A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. -Oscar Wilde

Thursday, July 9, 2009


So one or both cats (I have my suspicions) got into my orchids while I left them to drain overnight. And there was... carnage. Years of ignoring my orchids, then sudden slaughter. I'm a little better now, but I'm still looking at losing possibly half of my collection, maybe more. I'd guess $150 or more to replace, because they're small but uncommon hybrids.

It's depressing. It's like having your cat or dog eat your hamster or fish, except I've had some of these orchids longer than a hamster or fish lives. My oldest orchid, my blue dendrobium (which had put up two new canes this spring) had all of its leaves mangled or ripped off entirely.

There are those who think I'm silly, melodramatic, or just plain nuts for getting so upset. It's just a plant. But orchids... orchids are different. Phalaenopsis in particular are sold as though they are a slightly longer lasting cut flower-- alive, but disposable. And that's how many people view these flowers. But to keep an orchid not just alive but thriving and growing, to appreciate the strange-looking plants they are when not in bloom, to coax them to produce the strange organic sculptures that are their flowers again and again... it's not just a houseplant. It really is like keeping exotic saltwater fish. Your run of the mill philodendron, or spider plant, or ivy? Nice (I have at least one of each myself), but nothing like this

Bifrenaria harrisoniae

or this

Leonara appleblossom 'pippin'

or this bad boy (which was mercifully untouched because it's so tiny)

shower orchid

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