Lady Orchid

Tag: Cactus

They Say it is Fall

Yes, summer has spread her warm, damp wings and has quietly drifted away. The autumnal equinox is now upon us and with any new season, familiar change is always welcome.

The orchid bug that is nestled within me has been buzzing at a cozy, consistent frequency. I have not necessarily been brimming with the same excitement that stemmed from my initial orchid adventures, but I have been very happy. My orchid collection has become quite comfortable and although there have been a few losses due to some very hot summer days, all appears to be well. Not many additions have been made to my orchid garden in these past months. Although I may have one or two orchids on my wish list for later this fall, I have simply found so much pleasure watching my leafy friends come to life and flourish within our home. After the seasonal onset of new growth and new roots, the promise of a variety of fall flowers appears to be on the horizon.

Miniature OrchidsMiniature orchids in the morning.

As my orchids have acclimated to their home, I have been musing over my other plant collections. A few strange, flowering cacti and succulents have been added to the southwest windows in our studio and a handful of hearty begonias are now growing alongside the orchids in our living room. It has felt nice to curate a varied assortment of beautiful creatures, ranging from the subtle and basic to just plain weird.

Stapelia Gigantica + Edithcolea GrandisStapelia gigantica and Edithcolea grandis

STAPELIA GIGANTICAStapelia gigantica‘s emerging buds. So curious to see what these giant ‘starfish’ blossoms will look like and how strong her carrion scent may be.

Years ago, my heart beat wildly for begonias. Sadly, this collection was lost when we moved into one of our older apartments. After all of these years my family and close friends have nurtured cuttings from my previous collection and with their love, they have grown into the most beautiful, robust plants. Each time I have visited their their homes I often found myself missing the distinct foliage and the waves of shimmering pastel flowers. This past spring I finally decided that I wanted to reconnect with a few of my long lost loves.

Begonias and OrchidsOrchids and begonias under the watchful gaze of my ancient aloe.

Begonia Immense Begonia Immense and her beautiful, hairy stems.

With the addition of these new houseplants, I felt the need to re-think potting soil. I remember having bad experiences with many pre-packaged varieties, particularly Miracle-Gro. The thought of overly moist “soil,” small flies and chemicals made me shiver. I love to care for my plants and buying a product that hardly dries takes the fun out of watering entirely. With this in mind, I decided to prepare my own rich, airy mix. I feel that after experiencing the simplicity of varying orchid media, the idea of preparing a nice potting soil that would suit my needs was much easier.

As fall progresses I will surely post a few photos of my orchid blossoms, along with some additional updates.

Found: Missing Lady Orchid

Admittedly, my blog has been a little quiet during the latter half of 2014. The frequency of my writing has become sparse, partially because the quiet hum of the computer was simply unalluring. But during this time away, beauty has been abundant.

After nurturing my orchids for quite some time, my daily routine has become not so routine. Watering and fertilizing and mounting and planting and experimenting. Sterilizing and snipping and evaluating. Rearranging due to weather, humidity and the season. My leafy friends have fared well over time, albeit, there have been challenges and losses along the way. Amidst this constant, loving uproar, something was destined to change.

As the autumn days became chilly and dim, I found myself deeper in thought – perhaps within a meditative state. After being presented with frequent flowers and steady growth over the years, it became clearer to me that my orchids have offered me so much in return – a soothing, soulful response. The peace, the movement, the running water, the smell of earth and the delightful colors of the their leaves and flowers are all so enchanting. It has been so dreamy to flourish alongside one another.

In the grips of winter, life and livelihood have remained steadfast. I am embracing what I have, peering back into the past and gazing into the future. Cold weather projects and pre-spring plans are abundant. I am excited to share a few surprises with you quite soon, but in the meantime I wanted to post a few warm winter moments and some pleasant updates:

UNI AND ORAA bright reminder that the sun still occasionally shines during the brisk winter. Ora basking in the leftover rays that have slipped past the orchids in the living room.

UNI AND ORA 2Hugs and kisses, a tender winter solstice cleansing.

SATCHMO AND MOXIESharing with friends, warm winter nibbles during the Christmas holiday. Satchmo, my Father’s 30 year old Mustang and Moxie, Shannon’s adolescent Belgian. These boys share a pasture at my Father’s home in Massachusetts.

Tubecentron Hsinying GirlTubecentron Hsinying Girl’s only blossom. She originally promised four buds, but the other three had shriveled and disappeared due to the lack of water while I was away for the long winter holiday. But it is okay, one beauty was enough for me! A tiny, shimmery firework.

Sophrolaeliocattleya Memoria Alvin BegemanOne of my favorite miniature orchids. Sophrolaeliocattleya Memoria Alvin Begeman ‘Poem’ always reminds me of springtime. Her color and shape are reminiscent of a daffodil protruding from a hardened, post-winter garden. Beautifully cheerful.

Maxillaria camaridiiMiss Maxillaria camaridii, such a fruitful orchid. Between June and October she produced about ten sets of blossoms, ranging from two to twelve flowers each. I will say that she is a sneaky orchid. Her blossoms nestle perfectly within her curved leaves and are hardly noticeable until they open. Her blossoms last for about one day. Fortunately, I caught onto her antics early enough to keep up with her unpredictable rhythm.

PINK CACTUS BLOSSOMSOur kittens’ cactus. I do not have a name for this bundle of thorns. She sits upon Uni and Ora’s ‘weather window,’ a sill with a bench where Uni and Ora sit each morning to watch the world awaken. This cactus serves as a scratching post for their kitten cheeks and noses and hardly receives water in this southern window. I discovered these pink blossoms the other day and complimented the little ladies on their growing skills.

PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW LADIESIn late February, a gaggle of plant loving ladies will be heading to the flower show in Philadelphia! So excited to attend this year!

Over the past few months, the activity in my growing areas has been picking up quite a bit. In my mind, flowers are like botanical smiles. It truly makes me happy to see others happy.

Currently in spike or bud:
Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta
Brassavola NOID #1
Bulbophyllum Sheryl Kurizaki
Leptotes bicolor

Oncidium fuscatum
Phalaenopsis
Taisuco Glory x Be Tris ‘#32′

Currently in bloom or has bloomed since my last post:
Bulbophyllum
Sheryl Kurizaki
Cadetia taylori
Dendrobium hemimelanoglossum
Maxillaria camaridii
Oncidium fuscatum
Phalaenopsis
Taisuco Glory x Be Tris ‘#32′
Podangis dactyloceras
Sophrolaeliocattleya
Memoria Alvin Begeman ‘Poem’
Tubecentron
Hsinying Girl

Will be in touch again soon with a few tidbits about my first flask, rare newbies and a few of my winter projects so soon. Until then, take care and enjoy the crisp air!

With Love,
Colleen

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