Spot of Green

February 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

Good morning,

It’s jazz night on a Monday night at the place I usually post my blog, so I’ve changed and am in my kitchen

I can take a lot, but jazz? er no!

So I begin this post to you from my home on a Wednesday morning, cup of tea at my side, and look out of the window at the monochromatic vista before me and think, this weather is getting so boring. I need to be out there sorting things out for the spring.

Whatever. Until it thaws, one thing a lot of people are doing is loading up with houseplants. This time of year, once the holidays are over and the house has been returned to normal the need for green is pretty high on the list.

The poinsettias, amaryllis and cyclamen might still be holding on but you can also get forced and potted spring bulbs in the garden centres now. Hyacinths, daffodils and tulips are the usual. But more permanent plants like palms, peace lily, even begonias can brighten an old lady’s windowsill (!)

If you want to splash out a bit and go for a challenge then try some of the orchids out there for sale. I say “challenge” but really, orchids aren’t that hard. Most of the ones you’ll get offered are Phalaenopsis and maybe a few Cymbidiums and Cattleya.

“Phals” are the Moth Orchids. How I have mine: in a small saucer placed on pebbles in a larger saucer. The pebbles are then kept just covered with water to keep up the humidity around the plant, then every 10-14 days I water the orchid itself and let the water run out through the bottom and  then tip that away. Moth orchids are epiphytes, which means they grow above the ground on tree branches, fallen logs etc. They don’t need to have their roots permanently in soil or consistently moist, as they will rot. Cause of death #1. And, they like dappled light, as if they were in a tree canopy,  and humidity, hence the wet pebbles, and bingo.

Once it’s flowered, let it rest with just its leaves for a bout about 2-3 weeks and then you can feed at 1/4 solution houseplant or orchid food every 2nd watering and you should get it going again after a little while.

There are plenty of choices to be had and grown quite successfully so until you can get out and really get busy in the garden, do some interior landscaping and make yourself feel better.

Ending this post from the front seat of the car- sitting in a parking lot- waiting to eat on a Saturday night. Took me long enough!


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