manuel pointed that out. Cool...very creative! I would use my youngest daughter's lego set. But she still plays with it. So I'll have to wait a while.

The only creative thing, so far, I've done is use a banana hanger to hang one of my mounted minis on it.

This is a great thread. We're learning a lot from each other. Thanks for starting it Kevin!
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:24 PM
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Question New to Indoor lighting

Hi Everyone- I have enjoyed looking at all of your home lighting set-ups; thanks for sharing. My phals live in my formal dining room (lovely ) but are not faring so well. HUGE southern facing windows with lots of light and fresh air - unfortunately they are tinted and this makes them useless for growing orchids. Thanks to the book 'Orchids for Dummies' yes that is where I am at. At least now I know what is wrong with them, 50 fc won't do it! So here is my situation: I need to grow my phals under lights. and here it begins.......you have all been here...start with a few plants....they don't do well....build a greenhouse...and away we go! A fanatic! I tell my husband I could be addicted to much worse things, like shoes, jewelry, etc. My request from all of you - if you had something to do differently with your indoor lighting set-ups, what would it be? Did you start too small? Wrong lights? Watering/cleaning difficulties? All you Aussies-we have very similiar weather conditions in So California if you have any input. I grow mini-cyms outdoors all year perfectly except when it is windy. (panic ensues!) Any good websites to buy an all-inclusive set-up? ANY suggestions will be most appreciated! Or....somebody can just STOP me now!!
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:18 PM
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Finally

Very wonderfully odd the way things happen. These photos which I took today are the very first I've ever taken with a digital camera. My cousin sent me this camera a couple of months ago after my father passed away. I was having a grueling time with the coping of his passing and couldn't begin to concentrate on figuring out how to use it so I just kept it in the box until last evening when I was compelled to get a photo of my very first orchid and one that I nurtured back to health. I've been wanting to post my growing space on here but just didn't bother figuring out how to use the camera. Now, my very first orchid is about to bloom and on all days, tomorrow....my birthday! This feels all so special to me. Hopefully, you'll all be able to recognize where my orchids are in my array plus some small ones hidden behind others that I just received and are out of view. I'll post another photo when my orchid is in full bloom. I was just too excited with my accomplishment and the anticipation of this orchid about to grace my patio and wanted to share this with everyone. Apologies for these not being the clearest photos but I'll start getting the hang of it all shortly!!!!!
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:42 PM
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some more photos to share.....

Just some more photos that I took today! I started snapping away around 5:15 a.m.!
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:09 PM
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Happy Birthday Sandra. Looks like you're doing pretty well with your first pics. Thanks for sharing. Your orchids seem to be quite happy.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:22 PM
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Sandra,

Your space looks ideal! How cool in the winter?

-K
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:24 PM
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Happy Birthday, Sandra!

You have a very nice growing space. Is it an enclosed patio? I noticed that you have shelves similar to mine, except that mine are silver and 48" long.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:03 PM
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Happy birthday, Sandra!

Your setup looks great. Lots of space and very tidy.

I was showing my friend the pics and he saw the cat and said, 'my sis had one of those.' Her name is Sandra, too.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:30 PM
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Happy B'day and many happy returns, sandra4453.

Great pictures, good selections, healthy plants & neat arrangement .Only thing missing is a chair to sit in and sip a cup of tea!! ,

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:39 PM
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Good effort for your first try Sandra.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:54 PM
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Happy Birthday Sandra Many happy Returns to you we hope you have a good day.

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thanks for the pics they are awesome.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:28 AM
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Thank You

Thank you all so much. It was so nice to read your well wishes to me. A great way to jump-start a special day.

Kevin, I'm in South Florida, very mild winters typically around 70-75 degrees in winter, high 50's in the evenings.

Arlene: Yes, it's an enclosed patio. The shelves are from Target! I've got them surrounding most of the patio, all different sizes. I just took photos of where I have the orchids placed although, quite a few were hidden behind others.

TurkeyTaker - If the other Sandra's cat's name is Bunny, then your friend is my brother! LOL

Pikevi - Every morning, I drink coffee on the patio! I took this photo for you!

Anton: Take a look at my orchid that I took this a.m. Much clearer now.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:09 PM
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Planning for indoor lighted growing space

Phalpal: It's good that you're planning ahead to set up a lighted growing area. I haven't found an all-inclusive set-up that's not expensive. It all depends on how much money you want to spend.

