Friday, February 28, 2014

No tropics here!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Unlike Kate, Deb, and Maggie, I have not had the opportunity to visit the tropics this winter season. This LONG WINTER season. But, in a small way, the tropics have visited me. One of my orchids has decided (after a VERY LONG TIME) to bloom again.

Mr. L noticed in early January that not one, but three of my five orchids looked like they might be setting up buds (if that's what they're called. I don't claim to be an orchid encyclopedia--I just like them).

We watched, and waited ... and watched, and waited ... and (*sigh*) watched and waited. It seemed to be taking an awfully L-O-N-G time for the damn thing to bloom.  But finally, this week, it bloomed.

I had been hoping it would be the yellow one to bloom, not the more common purple, but at this stage, I'll take what I can get.

Alas, we thought we originally thought were going to get three blooms, but as you can see, it only produced two.

The second one seems stalled in stasis land.

And the miniature one is in stagnation land (where it was when Mr. L first noticed).

So I'm just as pleased that Mr. Purple Orchid has bloomed.  And I hope they hang around for a long, long, time.

Do you grow orchids (or in my case enable them to survive, but not necessarily thrive)?


Karen in Ohio said...

Lorraine, I just found a spray feeder that I'm hoping will make my purple orchid bloom again. It's been nothing but three leaves for at least two years now. I'm green with envy at your blossoms.

African violet is another flowering plant that is hit or miss for me. My mom can make them bloom their heads off, but mine just send up enough bloom to keep me from setting the pot out in the cold.

However, last year I gave away an enormous croton that I had been nurturing for 40 years. It started as a fairly small houseplant, but when I gave it away it was eight feet across by five feet wide and seven feet tall.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

It's beautiful, Lorraine. I love orchids, but am a slap-dash orchid owner, so they have a tough life here. However, one has come back while another one is still malingering. Last summer I gave up on one entirely and Victoria (the other half of Victoria Abbott) rescued it on its way to the compost. It's blooming now.

They're sneaky, these orchids, like villains, only much nicer.



Carrie P said...

Back in NH every year there is an Orchid show in Nashua. One year my sister took me to it for the first time, I fell in love, I just walked around inhaled some of the heady perfumes and marveled at the beauty all around. Little did I know that this came around every year and when would NH host an orchid show? Why in the middle of February of course, when almost everyone has given up hope of ever having to shave their legs again because they are wearing shorts, or of putting the top down on the car and driving around just to enjoy the sunshine, or not having to dig out paths in your yard just so your dog can do his/her business.
And sure enough the next year rolled around and my sister was calling and asking if I'd like to go to the orchid show with her ... but of course I would. That was the year I found out she went each of the 3 days it was running and attended the opening night invitation only gala. I can see why she goes every day, it's a bit of the tropics in the middle of the snow encrusted world. She now has quite a collection of orchids, and grows them year round.
Just last week she posted that she was headed out to the orchid show, and you know what? Even living in Charleston now where winter means, 50 degree days, I was jealous of my sister in NH.

Aurian said...

Yes I love orchids, and have grown them for a few years, until the high energy bill and a plague of orchid pests made me stop. I still have two windowsills at the office filled with Phaelenopsis though (the kind you posted), and they do bloom pretty much year round. Just remember, orchids are small eaters and drinkers. Unless they are on top of your heating system, water sparsely once a week is enough, with some plant food once every two months. Not in the full afternoon sun either, they will burn.
I do miss my orchid collection sometimes, but after nursing a rare plant and see it bloom only to have the snails eat it in the night, or other pests attacking the plant, well. They were just un-exterminatable.
So instead of spending a lot on orchids, I do spend it all on books ;)