Saturday, February 26, 2011

So pretty on my counter . . .

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett

Cause & Effect One of my favorite Star Trek The Next Generation episodes is "Cause and Effect," where the Enterprise is caught in a time loop.  (I just love those kinds of stories.) In it, Beverly Crusher clips the dead blossoms off her orchid.  A very BIG orchid with lots and lots of flowers.

They used orchids a lot on Star Trek, probably because they look so strange to most of us.  Strange because people on budgets just don't plop down nearly $40 on a plant.

Several years ago my mother started buying orchids.  Hey, I even bought two of them for her. (On sale for $20 and $17.)

Two years ago, I watched "Cause and Effect" about four times in a couple of months and decided, "Hey, I want an orchid."  Do you think any went on sale anywhere?  I had to wait until Christmas 2010.  I was in the grocery store, picking up a few items and checked out the sale rack and, hello! they had a bunch of mini orchids for sale.  I'd bought one for my mother for $7 the previous Christmas (oops, almost forgot about that one), and they had them on sale for $2.  Hey, just my price range.

It had two flowers.  One dropped off almost immediately, but the other lasted for two weeks.  Then it was bare for about a month.  I was sad, and I figured it would take a LONG time before it blossomed again.

Orchid_5 Happily, I was wrong.  Almost immediately it started to grow more and soon there were FIVE buds.  Weeee!  But then I forgot to water it for a couple of days and two of the buds shriveled up.  Boo-hoo-hoo!  But three have survived.  One has bloomed and I hope another will soon.  (I don't think that third one will.)

But isn't it pretty?

Now I want MORE orchids.  I want different ones.  I want pink ones and yellow ones and striped ones and spotted ones.  I like that the blooms sometimes last for months.  I like that they're so delicate and yet so strong.  I like them because they're strange and beautiful.

I just like them!

What plant brings you the most pleasure?


Booklady said...

I like African Violets, but I'm not very good with plants so they never last very long. But hope springs eternal and I still give in to the impulse to try again.

Kuzlin said...

I'm a traditionalist - I love Roses, especially in deep dark red - but I'm allergic to their smell!

Victoria Hamilton said...

Flowers... while it's blizzarding out!!

My office window has three African Violets, two of which are in bloom right now, and a sad-looking pointsettia. My kitchen window has tropicals... a spider plant, a pothos and a sensitive plant, sometimes mistakenly called a shamrock. My living room window has an ivy.

But now, thanks to you, I want to try an orchid... do I dare? Aren't they delicate?

signlady217 said...

I like orchids, too, but I tend to kill everything, so I have two silk ones in my living room (One creamy-white and one pink). One of my favorites is African violets; my grandma used to grow those and she was so good! They were gorgeous! And I love bonsai trees, too. Still looking for one of those in a Japanese maple or golden maple (silk, of course!) :)

All varieties of iris, gladioli, and daffodils also make my favorites list!

Aurian said...

I love Orchids a lot, used to have a greenhouse filled with it. Until the upkeep became to expensive. The one you show in your picture is a household good here in Holland, for sale on the market, the supermarket, the do-it-yourself- market, everywhere. And yes, it should bloom for months. Phalenopsis. But I like all the other races too. Especially Dendrobium, and the more strange the flower, the more I like them.
An orchid needs lots of light, and preferably also on its roots as in the wild, it grows on a tree, not in the earth beneath it. So a see-trough pot would be best. Or just put it on a saucer. Water once a week is enough, unless it is above the central heating system. Ok, stopping with the rant now.

Debra said...

I love African Violets, but I just noticed it hasn't bloomed in a long time. I have one orchid which I sto.. I mean acquired at a graduation dinner last June. Maybe it hasn't bloomed because of the bad ju-ju?

RosieJo said...

I LOVE photos of orchids. They last forever!

Salar37_Shushan said...

Oh, I am looking forward to spring. There are so many flowers that I look forward to seeing again.