A few suggestions if you want to want to set up your own growing area that's not too costly:

Shelving: Try to find something with adjustable shelves. You need to consider that a light fixture will take up approx. 4-6 inches of headspace. If you add humidity trays, that will take up about another 4 inches. Now you've used up 10" of height space for each shelf. If you have shelves that are 24" apart, that only leaves you with 14 inches of height for your orchids. This may be fine for many size orchids, but if your orchids are taller, that may place them too close to the lights. Therefore, I would definitely suggest adjustable shelves.

Lights: If you use 48" wide shop lights, then you'll have to consider the width of your shelves. You don't want the lights to hang over the edges of a shelf that's shorter in width. If you do consider using shop lights, be sure you buy some that already have the electrical cord & plug attached. That sounds silly, but I once purchased some that had to be wired. You can use inexpensive flourescent light tubes, one cool and one warm bulb for each fixture.

Humidity trays: I made my trays following Ellen's suggestion on the humidity tray link. I used black nursery seedling trays (no holes) & (doubled), and placed a piece of flourescent light diffuser grate on top. I cut the grates to fit with pruning shears! (We women can always find something to be used for a tool!) Ok, guys, I can see those rolling eyes.

These suggestions are from my own experience and did not cost an arm and a leg. I'm sure others will have more suggestions.

I've included a couple of links that you may find helpful for setting up your lighting and humidity trays. Good luck with your set up and post some pics when you're done.

http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/int...html#post10386
http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/gen...humidity+trays
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:32 PM
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Sharyn, thanks for including the link to humidity tray. Since the ones I ordered are rather pricey, I'd like to make future trays like you and Ellen did.

Can you show a pic of the tray you put together? Can I buy those nursery trays from Home Depot or Orchard Supply Hardware?
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:35 PM
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Arlene: These trays were quite inexpensive to make. I found the nursery trays at Menards ($1.59 each). They were heavier than the ones I found elsewhere. This grate is from Home Depot $12.99 for a 2 x 4' piece. The Ace Hardware store in town had a little heavier grate for $15 and offered to cut them for me for free, however, I wasn't sure of what size so I did it myself with pruning shears! I'm sure your husband will probably say, "I have the correct tool to use for the job baby" but pruning shears worked just fine for me.

I'm still in the process of getting the new shelves. I found Linens & Things carries the same shelving unit & less $ so that's my project for tomorrow.

Currently, I have orchids all over the place and trying to get organized. Here's a few pics of what the trays look like. You can use any kind of container you want and then just cut the grate to size. I think Ellen had a great idea here.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:23 PM
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Sharyn - I almost bought a grate last week from Home Depot, but didn't have any tray to put it on. Now, I'll be shopping for nursery trays.

And, yes, my husband will definitely say something like that!

We have a Linen & Things here, but I hardly ever go there. I tend to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond, which is closer to home. I'll have to check out both stores and compare prices (for future additional shelves ).

Thanks for posting the pics.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:58 PM
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This may be a stupid question - but.....if I have water in a humidity tray with my plants sitting on the grate over the tray, why do I need pebbles??
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:15 PM
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the pebbles are theoretically to increase the surface area from which water will evaporate. if your plants are on a grate, then i don't see why you need the pebbles.... mine are on wire racks over pyrex dishes full of water. no pebbles.

the pics are now in the camera, so once they get transferred to the comp, i should be able to put them up.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:19 PM
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Phalpal: I don't use any pebbles in these trays - just water. When I need to clean them, I don't want to bother with any pebbles. However, I DO use pebbles in small containers on my windowsill.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:32 PM
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Inexpensive Indoor Lighted Shelf System

When I lived in the US, I made my own indoor lighted shelving system for about 1/3-1/4 the price of a manufactured light cart. Here's what I bought:

1 5-shelf 72"x36"x18" heavy-duty wire shelving unit ($78 at Lowe's)
6 3ft 2-tube florescent shoplights ($8 ea. at Lowe's: $48)
6 3ft. cool florescent tubes (about $24 total)
6 3ft. warm florescent tubes (about $30 total)
1 power strip (approx $8)

Total cost: $188

Assemble shelves according to instructins. Wire 2 fixtures, side by side, to the bottoms of the top 3 shelves and adjust the shelves to accomodate a particular size of plant with its humidity tray. Make sure the power cords come down the same side of the shelving unit. Fasten the power strip to one of the shelving unit poles and plug everything in.

