Thursday, February 19, 2009

Orchid Update

I wanted to give you a look at how our Orchid has been progressing. And, as of last Saturday, we now have a new grower in the house: a dozen Paperwhite bulbs which we're forcing. 

First, the orchids. Remember how we had just one bloom open and five or six more buds? Well, now we're up to three full blooms and three more buds! It's amazing, just look at it:

(Can you see the three blooms and the three buds a little farther along the spike? If not, check the next picture...)

Now, as for the Paperwhites... I brought home the bulbs for Valentine's Day because Christopher likes white flowers and, with my current financial situation, I couldn't exactly spring for a dozen of any kind of flower before a holiday like that. So I went to our local garden store and bought a bunch of the bulbs. When I picked them up to bring them home, they were simply brown little balls with about a one-inch white/green growth on the top. (Honestly, they looked like fat little cartoon geese!)

The information that came with them said that, in cool temps (60-64 degrees - perfect in our house in winter), with a little water, they should bloom within two or three weeks. I was pretty skeptical, since this is the first time I've ever forced flowers from "scratch." But, at just a week after they were first watered (last Thursday), they're going gangbusters. Well... Just look at how they looked yesterday:

(I love that one sitting atop a pile of rocks in a vase of mine!)

Because of the cut crystal, you can't really see the roots pushing down through the rocks in the water. I have to tell you, though, that it's a cool enough biology experiment that even I've been fascinated by it on a daily basis!

(These are the other 11 of them in a James Loso Pottery bowl.) (I'm okay with giving him free advertising since he's sort of a cousin of mine.)

You'll notice that, although I "planted" them with rocks coming about halfway up the sides, as they've pushed down with their roots the bulbs have come out of the rocks. I'm a little worried that they might topple, but they seem to be doing okay so far. I'm guessing they know what they're doing....

Oh. And in case you're wondering how much they change in a day or so, here is a picture of the same bowl today (about 36 hours after the above picture was taken):

So, yeah, we may be having a brand new cold snap this week (a reminder from Mother Nature that spring is a while off, yet), but the house is already blooming. It's grand.

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