Orchids

I have windowsills filled with orchids. I’ve collected them over many years, some inherited from my Mom.

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They summer on the windowsills, basking in the heat and humidity akin to their native land.  When their planting medium grows dry-ish to the touch, they take their turn in the sink, for a long cool drink.

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Once in a great while, I line them up outside, and lavish them with an orchid fertilizer, spilled liberally over their leaves, and drenching the pots.  As long as their home is above 60 degrees and they’re watered only when thirsty, (and only in the morning), they will flower with abandon for months.

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This one began blooming before Easter and is still going strong with new buds yet to open. Notice the lips are lilac-pink and stick out like a proboscis. The column leading into the inner sanctum where the reproductive parts are, is pale orange. In combination with the angel wing white of the petals, it is a voluptuous beauty in a two inch pot!

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I used to let my orchids outside for the summer, inspired by southerners who suspend them like ornaments from the trees. If afternoon thunderstorms didn’t water them, I’d pretend to be a passing shower and drench them with a hose. By the end of the summer, I’d discover their leaves had been a food source for slugs and snails, and aphids were multiplying amongst the leaf axils.

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Now, they sit on a windowsill where they benefit from the tropical summer weather, but screened from pests. This way the collection remains healthy.

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Having a tea party? Ask everyone to bring an old forgotten heirloom, and send them home with a full cup.

 

 

 

 

 

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