Optional: You can fasten small fans to the shelves to provide increased ari circulation as well. You can also add a light timer to automatically turn the lights on and off.

Happy Growing!
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:35 PM
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Sandra, OBVIOUSLY the birthday cheer has worn off.

OK next trick (Photo 101)

Get a tissue, split it so you only have a thin sheet rather than a double sheet which is the way they are packed, tear a bit off and stick it over the flash, but don't let the tape go over the flash as that will dramatically reduce the light output.

Set the flash to manual, eg select the lightning symbol so that the flash will come on even if there is enough light, and take a shot, check the exposure, and manually adjust to a brighter setting if it is a little under exposed.

What should happen, is that you should get a softer, more diffused lighting on your flower without harsh shadows. See how you go.

Quite often I will also photograph my flowers outside using this flash technique to get rid of harsh shadows caused by bright sunlight and an uncovered flash.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:53 PM
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Anton, very clever technique. I'll try this when i get my camera replaced.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:47 AM
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I am somewhat envious of all you warm climate folks who can grow your orchids outdoors year round or nearly so. I have about 15 plants in my two office windows on the ledges (4X4 foot facing NE) and then about 70 plants or so in this home made lighted shelf unit in one of my spare bedrooms. In about 3-4 weeks I will be putting most of these plants outside until mid fall - the challenge is aclimating them without damaging them. (note: I tried the paperclip to get thumbnails and unfortunately it errored out - so I guess I'll just post the full size pic!).

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Old 04-05-2007, 01:27 PM
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Kevin: Thanks for the tips on setting up lighted system. May I ask how you attached your shop lights to the wire mesh shelves? Also, you mentioned wiring 2 shop lights together. Do you think 4 bulbs per shelf is better?

Mike: Your set up looks great too. I'm also curious how you attached your lights. Looks like you used 2 lights per shelf. Was that enough light?

Arlene: Looks like your lights are chrome to match the shelving. What's the width of the lights you used? 36" or 48"

I'm planning a new set up for next winter and I'd like to do a few things differenty than in the past. I'm considering all of these wonderful tips before I start investing more money. I keep coming back to this thread and I'm amazed at all the different arrangements for growing orchids. Such creative ideas!
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:40 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks everyone for all of your input - especially kmarch and sharyn. You guys really went above and beyond! It is most appreciated. I have done some pre-shopping for some shelves but the lighting is overwhelming. I did find some metal shelves at Linen's and Things for $60, only 3 feet wide versus the 4 ft at Costco. I'm still not sure I can bring myself to put a big metal rack with shop lights in my dining room.....and living in such a sunny state I don't see making a 'growing room' upstairs where I can't see my plants all the time. Just seems so unnatural in this corner of the world! I'll do pics when I decide! Also some great sites, pricey but good to get an idea of what we are talking about. Here they are:

www.orchidlight.com
www.homeharvest.com
www.tindaraorchids.com

Another great book I found: 'Understanding Orchids - an uncomplicated guide to growing the world's most exotic plants' by William Cullina
Amazon.com: $21.95 Just the right amount of depth!
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:40 PM
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Very nice Mike.. lots of challenge growing them in the house and SO MANY OF THEM!!...you are a pro.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:50 PM
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Sharyn - It is hard to tell from the photo, but two inexpensive fixtures per shelf with two bulbs each - so four bulbs per level on each of three levels. All on an auto timer. This works wonderfully for phals and paphs, but year round would not provide enough light for most of the other types - by putting them outside in a few weeks I can boost the light level enough to encourage all the dends, intergenerics, and catts to bloom using this setup from mid October through most of April.
You are right Prisana - definately a challenge to find ways to bloom and care for different types indoors and out!
I'm thinking a HID 400 watt fixture would be a GREAT addition for the medium and high light requirement plants, but have yet to make the investment - maybe one day?
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:53 PM
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Phalpal: I will also have to setup something in my living area. Linens & Things also carry the metal shelving in black. Since I have some black accents in my living room, this might work out for me, however, I'm stuck on what I'll do for attractive lighting. Still thinking this one over

Keep checking back to this thread. Everyone seems to have such great ideas.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:07 PM
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Thanks Mike. Fortunately for me, I have quite a few craftsmen in my family, carpenters, electricians, brick layers, etc. I'm sure I can get one of them to wire lights for me. My problem is finding something attractive that's not too expensive. If I were going to set up in a bedroom as I did in the past, it wouldn't matter so much, however, the logical space right now is in the living room area so I need to figure out something that will look nice. This past year, I didn't use any lights, but I'll definitely have to use them next winter - just not enough light.

