How I love spring!

Even in San Diego, we do have the seasons. The signs of spring are subtle here, but they are evident: the days last longer; college students on spring break flood the streets with energy; and a pair of house finches flits back and forth, building a nest in my trumpet vine. My favorite sign of spring is flowers—they are blooming everywhere!

Gunter and I attended Orchids by the Sea, an annual rite of spring at the Scottish Rite Temple last Sunday. I was in heaven!  Orchids are my favorite flower.

First, I walked through the huge show hall, checking out all the displays. Elegant Phalaenopsis, moth orchids, cascaded like waterfalls from tall stems. Cymbidiums, commonly used for spring corsages and easy to grow as a patio plant in Southern California, were available in many of the booths. Miltonia, pansy orchids, were new to me. Vandas take up a lot of space and require full sun; that wouldn’t work for me. But I can grow Oncidiums. They require less humidity than other orchids. I love their tall, delicate stems and blossoms. By far the most stunning and sensual orchids are Paphiopedilum, lady’s slippers; they originate in the jungles of Indonesia.

Second, I attended a class on how to keep and fertilize orchids when they’re blooming and when they’re not. The lecturer repeated advice I often tell my friends: “Don’t worry about killing orchids. Buy them and just enjoy the bloom, which will last for six weeks.  You could pay for—and throw out—cut flowers three times and easily equal the cost of one multi-stemmed orchid. So try to keep the plant until it blooms again, but if it doesn’t, you haven’t lost a thing. Above all, don’t feel guilty!”

Third, I purchased an assortment of orchids for half price. Such a deal! I invite you to view my orchid show albums and my home display in the albums below:

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