Larsen Twins Orchids

www.larsen-twins.dk       2007


Introduction
Photos from the greenhouse
Orchid names and labeling
Orchid list and photos A-Z

Our New Site (www.orkidebilleder.dk)


This page is no longer updated - December 2007 we will move over to our new web site www.orkidebilleder.dk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 presented there.
The Site is in Danish and English.


Introduction

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 Larsen
Bent Larsen


Arne Larsen

The Greenhouse

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.

The greenhouse
The greenhouse

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. 

About Photos

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 collection. 

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 of 
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 as well.
Here is Cattleya luteola mounted on wood

Mounted specimens are interesting -
but what a job to water them


Continue: Orchids A-Z

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