Tuesday, January 24, 2012

blame it on susan orlean

I've been re-enamored of orchids lately, for a couple of reasons.  For one, it's that time of year.  You can find them on display everywhere right now, from botanical gardens to restaurants, malls and airports.

hotel lobbies, too
Orchids get their chance to shine during winter when we're more focused on indoor gardening than outdoors; once they start blooming, the flowers can last an entire winter.

my new miniature moth orchid (Phalaenopsis).  i couldn't resist this cute one with the intensely red-toned, white-edged petals.  (also pictured top of post)

gaylord palms convention center atrium
kissimmee, florida
It wasn't just seeing them around town that stirred my orchid lust, though.  It was reading Orchid Thief  by Susan Orlean.  Have you read it?  It came out a while ago, so I'm slow getting to it, but I'm glad I finally did.

Lost in the book, I spent a few hours in the Florida swamp with smugglers, convicts and schemers collecting ghost orchids...and then attended a prim and proper orchid show with body guards!

Botanical detail, interesting Florida history, and very enjoyable characterizations made Orchid Thief a lot of fun for this plant-obsessed Florida lover.  It was a great wintertime read.

And it put a bee in my bonnet about orchids again.  I'm especially fond of the minis, so when I saw them at Trader Joe's for less than $10, I convinced myself to grab one.  Ten dollars worth of cut flowers wouldn't last nearly as long, right?!

Will it bloom for months and then be happy enough to rebloom next winter?  I will keep you posted.  Meanwhile, if you haven't already, go read Orchid Thief.  I think you'll love it.


1 comment:

  1. I don't know the Orchid Thief, will check it out. Just found out that you can download a free reader app for your computer to be able to download books to your computer. Will see if Orchid Thief is on the 'free' list or greatly reduced!
    My orchids haven't bloomed this winter...yet. Haven't killed them either.