Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Orchids in the Orchard

Something someone on Facebook said made me realise that I had never done a blog post which showed all of the orchid species we get in the orchard all together. Probably it is because they don't flower simultaneously and I tend to do orchid overviews for the season in the Touraine as a whole, not just for the orchard. So here we are, with links to Loire Valley Nature for more information about the species, English, French and scientific names, and dates each of these was photographed in our orchard.

Autumn Lady's Tresses Spiranthes spiralis (Fr. Spiranthe d'automne) photographed 22 September 2016.

Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera (Fr. Ophrys abeille) photographed 4 June 2013.

Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine subsp helleborine (Fr. Epipactis à feuilles larges) photographed 10 July 2014.

Early Spider Orchid Ophrys sphegodes (Fr. Ophrys araignée) photographed 25 May 2012.

Lady Orchid Orchis purpurea (Fr. Orchis pourpre) photographed 9 May 2015.

Lizard Orchid Himantoglossum hircinum (Fr. Orchis bouc) photographed 9 June 2013.

Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis (Fr. Orchis pyramidal) photographed 3 June 2016.

Chapel News: Yesterday Simon and I ran into Gérard Thoreau, Deputy Mayor of Preuilly and Sabine de Freitas, the wall paintings conservator who has been advising on the conservation of the interior painted decoration in the Chapelle de Tous les Saints. They were off to take a quick look at the chapel because Sabine is preparing to make a maquette of the designs. To my delight Sabine was very complimentary about Days on the Claise, and apparently reads it regularly. I was dead chuffed. Donations towards the restoration of the chapel can be made via the Fondation du Patrimoine fundraising page.


Farm Transfers: I picked up a flyer in the boulangerie yesterday which was advertising an informal meeting on Tuesday 7 February to 'talk about transfers, around a coffee or a mulled wine' at l'Esperance, one of the local bars. It's for farmers who want to retire and are asking themselves the question 'Who will want my farm?' The gathering is organised by the Association for the Development of Agricultural and Rural Employment in Indre et Loire (ADEAR 37). The discussion will focus on two main possibilities: first, that local community organisations could help; and second that it is better to sell to your neighbours. There will be case studies and first hand testimonies. I'm not planning to go (although I'm a bit tempted), but I'm interested that a State funded rural agency has determined there is a need and has decided to offer advice. The big problem as far as I know is that young would be farmers who are not going to inherit land find it very difficult to enter the market, and older farmers who wish to retire on the proceeds of the sale of their farm need to get a good market price.


chm said...

You are fortunate to have such a variety of orchids in your verger. Is there any kind of symbiosis between orchids and fruit trees or is it the kind of soil, pH and other factors that makes your land attractive to orchids as a whole?

Susan said...

There is no particular relationship between the fruit trees and the orchids. The orchids are there because it is a dry calcareous grassland. The fruit trees make it a lightly wooded or 'open woodland' habitat, but the orchids don't mind that.

I do feel lucky to have that many orchids. A couple of them are rare and protected, a couple are very common and seen everywhere (but are amongst the prettiest).

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