Alpine Garden Society Alpine Garden Society - Dublin Group


We all have stories to tell about our experiences with plants and expeditions. Here are some of them.

"Pleione sp"

Pleione pleionoides 'Blakeway Phillips'

I went to the Termonfeckin weekend for the first time in November 2005, and enjoyed every part of it. As usual there was a plant auction on the Saturday night, and carried away with the spirit of the evening (or by spirit of a different kind) I found myself the owner of a few bulbs of a plant, labelled Pleione sp. I didn't previously have an interest in hardy orchids, so I credit George Sevastopulo's auctioneering technique. Inevitably it was put outside and forgotten when I got it home, (I think that was the year my son and his friends managed to break the catches on two bedroom doors while I was away, locking themselves in), but it survived the winter and in spring I shoved it in my rock garden with a fair amount of grit but little expertise.

To my amazement it flowered that year, continued to thrive and increase outside, and now produces quite a display each year. I had no idea which species it was until a year later, when Frank Tindall stayed with me during our Show, and he pointed me in the direction of an article by Ian Butterfield in the March 2007 issue of the AGS Bulletin. Failing to get hold of Ian I found Paul Cumbleton, who has a great website on pleiones, and he helped me identify it as Pleione pleionoides ‘Blakeway Phillips’. They're not everyone's favourite, but what fantastic colours and, for me, absolutely no work!

Jamie Chambers.