There's been crazy business at the Cats and Catts house! I haven't had a chance to post in the last two weeks, but it's not for lack of orchid and cat activity. The kitties had a dog visitor from Alaska for a few days. Nicki (below) kept the cats on their toes. When they weren't hiding under the bed, they were walking around with puffy tails, all suspicious or jumping into the lap of our guest who was allergic (Griffin was the main culprit, naturally).
Then, we entertained guests from Florida and Iowa. So, I've been hanging out with friends and family and/or spending time in the garden. I'm slowly acquiring the weed-hating mentality of Michael Pollan's grandfather. I have a number of new irises and daylilies I acquired last year from a gardening-guru friend, and I'm trying to give those plants the best possible shot at greatness.
The orchids have been demanding, too. The longer, hotter days have required more watering sessions. I've already sunburned one mini-catt and I probably put more at risk. So, I moved ahead with plans to build a shade house. My brother-in-law drove down from Iowa for the occasion and led the design and construction effort. We built the structure (see below) in about two and a half days. I promise to follow up with a step-by-step description, but I still need to paint it and landscape the perimeter.
Also, the Cats and Catts Video crew is working on a how-to video for the shade house and we're finishing the Large-Flowered Cattleya educational video series. We're looking ahead to do a series on the Brazilian Laelias drawn from Chadwick and Chadwick's book and the recent article in Orchids magazine, but we promise more kitties and frogs in the coming weeks.