Tag Archives: gardening

The Resurrection of an Orchid: Ode to a Questionably Colored Thumb

5 Aug

I am the giver of life. 

Nearly two weeks ago, I stood over my kitchen trash can, ready to finally toss away the once beautiful, bright purple, smile-inducing orchid that David gave me early spring last year.  Now withered, dry, and depressing, it was a constant reminder of my inability to keep anything whatsoever alive.

I’m sometimes startled to find my cats alert each day.

I’ve never been sure about the color of my thumb.  My mother kills anything green she looks at, while my father is currently nursing a bonsai seed in their fridge.  My grandmother on my mother’s side is a gardening beast.  She turns rotted tree stumps into nests of flowering glory.  She cans, jams, and exhibits other stereotypical grandmother qualities wherein she toils in the earth and then harvests the fruits of her labor.

The fruits of her labor are delicious.

show offs.

I tried to blame a terribly dry winter for the downfall of my orchid.  Though I read in a multitude of articles that they’re one of the hardest plants to kill, I couldn’t help noticing the flowers fall to the dirt below.  Apparently that’s pretty normal too, as they have a regular blooming season just like any other flower.  I tried to tell myself it was okay until I started noticing people’s orchids blooming brightly around the office.  

Yes, my office has people who keep office orchids.  Spider plants just don’t cut it for this highbrow corporate society.

But soon the stems began to turn brown and the leaves began to wilt.  No amount of watering, sunlight, or plant whispering could restore its former glory.   So there I stood in my kitchen, ready to call the whole thing a bust and never invest in plants again.  Until I noticed what I thought could be a tiny, little, shiny green leaf at the base of the other wilting lost hopes.  

It was a pioneer in a desolate land: a sole carrier of dreams.

I got a bag of fresh soil and transplanted it to a more spacious planter, my hope renewed enough to fuel a second attempt at checking the color of my thumb.  I put it right by the window and have shown it love and adoration as absolutely often as possible.

One might say we’re intimate.

And in the time that I’ve given it all-my-lovin, all-my-hugs-and-kisses-too, that tiny little leaf has grown an entire inch, upwards and outwards into the great wide open.   My days are spent with moments of great hope and joy juxtaposed against absolute fear of failure.  What if it’s a fluke? What if it just grows a little leaf and nothing more?  What if I start to grow the plant back and my terribly dry, terribly enraging apartment chokes the poor little life out of it?

I suppose I can always take it to my Mr. Miyagi’s for advice. 


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