Orchids are not easy to care for. They take a bit more discipline and consistency than taking care of normal houseplants. They are more sensitive to regular waterings, do not like their roots sitting in water, prefer a bit of breeze, and crave specific kinds of light depending on their species. If purchased with buds they will usually bloom, but it is tricky to get them to bloom the following year. This is what takes the carefully maintained environment and attentive nurturing.
Every birthday/anniversary season, which for us falls between the last week of March and the last week of April, we trek out to Hauserman’s in Villa Park, Illinois to wander the acres of greenhouses and select a few orchids to care for throughout the year. This year we brought home two dendrobiums (Yellow Song and Nesto NN), a Vuylstekeara Smile Eri, Phalenopsis Sogo Vieker, a Coconut Orchid (Maxillaria Tenifloria— unbelievable aroma), and a Witchcraft Orchid (Monnierara Millennium— a fall bloomer with supposedly black flowers).
This morning all the orchids we purchased a few weeks ago were in full bloom (except for the Witchcraft Orchid), a couple of them subtly scenting the morning light. How delicate, vulnerable, and complex their beauty and aroma. Once the blooms, which can sometimes last for weeks, die, the careful work continues in earnest so that they can renew and rebud. Just like the relationships we celebrate this time of year.