Since spring doesn’t seem to want to come to us this year, we decided to go out and find some places where we could vicariously experience it. Our first excursion was to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Gardens.
Now THIS is what we’d like to see out our window in place of the hills filled with snow that greet us every morning. I’ll let Stretch narrate our tour:
Ah, now that’s a nice scent to warm a nose tired of frostbite.
Here’s an orchid with an identity crisis—it thinks it’s a rose!
The name of this orchid stirred memories for my human sidekick. She told me that back in the last century when she went to high school it was considered de rigueur for your prom date to present you with an orchid corsage. If you want to see just how serious this orchid requirement was, check out the Leave it to Beaver episode entitled “Wally’s Orchid," in which Ward refuses to pay for an orchid for Wally’s date. Beaver tries to help Wally without success, but the day is saved by June who shames Ward by showing him the pressed orchid she still keeps—the one that Ward gave her for her prom!
I see a resemblance to the “Green” Giant, but this doesn’t look anything like King Arthur to me. They may as well have called it the “Emperor Stretch!”
Now this is my idea of a "Snowball!"
Of course, as I learned from my days of doing the Plant Talk posts on my former blog, you can’t go near a flower garden without some Greek’s crazy story popping up. This orchid, Paphiopedilum (try saying that 3 times fast!) gets its name from the Greek island Paphos where there was a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, and the Greek word “pedilon” translated “sandal.” As you can see, this flower’s inside is shaped like a lady’s slipper and the Greeks say that one day Aphrodite lost her golden slipper. When a mortal found it, the slipper was transformed into this exquisite orchid. (I’d like to get my paws on some of that Mead those Greeks were drinking when they made up these stories.)
I think we should decorate our balcony like this when the snow finally melts around July 4th.
Okay, I’ll turn the blog back to my human pal for a final word:
Besides enjoying seeing these beautiful gardens in bloom, I came away from the show inspired by a quote from Confucius who was impressed by the tenacity of this plant:
“The orchid grows where others cannot, enduring the hardships of hunger and thirst, and is only loosely tied to the things that support it. And even with all the difficulty of its life, the orchid graces the world with beautiful color and rare fragrance.”