Harbinger - definition: a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another.
"Crocus are the harbingers of spring"
Harbinger - synonyms: forerunner, herald, portent, sign, signal.
"These plants are the harbinger of great things to come."
I was always a plant geek. My interests are varied from orchids, to Hemerocallis (daylily), Hosta, Trillium, Aroids, etc. I dabble in most plant groups if only at the reading level. I have experience with quite a few groups, most good experience, a few bad. I freely share the plants which "come to my place to die." as a demonstration that not everyone can grow everything and that is ok. There are few plants that don't interest me.
My obsession with the family Orchidaceae began in 1983 when attending my first orchid society show. The rest is history. At university, besides my regular studies, I chose to study the Aeridinae and published several new species in the genera Cleisostoma, Trichoglottis, Tuberolabium, and Vanda. Taxonomically, I am presently fiddling with Habenaria and the non-orchid genus Trillium with the aim of describing new species in both. in 2018 I co-authored the publication of Habenaria janellhayniana.
The idea of Harbinger Orchids originated in the 1990's. I wanted to provide the newest and latest species and hybrids. At that time I was OBSESSED with Paphiopedilums and Phragmipediums. I also had a large number of Aeridinae species at university. Hurricane Ivan, in 2004, saw an end of that dream as Bull Creek flowed 20' over flood stage and took all but 3 of my orchids. A Phrag. Wossner's Supergrande 'Harbinger' [then just Grande], Phrag. Nitidissimum, and my mum's Neofinetia falcata survived.
I am presently growing in a grow room in an unfinished basement. My growing area consists of approximately 24 square feet of flat space. However, I hang A LOT of my mounted plants from chains and gutter guard "walls" I've built. With the hanging plants I have about doubled my growing area. I am a small grower, with almost 35 years of experience, who is slowly expanding. A greenhouse in the future has potential. Presently this is a labour of obsession... errr... love. See photographs below of a part of my growing area.
I am presently moving away from orchids as a business. I will still maintain a small personal collection. The present economy of cheap big box store orchids has brought down quite a few growers. The expense of flasking and the lack of interest in seedlings presently has me moving towards Aroids such as Amorphophallus, Arisaema, Sauromatum, and Typhonium. I've rebranded to Harbinger Orchids and Exotics and will soon rebrand to Harbinger Exotics.
I have plenty of PowerPoint presentations prepared. (Say that 5 times fast. lol) Presently, I have "Bulbophyllum : a Short Survey", "Orchid Diversity", "How to Expand Your Growing Area" (this is more a 25-30 minute talk with some slides), "Sex, Lies, and Orchids: Orchid Pollination Mechanisms", "Habenaria and Relatives", "Orchids 101: The Basics", "Orchids of Pennsylvania", "Perennials for the Heat of Summer", "Spring Wildflowers", "Hosta ", "Amorphophallus: Introduction to the Corpse Flowers", and several others. I am willing and able to quickly formulate a PowerPoint to most topics. I have a digital image library of 12,000+ photographs I've taken over the last several decades. I enjoy speaking publicly about my plant geekdom.
I have a vast library of photographs I've taken over the decades. Some of these will be offered as digitally printed prints suitable for framing. I have sold many over the last few years. These are printed on archival acid-free card stock. These are available in several sizes. These will be dated and signed on the reverse. In effect these will all be one of a kind. If you see any of my photographs, here or on the various forums (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) not listed in the "Prints" section of which you would like a print, contact me. I enjoy sharing plants in any way possible.
I am presently offering and assortment of Aroids, and Trillium. Eventually I hope to include Hosta, Hemerocallis (Daylily), Hippeastrum ("Amaryllis") and other perennials. I am growing, still learning, enjoying, loving, and expanding almost daily.
Timothy C. Choltco