I will also be housing my plants outdoors for the summer. I'm still having some worries. We get a LOT of wind. Each side of the patio is a brick wall & that helps somewhat to protect. Never had many problems with regular annual flower pots, but this will be the first year outdoors for the orchids.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:04 PM
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Sharyn -- Yes. The light fixtures are chrome. They are 48" long. I did the same thing Mike did - two fixtures with two fluorescent bulbs (total of four) on each shelf. The lowest point on each shelf registers at about 800-1000fc; highest point is about 3500-4000fc.

When shopping for fluorescent lights, make sure you check the lumens output. The higher it is the cooler/brighter (e.g. 4000 lumens); lower is warmer/not-so-bright (e.g. 1600 lumens). Of course, you want to have both, cool and warm.

Hope that helps.

By the way, a few weeks ago, I did buy an outdoor plantstand and plan on placing a few orchids which can withstand 90F-100F (32C-38C) outside, under a tree. I'm just waiting for night time temps to go above 50F (10C).
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:14 PM
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Arlene: Thanks for that tip on the lights. I'm going to need all the light I can get during the winter. Never paid much attention to the last lights I had up, but I was only supplementing light for some houseplants and using them for starting seeds in the spring. I'll look for the higher lumens - the orchids will need it. Also, how did your husband attach the light fixtures to the metal shelf? Did he have to wire 2 sets together? And, sorry for all these questions, but what kind of fixtures are those. I've never seen any like that before. Yours look really nice.

I found that the shelves at Linen & Things are only 36" wide. That would do for me if I can find 36" light fixtures. I'm still looking.

You're waiting for above 50F at night? I'm still waiting for above 50F during the day!
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:47 PM
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Arlene - are you sure about that footcandle number? I have all 3300 lumen bulbs and I cannot get over 1000 footcandles measured anywhere (using fluorescents) - I just looked at your growing space - looks like a halogen light. Do you use that to light your entire orchid area or supplement with other fixtures? Have you measured footcandles at different distances from the bulb and what wattage is that light?
I've seen shelving exactly like yours at Costco for a very reasonable price for anyone who is interested - I believe between $50-75? mike

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Old 04-05-2007, 04:58 PM
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Arleneg - thanks for writing about lumens; I get the impressioin they are more important than watts and it takes more watts to create more lumens? Someone please correct me if I have this wrong. I will re-read everything I have - It seems to make more and more sense each time and along with all of your comments I'm getting there!
Sharyn - thanks for jumping in and admitting that you have decorating concerns as well! (the guys can't understand this girl thing) We have major wind a few times a year, (called Santa Anas) it's a real So Cal weather phenomenon where it is very hot (100F), humidity in the single digits, and major gusts. DEATH to orchids if I am not home to move them indoors. and Perfect for a wildfire! ONE thing I really know about orchids is that they don't like wind! Even my outdoor cyms fade fast. I'd be careful in Chicago if you want to grow outside.

I love books so if anyone has a good recommendation re: growing indoors that is current please advise! I need a whole book, not just a few pages!

Thanks again EVERYONE!
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:54 PM
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Phalpal: I just noticed your links in an above post. I like that cart from Home Harvest but for $439 plus shipping, I hope I can do something cheaper.

I'm with you - if I put up something in my living room, I want it to look nice. So, I'm still on the hunt for the right things. I think you're doing the right thing in checking out all your options BEFORE spending money. Right now, I'm doing the same. The first time around with lights was a cheapie set-up for outdoor cuttings & seedings (not orchids). I had a $25 4-shelf cheap wood shelf unit with shop lights that hung over the edges so I had to attach them with chains. Not exactly a decorators dream - but it was in an extra room and not part of my decor. Now, if I put it in my living area, I want something nice looking. Yup, you're right about the 'guy' thing. My ex-husband would have told me, "give me a beer baby & the remote, and you should be able to grow those orchids with or without me." I chose WITHOUT!
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:00 PM
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Sharyn -- The daytime weather here has been in the 70s in the last couple weeks. Night time temps have been in the high 40s. Maybe another week or so, the night temp will go beyond 50F.

