I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Fancy Pants. His official name is “Psy. Mariposa Oncidium ‘Green Valley,’” but Mr. Fancy Pants rolls off the tongue a bit better. I wish I could take credit for his nickname, but my friend Barb, who is responsible for my
Barb helped me choose my first two orchids. I purchased several more on my own, and each time after they finished blooming, for at least two years I waited in vain for another blossom. During that time, a couple of the new purchases went to the big greenhouse in the sky (and imagine what that looks like!). I swore to myself until one of my purchases bloomed for a second time, I wasn’t going to buy any more. In the meantime, I did a little research on orchids, and decided mine might do better on our lanai—perhaps our house was too dry/cool/had the wrong type of sunlight. Barb’s orchids, which she keeps inside, bloom their hearts out constantly. Indoors, mine were sad little ghosts of themselves, even when I put them near the window in our steamy bathroom.
So I dutifully moved them outside. And lo and behold, in the fullness of time, a flower stem appeared, first on one and then another! Well. That was it. I began looking for orchids that were “different”—I bought a scented orchid (Oncidium Sherry Baby) and one that lives attached to a piece of wood—“Epi Timezepe Belle x Epi Tampensis x Epi Memorale” says the tag. Whatever that means. I infected my husband with orchid fever, and now he wants us to have enough plants so that we always have one blooming.
We now have 12 orchids. Four including Fancy Pants are blooming right now, and three more have buds that haven’t yet opened. I am no orchid expert—in fact mine seem to thrive on benign neglect. I’ve had a couple more casualties since that first rebloom, but overall our little orchid colony is thriving.
So far I have a mild case of orchid fever. I haven’t traipsed through a swamp in search of a rare variety or illegally picked any in the wild. I don’t have a greenhouse filled with thousands of plants—and I don’t want one. I don’t want to become an expert or spend untold hours and money to amass a huge collection. My orchids are a simple pleasure and a way to add beauty to our surroundings. And that's enough.
For more information on orchids, visit the American Orchid Society at http://www.aos.org/.