As The Gardening Season Winds Down….

As the outdoor gardening season winds down, at least for me here in the northeast, there are (very small) compensations. One of them is orchids.

I talk–and have talked–about hauling the house plants in and out. But I don’t even get terribly specific about what those house plants are too much. Occasionally I’ll show a photo that has some of them in it. Or I might show some of them in bloom. I might even take a shot of a “window vignette” once they’re all back in for a Wordless Wednesday now and again.

But I don’t think I talk about my orchids all that much. I start rhapsodizing about the phalaenopsis when they come into bloom in January. I might even carry on about how they bloom for as long as 9 months for me (and they do–it must be my exceptionally cold house. I’m glad to know there are some advantages to that–even though that’s probably the only one!). In fact, I just finally took the last spike off one that started blooming sometime in 2012. It had multiple spikes of course so that’s how that happens. But what other plant blooms like that?!

But I rarely talk about the other orchids in my life and I know I’ve never talked about this one in particular. Its botanical name is a mouthful: Perreiraara motes Leprechan ‘Haiku Mint.’I’ve had it since 2006 when I bought it in bloom at an orchid show. Every summer it goes outside and hangs underneath the branches of my dogwood tree. Every fall I bring it in, it forms a spike and the spike promptly blackens and falls off.

I figured that my home was too “something:” too hot, too dry, too dark, too light–whatever it was, I didn’t have the proper conditions to get this orchid spike to flower.

But of course, in the time-honored tradition of gardeners everywhere, I gave it the ultimate threat this year. I said, “One more year. This is the last year I’m doing this. If you don’t bloom this year, next year, you’re compost!”

And of course, I gave it all the help I could this fall. I gave it a little extra water, I hung it next to an extra full plant to give it some extra humidity.

orchid

And voila! This is the result! So I guess, at least for this year, there will be no compost heap!

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