Whether it’s a trashy TV show, extra-pulpy fiction, or nutrient-free candy, write a thank-you note to your guiltiest guilty pleasure
Ok orchids, now sit still and listen. I know you cannot move on your own and have no ears, but you are my favourite audience.
Do not listen to Mr. Swiss when he goes on about me saying I exaggerate with my collection. Of course I do not, I just take advantage of the special offers our supermarket has. How can I walk past the flower department and not discover the new orchid arrivals? You are often available at half the price and in colours and shapes that are not yet in my collection. To give Mr. Swiss credit, he does appreciate a new fresh orchid on the table to brighten up the gloom of the Winter months, but we seem to have a small problem.
I do not have a problem, and orchids I am sure you also have no problems. The problem might be a Mr. Swiss problem, but we will ignore this for the time being. You grow and make a wonderful show of your flowers which remain for a couple of months. Unfortunately, as with all living creatures (and plants) there comes a time when the beauty dwindles and disappears. In your case it means that your flowers die, but we hope for a regeneration. At least I do, and you orchids know that it is possible: with loving care, a weekly supply of water and above all, monthly fertiliser, you survive. I know you do not flower again so quickly. We all need a time of regeneration, gathering our energy and storing it in our leaves and stalks.
Yes, this is where Mr. Swiss and I may have different opinions. He prefers to see a sea of orchid flowers but I cannot give up on you. I keep you, even though your beauty has been reduced to plain green leaves. These are, of course, not just leaves they have their own special beauty. They are the strength reserves for further flowers. Please forgive me if I cut your stalks after the flower has died, but this all has its purpose. It leaves room for a growth renewal, as some of your know. How often are we tempted to throw a flowerless orchid into the garbage, but I know you are full of suprises.
I can understand when certain people find a collection of green leaves in the living room may not be aesthetic, but as we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I behold fleshy green leaves. I am sure you even quiver in thanks as I walk past. Today is Saturday and as you all know orchids, it is the day when your strength is replenished by a short bath in the kitchen sink. Did I see you all looking in my direction with thankfulness. Perhaps it was my vivid imagination, but perhaps not. I noticed that two of you have promising buds on a stalk. Perhaps only one or two, but it shows you are alive and ready to do it again.
You are my guilty pleasures and each of you deserve a place in the living room, contrary to what others may think. I even have one of you on the kitchen table, the newest arrival. I hope you welcomed this orchid with open stalks, flowers and leaves. November is now coming to a close, but as soon as December arrives I will be looking again for the orchid of the month. You orchids that have no flowers, do your best and produce something next year. Do not let me down and remember, I will protect you and preserve you against those that find I am overdoing it, again.
Go forth and multiply my orchids, even then I have the solution. I hope it causes no pain to your roots when I separate you, but all births are painful and are rewarded with offspring. You little ones in the corner. Remember when you arrived, you were big and strong and then dwindled. I separated you from your mother plant and now you are ready to be mothers yourself.
Those of you that have not reflowered and have leaves turning brown, I am afraid you might be approaching your end station, the garbage can. None of us live forever and we all have to go sometime, but rest assured that I will protect you until the bitter end.
Let us now take a minutes silence in memory of the orchids that did not make it.