Step three in my ambitious plan to grow my own orchids?* Inherit five potted monopodial orchids from my repatriating neighbor.

OK, OK, I’ve cheated a bit. My original “step three” was to visit Mandai Orchid Garden, one of the oldest and largest commercial orchid gardens in South East Asia. But it had shut down to make way for the expansion of the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari (*snore*). The garden is now in Kranji, in the far north west reaches of Singapore, and I have yet to visit. However, the new garden houses only 5,000 of the orchids, one-tenth of the original collection.

The Mandai Orchid Garden was started in 1951 by the late John Laycock, a lawyer and founder of the Malayan Orchid Society, now known as the Orchid Society of Southeast Asia.

When he died in 1960, his daughter, Amy Ede, and her husband, John, took over the business until he died in 2003 and she, in 2007.

o o o o o

So, these beauties (above) are climbers and have wound themselves into the crevices on our balcony. Their single stems will grow indefinitely and will tend to stay at the same thickness throughout with leaves each of about the same size. I don’t know exactly what variety these are. Perhaps that’s step four?

* Step one: Visit the National Orchid Garden. Step two: Visit the Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator.