That headline sums up what I felt when I spotted this orchid in a south Florida box store (rhymes with Gnome Repo). I know that an eventual move to Fort Lauderdale would require some adjustments and adaptations and learning, but nothing quite prepared me for orchid fever. From their smiling faces to their vibrant colors, from their graceful bounce to the way their blooms line up along the stem — I find myself completely entranced.
And that brings me to the heart of my problem. My wants tend to outrun my knowledge base — you could even call it premature floralization. I know next to nothing about orchids, other than they are air plants and that the different species have very long, intimidating names: cattleyas, dendrobiums, oncidiums, vanda, phalaenopsis, paphiopedilum. Each time I say them, I’m not sure if I’m talking about an orchid or if I’m an extra on the set of the STARZ series “Spartacus.” It would sound like this: “Cattleya, Phalaenopsis is doing battle today in the Paphiopedilum.”
My lack of knowledge has done nothing to stop me from envisioning how I would like to display my orchids, which, by the way, have not even been purchased. I envision a metal rack attached to the side of the house, with loops to hold terracotta pots, each one containing an orchid plant. And then, there would be the ground orchids (pictured below), which are planted in soil, throughout the various beds.
While I may not know a lot, I do know when I’m being duped — like with this blue orchid found not only in Gnome Repo, but also in the one that rhymes with Blows. I admit the fancy face caught my eye, but it was all cosmetics — or “garden magic,” as the small writing on the tag claimed.
The truth is that once the blue blooms have faded, all future orchids are white. Part of me is a little angry at the scheme to get buyers’ money — but I’m also a little puzzled. Isn’t an orchid beautiful enough in its own natural state? Do we really want our orchids to be nothing more than so many celebrities and “real” housewives — all implanted and botoxed and lifted?
And that brings me back to my wants. When it comes to orchids — both big and small — I’ll take mine raw and real and “Oh” so natural.