The Story of an Orchid

Saturday, August 27, 2011

About 40 years ago I was given an Orchid plant.  It was an Australian Native King Orchid and was a piece broken off from my grandmother's beautiful plant which flowered profusely in the Spring.

Now I need to tell you this little bit of information - I have always considered myself to have "Green fingers" or "Green thumbs", and if you haven't heard those terms, then I'll explain that I think I am reasonably good at gardening and most things grow well for me:

I have even won a couple of prizes for my gardens!

I only had my piece of orchid plant for a couple of years and it hadn't grown enough to flower before we moved house.  It was an interstate move south, about 800 kilometres, and I had about 40 pot plants that I wanted to take with me.  I put my orchid in a pot and duly had all the plants sprayed and certified suitable for moving to our new location.

My pot plants thrived and multiplied in the new climate.

My orchid looked very healthy, but it didn't produce any flowers.

Thirteen years later when we moved again, I whittled my number of pot plants back down to about 40 again (I told you they multiplied) ready for the move to another State 1600 kilometres away.  My orchid of course went with me.  We rented for two years so I didn't have my own garden, but my pot plants thrived, but still my orchid didn't flower.  The next move was just across town and my 40 pot plants plus my orchid went to our new house. They all loved their new environment, but the orchid didn't flower.
By the time we moved again eleven years later, I needed to reduce my pot plants back down to about 40 again and they and my orchid moved 80 kilometres south to our beautiful retirement home.
By this time I had accumulated LOTS of orchids and they loved our new courtyard.
There were delicately coloured ones:

pink ones:

brown ones:

yellow ones:

  They flowered profusely ... 

and right next to them, on the same shelf, being treated with the same tender loving care, sat my King Orchid.  It must have been the only orchid that I owned that didn't flower. The plant didn't thrive either in the very cold weather; in fact it actually reduced in size!

Last year, we sold our home ready to move back to Queensland where we started.  I made the big decision not to take my pot plants with me this time.  Patchwork and stitching have rather taken over my life since I retired and I decided I didn't want to spend lots of time looking after plants any more. Half a dozen would be enough to keep the house looking a bit green and I could buy plants more suitable to the sub-tropical climate when we moved. I said goodbye to them all:

... gave plants by the dozens away and kept just two.  One was a very lovely big fern and the other - you guessed it - my King Orchid.  I was nostalgic about that orchid because it came from my grandmother's plant and I had this secret idea, that maybe when it went back home to Queensland, it just might flower. The orchid and the fern sat in the back seat of our car and endured the 2000+ kilometre trip to our new home.

When we arrived, I bought half a dozen new plants and put them in the courtyard along with the fern and the orchid.  All but one of my new plants died!!!!!!  But guess what, in anticipation of its first Spring in our new home, the King Orchid has a flower spike on it!!!  Yah!

It isn't fully out in flower yet, but I couldn't wait to show you!

Each little part of the flower spike is a tiny little white orchid: 

Can you imagine how pleased I am after all those years!  My orchid just needed to come home!

Have a great week,