Sunday, May 08, 2005

Since I still haven’t finished the three hardanger bookmarks, and therefore have no fibery pictures to show here, I thought I’d show what I have blooming on my kitchen windowsill right now. These two

were presents from Shaun when we moved into our house in December. The white Phalaenopsis orchid only had one flower open when I got it, and has since opened four more. It must be happy! There are at least six more buds developing, so this should be in flower for several more months. The African violet got very dehydrated and completely wilted while I was away in Maine last month, but has now recovered.

The next four are orchids from a Home Depot sale, brought home in mid March. The first is a Paphiopedilum:

Paph. Emulate ‘Mishima’ x Dragon Flag ‘Green Ching Hua’

This was a very tight bud when I got it. I didn’t know exactly what it would look like, but was fairly sure it would be only green and white with no purple. I have wanted a green and white Paph for years, and did a little jig right there in the store aisle when I saw this one.

Since the orchids were on sale, I also picked up these:

Two unlabelled Phalaenopsis, both with two inflorescences each. These were in full bloom when I got them, but should last another couple months. The one on the left is a small-flowered but branching and quite floriferous plant, while the one on the right has larger but fewer flowers. I love the purple stripeyness of the one on the left and the beautiful deep raspberry of the one on the right.

Last but not least, I got this second Paphiopedilum:

Paph. (Pulsar x Black Cherry) ‘#1’ x fairrieanum ‘Super Red’

It’s a lovely deep wine color, and as you can see it has two flowers on the same spike. I would guess that either the Pulsar or Black Cherry cross has a multifloral species in its genetic history, and hopefully it will continue to throw multi-bloom spikes. Both buds were very tight when I brought the plant home, but it also seems to be happy here. The second bud just started opening Wednesday.

Orchids are so fun. I had a whole bunch (more than 60, mostly small species and crosses) when we lived in North Carolina, but when we moved here to Washington the house we were renting was a dark cave surrounded by large trees. My orchids were not amused. There was no place for me to put up the grow light, and the only window that got sun (about an hour a day) was right next to the heater. The heater made it warm and very dry on one side, but the window was drafty single-pane glass so it was cold nine months of the year on that side. Dark + low humidity + cold drafts = dead orchids. I decided that perhaps I should take a break from houseplants for a while.

The kitchen windowsill in our new house is perfect for plants. It faces south, the sill is about seven inches wide and is made of slate, and it’s out of reach of little hands. Hopefully it won’t get too hot in the summer. Right now it’s so pretty with all the blooms!


Liz said...

Who knew you could get such beautiful orchids at Home Depot (of all places)? They look great, and happy. And, I'm totally with you on the build-your-own-hanging basket. I think the plants are actually better off with more room to start off life.

Suz said...

I hate you. Ok, I so do not, but I am going to find your house and steal your orchids!!!

I love orchids, but they didn't survive the move. The new house has a perfect window though, so maybe after spending money on the paint!

Yours are GORGEOUS!! just GORGEOUS! congrats :)