I've never been a blushing pansy, well not in the garden that is, so when it came to choosing a few select Cypripediums to cultivate last Fall, I went with C.'Philipp' and C.'Pluto.' Those familiar with these hortgasm worthy Holy Grail woodland terrestrial orchids, know that they do not come cheaply and as a rule are not for gardeners feint at heart. I have lost our native C.reginae too many times to count, but had read about the @Frosch selection of hybridized slipper orchids out of Germany. My trusted enabler of all things woodland garden related, Larry Davidson of Lost Horizons nursery in nearby Acton had a choice selection in his catalogue. Without further adieu, please meet the latest resident of Teza's Hortus Magniaficum - Philipp. A hybridized cross between C.macranthos and C.kentuckiense. 'Philipp impresses with his large flower in the base collar white with a claret to pink drawing. Growing to 60cm in height, Philipp is much taller than my other resident slippers [C.Pluto and C.calceolaris] and is also a late bloomer, although this year my trinity all have flowers as I create this post - with C.Pluto fading rather quickly after two weeks of sumptuous bloom!
Here's hoping that these beauties continue to enthral me for years to come. I love when I can cause a visitor to bend down to near ground level in order to experience something totally unexpected. But then again, that was my initial intent twenty years ago when I created my gardens. The Memorial Garden where both Pluto and Philipp are planted is also home to a trio of Meconopsis x Sheldon 'Lingholm', one of which seems about to open. Tomorrow is my birthday, and what a wonderful day it would be to have my most cherished children shimmering in their full glory.