Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Story of an Orchid


About 40 years ago I was given an Orchid plant.  It was an Australian Native King Orchid and was a piece broken off from my grandmother's beautiful plant which flowered profusely in the Spring.

Now I need to tell you this little bit of information - I have always considered myself to have "Green fingers" or "Green thumbs", and if you haven't heard those terms, then I'll explain that I think I am reasonably good at gardening and most things grow well for me:


I have even won a couple of prizes for my gardens!

I only had my piece of orchid plant for a couple of years and it hadn't grown enough to flower before we moved house.  It was an interstate move south, about 800 kilometres, and I had about 40 pot plants that I wanted to take with me.  I put my orchid in a pot and duly had all the plants sprayed and certified suitable for moving to our new location.

My pot plants thrived and multiplied in the new climate.


My orchid looked very healthy, but it didn't produce any flowers.

Thirteen years later when we moved again, I whittled my number of pot plants back down to about 40 again (I told you they multiplied) ready for the move to another State 1600 kilometres away.  My orchid of course went with me.  We rented for two years so I didn't have my own garden, but my pot plants thrived, but still my orchid didn't flower.  The next move was just across town and my 40 pot plants plus my orchid went to our new house. They all loved their new environment, but the orchid didn't flower.
 
By the time we moved again eleven years later, I needed to reduce my pot plants back down to about 40 again and they and my orchid moved 80 kilometres south to our beautiful retirement home.
 
By this time I had accumulated LOTS of orchids and they loved our new courtyard.
 
There were delicately coloured ones:

pink ones:
 

brown ones:
 

yellow ones:


  They flowered profusely ... 
 

and right next to them, on the same shelf, being treated with the same tender loving care, sat my King Orchid.  It must have been the only orchid that I owned that didn't flower. The plant didn't thrive either in the very cold weather; in fact it actually reduced in size!

Last year, we sold our home ready to move back to Queensland where we started.  I made the big decision not to take my pot plants with me this time.  Patchwork and stitching have rather taken over my life since I retired and I decided I didn't want to spend lots of time looking after plants any more. Half a dozen would be enough to keep the house looking a bit green and I could buy plants more suitable to the sub-tropical climate when we moved. I said goodbye to them all:


... gave plants by the dozens away and kept just two.  One was a very lovely big fern and the other - you guessed it - my King Orchid.  I was nostalgic about that orchid because it came from my grandmother's plant and I had this secret idea, that maybe when it went back home to Queensland, it just might flower. The orchid and the fern sat in the back seat of our car and endured the 2000+ kilometre trip to our new home.

When we arrived, I bought half a dozen new plants and put them in the courtyard along with the fern and the orchid.  All but one of my new plants died!!!!!!  But guess what, in anticipation of its first Spring in our new home, the King Orchid has a flower spike on it!!!  Yah!

It isn't fully out in flower yet, but I couldn't wait to show you!


Each little part of the flower spike is a tiny little white orchid: 


Can you imagine how pleased I am after all those years!  My orchid just needed to come home!

Have a great week,
Regards
Val

22 comments:

Judith said...

What a lovely story. Your poor orchid was home sick all the time. I am so pleased that you kept it all this time. Everyone or thing deserves a chance.

Maddy said...

I really enjoyed your story about your plants. I too have moved to Qld. bringing with me a small number of plants. All of which are doing well only three orchids, one which my father gave to me. Which is very unusually for him as he is known not to share his orchids. Now that we have purchased a house. I can finally start a garden.

Jessica said...

Yay! I am sooo pleased for you! It must be the Queensland weather. I have a native orchid that is from one of my grandmothers too, so I know exactly how you feel!

Sue from Cyprus said...

Oh Val, what a beautiful story. I almost had shivers reading the last bit. Of course it had to come home..... just where it belongs.

Enjoy, hugs from a very hot country.......Cyprus x x x
Sue x x x

simplestitches said...

Val what a delightful story...I'm so glad that you kept that orchid all those years!
I've got quite a few that came from my Dad's place when he passed away...they bloom each year and are beautiful....
I've also got pink nerines that came from my Grandmothers garden...they didn't bloom for years...but now I have pink nerines everywhere in my garden and will always take them with me wherever I go....
Julz

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

Neat story! It's amazing that you kept it all those years!

Sharon said...

I so enjoyed reading about your orchid! My husband bought me an orchid earlier this year and I'm hoping it will bloom again next Spring. I have read some articles about caring for orchids and hope I can keep mine alive!

annmarie said...

AWESOME story - thanks for sharing.

Marj said...

Who would have thought that a flower could be homesick. Your orchid is beautiful, I can see why you were not able to give up on it. Happy orchid watching and quilting!

Alicia said...

I loved your orchid history
Here in México we're celebrating grandparents day
Si it was very nice ti read your history today
Congrats!!! Love your flowers

Allie said...

I got chills reading that - how wonderful to have a piece of your grandmother's plant! And it's bloomed, look at that! Your flowers are so gorgeous, but that one takes the cake, Val - be sure to take lots more pics of it for us!

Red Heads said...

Val, What beautiful orchids. I loved the story about your grandmother. Thanks for sharing. Your king orchid was just waiting for its new home to rule over. You have a green thumb & patience Me... no.. no.. no...Blessings to you AND THE KING... ha.ha. Dianne.

Linda said...

What a lovely story, Val. You're so blessed to have enjoyed a green thumb all these years, and to persevere to see your grandmother's orchid bloom. It's already pretty and will surely be fabulous in full bloom. I'm happy for you to celebrate this occasion. Enjoy and appreciate, as I know you are.

Jeanette said...

Lovely story Val. So glad the orchid has finally flowered for you. The bloom looks so beautiful. Happy Stitching,

Michelle said...

Love the story Val, like they say 'theres no place like home'. It is beautiful, well worth the wait.
Michelle

Jo said...

What a lovely story Val, Im glad you kept the orchid.

Susan In Texas said...

What a wonderful story, Val. What beautiful orchids you have! Unfortunately, my home is like Auschwitz for houseplants. 8(

Susan in Texas

MARY PERNULA said...

I love this story. I like how you kept your Grandmother's start and even though it took this long to bloom, the blooms were worth the wait and faith you had in this little jewell. Hugs Mary

Rian said...

What a story and what a beautiful orchid you have. These little flowers and the colour is very nice. The yellow and pink ones, on the other pictures they are sold here, but I havenot seen such one.

Enjoy it!

Sheila said...

That is a great story. It's amazing that it went that many years with out flowering and you never gave up on it. I do agree, it must have wanted to be in Queensland. Have a great weekend.

Judy S. said...

Loved your orchid story, Val. It also gave me hope that mine might one day bloom again......

M and M plus 3 said...

What a wonderful and remarkable story! I have but one orchid. I purchased it without any marker post blooming at a supermarket. It has bloomed for me but now I'm afraid it might be dieing as the stem where the flower was is drying up.