Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On Orchids...One Preppy's Musings

A cascade of orchid reblooms... so pretty in the living room
This orchid decided to rebloom last night much to my surprised delight

Two dormant orchids waiting on the windowsill...ready to get their sun-fill

Ah, orchids... the most elegant of houseplants, the most interesting of things growing within a glassed conservatory, the most unique plant to stumble upon in the wild... at least in this particular Preppy's opinion.

I've always been a big fan of orchids set down in a porcelain cache pot and put near a window.

One of the first things I did after moving into my husband's house he had purchased while in college was, as Mrs. Ivy, to procure and place a few orchids around that cottage's interior. Twelve years later, I put these orchids and a couple more into the back of my sports utility vehicle, along with some other plants, to drive from North Carolina all the way out to Park City, Utah. They moved-in with us into a darling restored miner's cottage perched there below a resort's ski runs and above the town's main street. One particular orchid which I had placed on a table by one of the two large windows in the front of the cottage kept reblooming and reblooming- such a happy camper.

In the rush to, within a week's notice, leave my life on the mountain to go with two suitcases in hand back to this island in order to help out my mother who passed away five weeks later, I did find a quick moment to take this particular orchid two houses down to a friend's for safe-keeping.

Months later, as I was then helping out my father here after my mother's passing with his household and own health issues, I finally returned to Utah to find out friend's dog had jumped up on the cabinet where she had placed my orchid, turn it out of its container and....partially eaten it.

Such an unnecessary demise for such a wonderful orchid.

A wonderful The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean. It's a fascinating story and a nice change-up from all of the usual how-to books on orchids.

Orchids add so much to the interiors of places n' spaces and they're fairly easy to maintain. It's when they go dormant for awhile that many people think the plant's dead and toss it away. What a shame. All it needs is to be tucked away in a darkened, but not dark, area of the house and watered and...eventually it'll bloom on back into the pretty pageant of color and design that it is..... I let mine rest for a bit when they go dormant and then coax them back into blooming a couple of months later by placing them back into or near the big dining room window where warmth from the slanted afternoon sun does its work as well as my work with more frequent watering at that point.

The above photos are of some of the orchids I have here which rebloom time after time. They are all several years old at this point. What fun it is to see them rebloom again and again and again!

One day on down the timeline of my life, I may start a Save the Orchids non-profit organization where me and a few volunteers accept people's finished-blooming-for-now orchids to save them from being throw away into the trash or dump heap. We'll bring them to my dream house which is essentially a rambeling cottage with an elegant small English steel and glass conservatory attached to it in the back near the herb and kitchen garden area. In this conservatory will be rows of tables with copper liners and gravel to set the potted orchids onto. We'll keep track of the orchid-owners and alert them when their orchid reblooms. They can come pick it up or choose to donate it to a hospital, classroom etc or let it stay there among its fellow orchids.

Doesn't this sound like a good idea?

Ah, orchids....always such natural grace and beauty amongst us....indoors and outside as well.

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