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Perhaps O should really be for obsession, as it seems I have a bit of an obsession for orchids: they have featured in no fewer than nine blog posts this year. Early-purple orchids were the first to flower back in May, followed soon afterwards by the Common spotted-orchids, which also featured in a second post in late June about the variation in their colours and markings. Also in June, the Bee orchids showed their jolly faces, and I tried to get to grip with identifying Southern marsh-orchids. In July, more orchid species that like damp places were in the spotlight, first the Heath spotted-orchids of Aberbargoed, followed soon after by Rhoose Quarry’s magnificent Marsh helleborines. The late-summer-blooming Broad-leaved helleborines featured on the first day of August, and the first days of autumn were brightened by the sight of spiralling Autumn lady’s-tresses. What a feast for the senses these flowers are!