For my mother

Mother Orchid blooms

Lovely face, Joyful color

Always giving LOVE

Springtime in New Mexico ushers in the good, the bad and the ugly. Bad is all the wind, dust and allergies; ugly because everyone has bad hair days as a result of the winds; and the good is that this is the time of year my orchids start to bloom! Every year, around January/February, I closely inspect my orchids for signs of flower spikes. They start as little nubs growing from the base of the plants.  I want to catch them so I can direct the growth upwards. However, sometimes I forget or don’t have time to check and find them already several inches long and growing sideways, too late to redirect. No worries though I’m just happy because it means beautiful blooms in the very near future, usually in March and lasting through June.

Blooming orchids

I admit that I had a black thumb. A sad story is that I actually received the Black Thumb patch as a Girl Scout. This adversity continued to plague me into adulthood. When I was living in San Antonio I could never keep an orchid alive. But the “black” streak ended when I moved to New Mexico. I’ve been very successful here- I now have seven orchids with about 86% success rate in annual blooms. Pretty darn good for someone with a black thumb!

Blooming orchids

Recently, I did an Internet search on “orchids in New Mexico.” I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a New Mexico Orchid Guild as well as a nationally known orchid expert in Santa Fe. I learned that the NM Orchid Guild and the ABQ Bio Park’s Botanical Garden was holding their annual orchid show and sale this month of May. What a great opportunity to learn and see more orchids. I ventured to the BioPark and found myself in an orchid wonderland! I learned that some orchids have a fragrance- one such type is a Cattleya. I saw a miniature orchid with blooms measuring only a few millimeters in size, there were cascading orchids numbering tens of blooms and flowing like a waterfall, and there were many hybridized orchids with very beautiful blooms.

Orchid Show at ABQ BioPark Botanical Gardens

Picture 1 of 35

Orchids are the only indoor plants I maintain in my home. They are the perfect plant for me. I found an ideal location: on a windowsill by the front entrance where they get the right amount of light and temperature fluctuations to induce flowering and all I have to do is water them about every 10 days. We enjoy their beautiful, coloful blooms for several months. A member of the Orchid Guild told me that there are orchids growing in the wild right here in New Mexico. In fact, she said I could find them in the Sandia Mountains. You just might see me up there this summer searching for those orchids!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Blooming orchids

Lazer loves the wind

Chasing leaves in our backyard

What a crazy dog!

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