Located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Mountain Orchids is a small, mostly mail-order, nursery offering selections targeted to appeal to the Orchid, Begonia, and rare plant collector. Refocused in recent years, we anticipate offering many new & interesting selections involving more our own breeding - in addition to the usual extra plants (overfow) from our current collection.
I've been growing plants (mostly Orchids) for over 40 years. During that time, my tastes and interests have changed, and in some ways, even come full circle.
Like so many people, Phals, Catts, and the like were my first exposure to the Orchid family; I even successfully tried my hand with a few in my late teens. Despite this, had it not been for the discovery of the myriad miniature and species that exist, my trip down orchid lane may have been a short one. The non-traditional and non-mainstream has always attracted me, my taste in plants was no different.
Early on, my best friend and I began collecting Pleurothallids and other species-type orchids. I was never compelled to "have them all", I was only interested in the ones that, in my eyes, had some merit. Colorful or interesting flowers, attractive to unique plant form, and/or foliage with patterns, textures, or variegation: plants exhibiting these characteristics quickly became collectable targets.
During this same time, a small business was formed based on the propagation and dissemination of some of these rare plants. For a number of years it grew and expanded to involve attending shows and orchid related sales events all along the east coast. Through these years I endeavored to expand my skill set in plant propagation. Seed culture, grafting (I was into conifers at one point), sterile lab techniques & flasking were all put into practice. I even dabbled in tissue culture for a bit.
However, as the years went by, both the market and life changes made the show circuit and the "traveling for sales" aspect of the business far less attractive...
Several years ago, forced along by life circumstances and the state of the economy at the time, I made the reluctant decision to relocate and to downsize a bit. A sizable portion of the collection was re-homed and a new, smaller, facility was constructed to house the remaining portion of the collection.
Members retaining a more or less permanent place in my collection were those that have performed the best over the years, those which do not demand an unreasonable amount of space, and those which exhibit for me the greatest attraction (flowers, form, and/or foliage).
With the new perspective, but also now greatly limited space, I have found myself all the more "selective" and "choosy" with the types of plants I grow or add to the collection.
Since the move, I will admit re-discovering an interest in some of the Gesneriads, and in finding an outright passion for the rarer and choice Begonia species (mainly rainforest types). With the latter, it's certainly the multitude of forms and leaf patterns/variegation that fuels the attraction.
When it comes to Orchids, my main current interest is in Masdevallia & Oxy Dendrobium breeding. Both these are areas with which I did some work in years past but, for various reasons, ended in hiatus.
...is always so hard to predict. Despite anyone's best intentions, sometimes things never quite go as planned. I know my interest in mini Dendrobiums has rekindled and I've been paving some new paths in breeding in several groups. Obviously, too, my fascination with exotic Begonia species certainly continues. I think, at least for now, that these are mostly where my attention will be placed. Do expect more and exciting listings in all these areas - there's always so much more they have yet to offer...