This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Whenever any one writes to ask the names of half-a-dozen Orchids "to start with," I always include this plant, Dendrobium nobile, Cypri-pedium insigne, Odontoglossum bictonense, Phaius Wallichii, and Bletia hyacinthina. If they fail with these, I advise them to give up growing Orchids, and to stick to Fuchsias and Pelargoniums.
This Coelogyne is just now unfolding its lovely white flowers, and though our plants are small we have thirteen spikes on each of them, which make a nice show. It is one of the Orchids that every one having stove accommodation or a house kept up to 50° on winter nights should grow. It does best in a pan of peat, sphagnum moss, and crocks or charcoal intermixed : the bulbs and rhizomes should be elevated on a low mound of compost in repotting, and the surface between the bulbs should be coated with bits of living sphagnum moss. When growing it enjoys being watered overhead; and if placed in a cool dry house as soon as the flowers open, they will remain fresh and good for twenty-eight to forty-two days. F. W. B.
ON the 11th May, we received from Mr Speed, of Chatsworth Gardens, a fine example of this Orchid, which is known as the Trentham variety, the chief and valuable characteristic of which is, that it blooms fully two months later than other forms of this Coelogyne, and so prolongs the blooming season of one of our most useful and beautiful Orchids. This variety has been in commerce for some time.