Sunday, June 26, 2005

Orchid Hunting

My car club is taking a bucolic cruise this morning; to an orchid farm in Redlands, Florida, which is about the last piece of arable land in Miami-Dade County before you hit the Everglades.

I have one orchid: a phalaenopsis that my landlord gave me at Thanksgiving. It was in full bloom, and now that the blooms are gone I’ve been taking care to make sure that it’s been fed and watered carefully with advice from people who know more about them than I do…which would be anybody. It’s a good thing that the phalaenopsis is considered a good “beginner” orchid because my history with houseplants is problematic. I have a philodendron that my sister gave me on my thirtieth birthday, so you know that plant is now old enough to drink alcoholic beverages, and I have a geranium that is getting ready to bloom again. Neither of these are delicate plants — a philodendron in Florida is also known as a “weed,” and a geranium can spend an entire winter in complete darkness and come back like blazes. But I’ve also been known to kill spider plants and cacti — something I’ve been told is impossible.

So maybe now that the orchid has made it this far and is even putting out a new leaf or two, I might be ready to try another variety. We’ll see…

Update: This is the place we visited today: R.F. Orchids. It was amazing. They’re open Tuesdays through Sundays and give tours of the grounds and the orchid houses twice a day. (Hint: if you go in the summer, take insect repellant.) I didn’t buy anything, but I was sorely tempted.