Soon we will have the yearly profusions of pansies and daffodils stretched down the village main-street, the farmer's market, and the roadside nurseries. They are the favorite flowers here. I especially love the way the yellow daisies seem to bring the fresh spring sunshine back into the fields, as if announcing the sun's warmth has returned from some long southern migration. I look forward to the rich sweet-smelling mulch we will need to spread again, and glorious velvet purple pansies that will again brighten our backdoor. I love the pansies too, even if they do remind me of that Alice in Wonderland 'flower song' every time I see them, a brain worm that can last all day.

My mother bought me one of those hyacinths in a dutch planter thingy as a kid. I loved that plant. I loved its beautiful spire. I loved the strong scents that covered the decidedly un-awesome scent of the bayou outside my window (my step-father had a good job in Louisiana that winter). I looooved its bright cheerfulness when all else
was gloomy brown moss. That was the year I learned how much difference an indoor plant can make!

I haven't planted a hyacinth in the outside flower garden yet, but I keep thinking about it. Closest we came was the gladiolas we planted last year. Unfortunately they fell over instead of standing straight and tall and blooming
hugely. A heavy rain largely unburied them when they were still bulbs. We didn't notice until too late. I have to admit, their silly little flower faces planted square in the mulch gave me quite a few giggles, but weren't quite what I was looking for in a flower.

I love tiger lilies. The most loving, best-ever church I ever attended had glowing mobs of them all around their front porch, and even straggling off in pious lines towards the woods. This one is love by association, but it counts. To this day, seeing a tiger lily anywhere lifts my spirits and sets my heart singing those old familiar hymns.

Marigolds are cheerful too, and I especially enjoy the way they discourage mosquitoes from guarding the backdoor!

I love buttercups, daisies, violets, and dandelions. I picked many wild bouquets for my own mother. I wore them in sweet-smelling tiaras, long necklaces, and fragrant belts. I rejoiced when in my turn my young children brought their mommy-love bouquets to me from our meadow. I am looking forward to their blooming again soon.

I also love roses. I admit it. I especially love the ones my daughter has planted year after year in honor of mother's day and my birthday. She has so faithfully tended outside them outside the house ever since. They have
grown far more quickly than I expected! The scent on warm evenings lightly tinges the house with her kindness and dedication. I remember too the time when my husband I were still courting. He wanted to get me a dozen roses but
could only afford one. So - he brought that one....and when he could manage it again he brought another, and then another. Eventually he managed the whole dozen, and loved every single one until the last petal fell, and never forgot.

~ and now, thanks to you, I have written today's blog. Great post, Lorna!

Suzanne said...

My mother has about 9 African Violets in the kitchen window. I have a Xmas cactus that is blooming now. I bought a mini Orchid once at Walgreens. It had one flower which stayed on for a few weeks. It fell off and the plant itself also died. They bought one for a co-worker (full size one) and the same thing happened. Yet I know a girl who has had one for years and it is just beautiful. I just have no luck.

Annette said...

Almost every plant gives me pleasure

Nancy said...

Your love affair with orchids could lead to an obsession, Lorna. Look what happened to Nero Wolfe. But, that's a good thing.
I dreamt of flowers last night - pansies, violets and violas. It really has been a long winter.

Tiffany0227 said...

Orchids are definitely one of the prettiest flowers. One thing is for sure they are really expensive. We vacation in West Palm Beach, FL, my husband's uncle lives there and he owns Juno Beach Florist and he sells one orchid for 100.00. CRAZY!!
I love flowers but there is nothing like a beautiful plant.
I had never realized how much I love plants until the recent passing of my father-in-law and they have so much more meaning than a flower. A plant has the capability of surviving longer. A flower is beautiful but at the same time it is so depressing (to me) to watch something so precious and beautiful wither away.

Sorry if this left anyone depressed. I didn't mean to do that I just wanted everyone to know why I choose plants.

bethany said...

I have a plant that belonged to my father-in-law before he passed away - that was 25 years ago. There is no the ompah plant (his) and two child plants. It is not a really pretty plant it just has nice green leaves. But my father-in-law is always with us.

Tiffany0227 said...

that is the way i feel about the plants that i got from the funeral. One is a peace Lily and the other is a ficus elastica. Not the most gorgeous plants but it is a small piece i have of my father-in-law that I may take care of for as long as I can.