The light fixtures are the workshop type, already with the wiring, cable and plugs attached. I got those at Home Depot. My husband hung the fixtures on shelf wires with the S hook (totally my idea ; he wanted to hang them from the chains they came with). When I get a chance, I'll take a close up pic.

Mike -- I'm sure about it. I measured from bottom (a few inches above shelf surface) to top (an inch from the lights). I've been doing this every day since last week, just to make sure.

I'm using fluorescent lights (40 watt, each bulb), just for the shelf unit. The wall that the unit is against doesn't get much light, 200-500fc. The orchids on the tables get natural light from the windows (east and south).

Actually, I did buy the shelf unit from Costco. If recall, it cost me about $70.

PhalPal -- I have Ortho's Complete Guide to Orchids and recommend it for a beginner/novice.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:02 PM
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Phalpal: Forgot to add this in my previous post. I'm also looking for a good book on growing under lights. I found this one at Amazon. Need to check it out further. If anyone knows of a good book for growing under lights, please advise.
http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Orchid...5810291&sr=1-2
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:10 PM
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Arlene: I just giggled out loud about the "S" hooks. I did the same thing myself, except I hung the old lights with chains from the "s" hooks so they could be raised or lowered as needed. Like I said before, we women can always think up a dual purpose for just about anything!
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:25 PM
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So this is the temporary set up I have so far. My window faces the south and gets a lot of light. During the winter its in the 40-50s; summer is between the 80's and 90's and slightly humid. Its feels like a greenhouse in my apartment during the summer. Right outside the window, I do have a shade screen which helps. And still, I can't get anything to bloom!



I also have my African Violets with them too. I'm debating about giving them away though...
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:57 PM
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ButtOn: You may have the same problem I have, which is what got me into this forum begging for orchid parenting advice!! I have very large, bright, southern facing windows that get the room very warm in the summer (I have blinds). Seemed like a perfect place for my orchids to thrive. THEN - I bought a light meter. What a chain reaction that has started!! Nothing but trouble! Turns out I only had 50-60 footcandles actually reaching my plants BECAUSE I have tinted windows. Not sure about the Bay Area but an absolute requirement down here. Could be why your Violets are not blooming.......no real rays are hitting them.

Have you seen the 'Compact Light Garden' at www.gardners.com? ($199 complete) It would fit perfectly on your table as in your picture and give your plants (whatever you decide on) supplemental light.

Keep us all informed on what you find; quite a few of us are in the process of finding just the right set-up! (that looks pretty of course...)
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:00 PM
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My windows aren't tinted, so I'm not sure if I'll have that problem. As for the violets, they are pretty good bloomers and I'm not sure what's up. I think I have to water them more. I want to get rid of them actually due to space issues. I'll check out that compact light thingy and let you know. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:25 AM
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Arlene - forgive me for asking once again. Are you saying that you can get 3500-4000 footcandles from a group of four foot long fluorescent light fixtures? Something is just not adding up? I have the highest flourescent lumens bulbs (3300) that I can find at Home Depot or Lowes and I get 1000 at the surface, 700 at 2 inches away, 500 at 4 inches away, 320 at 8 inches away. What are you using to measure?
I probably should put this link in another thread (Yes - I think I just convinced myself to do this! ), but note the section in this link relating to lighting for orchids - under Fluorescent lights - "...barely produce enough light to grow low light orchids...." http://www.orchidsusa.com/3Lightlevels.htm
I'm trying to get my arms around this area of expertise myself so I can determine the optimum use of resources in my own situation.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:14 AM
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mayres,

