The Orchids are Blooming!

My mom is the queen of orchids.  At 82 she has a HUGE collection of cymbidium orchids that start blooming every year around this time and will keep blooming through the spring.  It isn’t unusual at all for her to have “spikes” (the floral stems) with more than 20 blooms on a stem and plants with 5 or 6 spikes.  The last time I counted at her house she had well over 70 plants. People always ask her what she does.  In truth, even I don’t know.  She knows where to put them.  She knows  how to plant them in new containers with “feeder bulbs” and she knows how much water they want.  She does not fuss.

Cymbidium "Sea Chanty" I'm pretty proud of this plant.

A few years ago she brought about 10 plants over to my house.  (I think she’d just run out of room!)  I have good years and bad years with these.  This is a good year.

This brown and red cymbidium is quite lovely.

Every year I watch to see if they’re going to bloom and how many I’ll get.  This is a pretty good year with lots of spikes starting to bloom and some still coming on.

Two spikes with about 15 blooms on each ... Not bad for an amateur.

You may wonder what the orchids have to do with the kitchen.  I actually think a lot.  In addition to the orchids I have rosemary, herbs (in the spring and summer), a prolific lemon tree and I’ve also grown peppers, certain lettuces etc.  In California we don’t have a lot of room for a proper garden, but it’s nice to be able to run out back and snip a mint or basil stem as a last minute “brightener” to some  near perfect dish…


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