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Cloud with a silver lining.

11 years ago

3 years ago I built a 170 sq foot cold greenhouse and have been filling/overfilling it with plants ever since. At first it seem so empty with a few Dracula, Pleuros and Masdies. Then cold growing Coelogeny, Maxillaria and all the other odds and ends of the Pleurothallis group (eg. Barbosella, Restrepia, Stelis etc) arrived and suddenly it was full.

Suddenly I had an unexpected and unpleasant visit from my beloved city fathers who pointed out that not only did I not have a building permit but also numerous items were not up to building code. At first I felt victimized by the unfeeling and uncaring bureaucracy but then I saw a cartoon in an old Playboy. 2 jaded beauties were sitting in the back of a limousine and one said: "Lets go to a different town and start all over as virgins."

I adopted that attitude and built a 360 sq foot greenhouse, up to code and with a building permit. I was finished a week ago and I spent the last few days moving all the plants over. In the process they all got fresh moss, a little TLC and larger pots/basket were indicated. Some I switched from moss to bark as they seemed to be too moist in the moss, some divisions were made for trading, but mostly I enjoyed the process immensely.

Now everything is in place and looks fantastic. An experience like this allows one to step back and correct all the mistakes made the first time. I should send the beloved city fathers a Xmas present but will restrain myself. Even without going through this ordeal of starting all over like I did, one should take a step backwards now and then and look at what one is doing.

I did a lot of things because that's how I started doing it and to change requires too much effort. I had a lot of plants hanging which absolutely do not need to hang. A big Pleurothallis gargantula with 50 leaves cast a big shadow. Plants underneath it get little light. Everything that does not need to hang sits on the bench now. More light getting in. Close to 100 feet of wall all got covered with chicken wire, a great place to hang all kind of smaller plants. My benches were 4 feet wide, plants at the back edge next to the wall get neglected. All the new benches are only 3 feet wide, much nicer. I realized some of these problems but to correct them in the old overcrowded house was just such a hassle.

I think in the future I will not shy away from making major corrections if it seems beneficial, it really is worth the effort. The above statement is really the point of this post.


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