I love to have your set up. It will make my life a little easier in winter or summer.
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:07 AM
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Pikevi - If you are or know anyone who is handy with wood equipment something like I made can be done fairly inexpensively - it is just made with 2X4 planed to 1.25X3 (which you would not have to do) and 1X12 for shelving. I have designed it all to interlock and painted it white for neatness. The only real advantage over metal units you can get at Costco and similar places for around $75 is it holds more plants (and depending upon your point of view aesthetics) - I have about 70 plants crowded in. As you can see I should/could have made the middle shelf adjustable or varied the height somewhat - and have for the time being moved the plants in the middle up with cardboard boxes to get them closer to the light fixtures - I've discovered that they need to be as close as possible. Fixtures are just inexpensive units from Lowes or HD screwed into the bottom of the shelving units.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:25 PM
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Mike - Great website you suggested above! LOTS of info. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:33 PM
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Do any of you have any experience with a wonderlite? All my high light orchids will be going outside soon so I'm not worried about a purchase right now but I'd like to replace the 2 floods I have right now (Westinghouse grow floods) with the Wonderlites..... According to their chart which I've attached I should have great success.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:34 PM
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buttOn: I'm not quite sure what you mean by a shade screen on your south window. I live near Chicago so we don't need to shade our windows. I also grow many plants in my South window. Your pics look like the sun is shining, but not much bright light reaching the top of your desk. This past winter, I found that I needed to place many of my orchids on the floor to get the most light. The higher up that I placed them, the lower the light. Your pic also looks like you have an overhang (as I do) which cuts down on more light.

I'm with you in finding the right lighting situation for my needs. This is a good thread and lots of opinions. I'm sure we'll both find something suitable.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:58 PM
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Kazjak - I see that the wonderlite is a self ballasted mercury vapor light - I don't have any experience with them, but if you do go with them be sure and tell us how you like them after 3-4 months. I think I would still personally be inclined to think HID, but these will probably work fine.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:07 PM
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Sharyn:
I have this roll-up shade screen right under that overhang. During the summer it gets REALLY HOT over here and bakes my apartment. I also have bunnies outside which need the screen. I would think the direct hot light (90+ degrees) would not really help my orchids during the summer. I could be wrong. Also, I think my window actually faces south-west...I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:07 AM
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mayres,

Thanks for the detailed info.

While I understand the need for proper display and /or professional looking shelving units , I am more of a 'hands-on' person

I will try and make a unit this summer (another project on my wish-list!!).

I am going to another orchid show this weekend and I plan to just LOOK at the plants this time. Just in case I fall off the wagon I will need more room which is at a premium now. Some of the deflasked orchids may survive too which will add more pressure to find room.

To make it worse , after reading about all the problems that plants may be subject to in the form of 'diseases' I do not intend to take them outdoors- EVER

Please advise me if it is a wrong decision.

Thanks
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:47 AM
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I'm very impressed. This thread just keeps getting better and better with people posting pics fo their light stand set ups and various other bits of info. Thanks for everything so far! You've probably noticed this is turning into one of the most frequently read threads. It's great that so many are sharing what works for them and so many others are coming here for info. Keep up the good work everyone!
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Old 04-09-2007, 03:50 PM
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Hi Everyone -
For those less crafty then Mayres, I found this site that sells plans only for a 2ft X 4ft 3-shelf light stand. (very similiar to Mike's) The plans cost $10 for all the do-it-yourselfers!

I was having a problem with some root rot with phals planted in NEW bark, haven't watered in weeks. All the bark was bone dry except for what was right around the roots. Moved all of my plants to Aussie Gold and some have perked up a bit already. The mix does not seem to be too wet, in fact if I stick a q-tip down into the mix it is barely damp at all, just one day after watering. I will keep posted what happens - the mix is expensive but so is losing orchids! We will see.......

Grow stand plans:
http://kkorchid.com/1grow_lights.asp
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:39 AM
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Butt0n: I read somewhere that african violets can indicate their needs in light. If their leaves are almost horizontal then everything's ok. If their leaves are pointed upwards, they aren't getting enough light and they are trying to reach for it.

I feel such an amateur. All I've got is a fireplace ledge near a south facing window. But my phals seem to like it!
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:58 AM
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Giovanna, to me it looks like you may have room for a small multi shelf tidy to place there. THEN, you will be able to have TWICE as many as you have now, in the same space.

