Larsen Twins Orchids
This page is no longer updated - December 2007
we will move over to our new web site www.orkidebilleder.dk
All orchid photos and orchid stamps are already
The Site is in Danish and English.
|Bent Larsen’s orchid collection
is situated in Haarby, a small town on Funen Island, Denmark. The private
collection was founded 13 years ago and is growing steadily. Orchids were
either bought from dealers and friends or swopped with other amateur growers.
Growing orchids could easily
become an expensive hobby but Bent is a labourer and must keep the purchases
and running costs (heating) within a tight budget. It is a non-commercial
collection and Bent would rather swop plants than sell them.
The strategy is to build
up a large variety of orchid species and hybrids with only one or two large
specimen of each. Bent is very fond of the Cattleya group but you will
see from the orchid list that he managed to get many other orchids as well.
As so many other orchid growers he has also killed his share of orchids!
The collection has now reached a level of 380 species (or hybrids) with
a total of approximately 1000 specimens. However, there are also photos
of many specimens that died or were discarded so at present there are about
820 images of approximately 500 hybrids/species.More are on the way of course.
PS. We are actually
twin brothers! But you wouldn't guess so if you saw us together. Bent buys
and grows the orchids and looks after all the orchid-related stuff. Arne
mainly takes care of photography, scanning, photo-editing and all
the other webstuff.
Bent bought an old wooden greenhouse,
40 square metres, transported it home and re-built it in his sub-urban garden.
In order to increase the effective space, 4 professional rolling tables
were installed, 1.8 m x 4 m. One 200 litre rain water tanks is placed under
each table. Behind the greenhouse are placed 10 x 1000 litres water tanks
to collect the rain water from the roof.
The greenhouse is heated
from the central heating system in the house and insulated inside with
a layer of bubble plastic to reduce heat-loss during winter.
Watering is very time
consuming during summer and is mainly done by overhosing all orchids
a few times per week until the tables are flodded.Water is taken from the
200 litres tank placed under each table and pumped up with a electric
hydrofor pump. The tables drain the water back again in the tank within
about an hour.
The water in the indoors
tanks is fertilised with the same liquid fertiliser that is used for commercial
tomato production (summer mix). When fresh water is added, Bent adjusts
the fertiliser with a little Mmhos meter until it is shows 1.8-2 again. (This
is quite high, so you may run a lower fertilizer regime if you like). When
the water has been recycled and added up a few times, we pour it out over
the garden plants and fill fresh water on and add fertiliser again. We
stop fertilization completely in August to harden off the orchids before
the winter season.
We also use leaf fertiliser
a few times every summer to give better leaf colour or help the plants
that have insufficient root system to take up fertiliser.
Names and labeling
Correct names and labels gives us a constant headache. We have discovered
a lot of errors, old synonyms and incorrect labels in this collection. We
try and verify names wherever we can and update them but it is rather difficult
as many hybrids are not found on the Internet yet. Fortunately, a number
of other orchid enthusiasts have been very helpful and reported errors back
to us so we could correct them. They are often specialists within certain
groups of orchids and can therefore better spot the errors. Thanks to
all those who took the bother to correct our amateur pages! Please continue
correcting us - it is highly appreciated.
We have often discussed whether we should discard all unknown or
dubious orchids and start all over again with only 100 % certified specimens.
(But many of the incorrect names originate from the commercial dealers
-so who can you really trust?) And that would mean discarding a large number
of our most beautiful orchids so we are still in doubt what to do. We have
for instance a number of very beautiful Cattley-alliance orchids where
we know most of the names, but the labels where accidentally swopped around
in the pots (by the dealer!) under an emergency rescue. We were not informed
until after we bought them! It will now take us years to sort out the mess
when they flower.
For pure species we usually check with Jay Pfahl's Orchid Species
Encyclopedia on the Internet. It is impossible for us to keep up to date
with correct species names and their synonyms, so we use Pfahl's pages to
update the names of species. We for instance used his listings to sort out
the confusion between Bulbophyllum and Cirrhopetalum species.
Photos were taken of all flowering
orchids over the years. The aim was to have 4 photos of every species or
hybrid in the collection and the photo collection now contains more than
4500 photos. Photos are used for identification and making a colour catalogue
(not a sales catalogue, only a catalogue for our own use) of the entire
Photos are cropped and reduced to 5 cm x 5 cm, 150 DPI, for
use in our catalogue (and this webpage). Every page in the catalogue
holds 12 photos sorted alphabetically. Take a look at one of the catalogue
pages here. At present these catalog pages are not publically
available - they are simply too large files for the Internet, typically
2-5 Mbytes per alphabetical letter.
We get many requests for photos - especially for hybrids that are
not available elsewhere on the Internet. Please help yourself to the
photos on our pages, they are freely available. If you need more detailed
photos send us an email and we will return the required specimens. It takes
only a few minutes to make a more detailed version of the photo.
Photos from the greenhouse
Winters are dark in Denmark. Two 400 Watt
professional greenhouse lamps help us keeping light and temperatures up
Harvesting rainwater is an essential part
the greenhouse work
Laying out the fresh Fiber-tex cloth
for the rolling tables
Bent grows a lot of Spanish moss (Tillandsia)
but lose the bundles every year at the exhibitions.
Other growers also like them!
Bent likes to try out potted species on wood
Here is Cattleya luteola mounted on wood
Mounted specimens are interesting -
but what a job to water them
Continue: Orchids A-Z