The Better Gardening Road

When I realized, finally, that I would never be an orchid grower, I shifted to plan B. I would grow flowers that looked like orchids.

After all, isn’t that what we do, or should do, when we run into life’s inevitable disappointments? We move on. We focus on other things. We lose that “great love” and find out later he/she wasn’t actually good for us after all.

Regardless, in the best of all worlds we find out that life is in the journey.

So, I found some bulbs that looked to me like orchids. And they shook up my garden in that lull time between the blooming of the lilies and the unusual-for-here Angel’s Trumpets and the masses of zinnias, some of which eventually reach my height.

I picked up some bulbs called Pink Tigridia, from Costa Rica, the flower pictured on top of this post. Actually, I planted them and promptly lost the label. I went on Facebook and a woman I grew up with, my new botanical guru, figured out the name for me from her reference books.

Doesn’t it look like an orchid?

I bought some other bulbs that looked like the white orchid I lost, but even wilder. This one is the Hymenocallis.

People are walking by the flower patch out front and stopping, looking at these odd blooms in wonder, asking me what they are. They aren’t orchids, certainly. And that’s fine.

I have my own path. And this one is strewn with wild, unusual colors and shapes taking up residence among the staid hostas and evergreens. Blooms that have never been in my prim neighborhood before in these shapes and configurations.

This was another reminder to be true to myself, both personally and in a botanical sense. It is the much easier road. And in the garden, the beautiful one.

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Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I picke me up something new this year – an actual orchid that grows in Zone 7. It’s called Bletilla, or Chinese Ground Orchid. And it has striped foliage after it blooms in the spring. Can’t wait till next year.

  2. I bet that’s beautiful! I’d love to see photos of that. And I’m okay being orchid-less now. People keep coming back asking me about the Tigridia, requesting a bulb or two “in trade.” It really has people stirred up. Which is fun — tee hee.

  3. It strikes me that learning the art of adaptation seems to be the greatest lesson of gardening. For all the planning and dreaming that I do, it’s the ongoing adaptation and my ability (and my garden’s ability) to be resilient that makes the whole thing work. Your flowers are beautiful…orchids or not!

  4. That is so true, Nourishing! The past few years of intensive gardening have been unparalled in teaching me about life in general and people specifically. Thank YOU re the compliment. I absolutely love your garden and blog.


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