MUST think laterally, "How can I utilize the small amount of space I have, oh yes, you say to yourself, like condos, BUILD UP.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:07 AM
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Yeah, I know! I never agreed with the "less is more" theory anyway.
I'm currently keeping my fingers crossed cause I switched to s/hydro. If all goes well (and it looks like that so far) I'm gonna Ebay my Amex card to death! I'll get all the available green, yellow and orange phals
ALL OF THEM .
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:12 PM
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Unhappy Greenhouse advice

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Originally Posted by Fabolusus View Post
Here is my subteranean grow room. It occupies one half of my billiards room, which sometimes is a problem when I entertain. Here in philly, it ranges from extremely dry in the winter to unbearably humid in the summer. I have a humidifier and three fans running 18 hours a day during the winter, and in summer I put an exhaust fan in the window and run it almost nonstop.
Very cool. I've moved from So Fl to Columbia, SC - having to adjust in many ways. I don't have adequate space, other than my master bath to grow my orchids. So - I am thinking of a small greenhouse. Love to hear advice on that subject.
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Old 04-18-2007, 05:41 PM
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Growing outside in South Florida

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Originally Posted by prisana View Post
I have mine everywhere outside.. I wish I could have some of them inside like some of you do , but they don't like it in here...too much smoke from cooking...all day everyday..we don't have a real chimney..only the one that sucks in the air and grease and spits it right out on your forehead as you cook..
I live in Parkland in greater Ft. Lauderdale too. Like you, all of my orchids are outside. I am just learning the best places for them along with learning about their culture. Before all of hurricanes, I had most them hanging from a big live oak tree. 1/3 of the tree was lost in Hurricane Wilma--the part that had the orchids. So, I moved them to hang under a very large grapefruit tree.

I love the vandas! They do so well without any attention at all under the tree.

My phals were not doing well under the tree, so I am trying to figure out where to put them. Some are under the patio roof of my screened in pool area. Some inside. If you have any ideas on where you have had success with the phals on the patio, please let me know.

When the orchids are in bloom I hang them just outside my kitchen window. They are happier when they remain outside.

I just found and joined your forum today. I will post some pictures as soon as I can.

Interesting to be part of such a geographically diverse group. Australia sounds very exotic from here.
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:42 PM
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Anton, GiovannaD,

I do not subscribe to the "less is more" theories either. Less is not more. More is more. If less were more then it wouldn't be called "less." It would be called "more." More is good, especially relating to orchids.

-Kevin
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:07 PM
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Parklandlinda --Hello, and welcome to the forum. I hope I can be of help here since we are just a few miles apart. I grow all my phals in the patio area under the shade of Florida room awning , it's facing west, but the awning is so big that by the time the sunlight hits the phals, it's pretty late in the afternoon . They don't like that much light and where I have them right now is where they like it the best . They are growing vigorously and have lots of spikes and blooms for me to enjoy. Don't forget to check the moisture level in the pots , they don't like to be too dry . If you notice the winds these days , the dry winds ( or any strong winds ) are bad for orchids...I have to water my phals everyday, but not so much each time.
Vandas are loving it under the trees too. Lots of water for them too I'm lucky I didn't lose any tree during Wilma..Most of my trees are coconuts, and if you really think about it , you didn't really see coconut or palm trees uprooted, they have very strong root system and no bulky branches that they wouldn't normally shed anyways..
Keep us posted of how you're doing with your phals and yes, I'd love to see pics of your babies...send them on
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:13 PM
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Little update on my hanging space

Last time i posted something on this thread, i was wondering on the best approach to my limited space. I was considering shelves after some awesome ideas i've seen here.

My main priority was to keep floor space as clear as possible, and then i came up with this. this white plastic screen you can find in all big box stores.
I installed it on sunday. It looks good, somewhat limits a bit of harsh bright sunlight (specially in the afternoons), gives a LOT!!! of nice hanging space, and best of all, cheap and easy to install!. The thing now is that i have this new space i was supposed to keep empty........lord, here we go again...i guess none of us know the real meaning of clear empty space.

manuel
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:17 AM
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Manuel, there is ANOTHER solution................

You could always buy ANOTHER lattice.

That looks good, especially with the plants on it, PLUS another would help keep the floor space free................ for another week.
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:41 AM
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Space finished

Hi folks
The lattice arrived today - and here is my completed (for the time being at least) Orchid Space. It involves a piece of lattice, some shade cloth, 6 shoe racks and a portable wardrobe - plus three plant boxes.

Townsville100_1141.jpg

100_1143.jpg

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