I don’t mind a grey winter day — a perfect excuse to be inside, curled up with a book and a cup of tea. But the grey winter days here in southern Massachusetts have been pretty endless –weeks of mostly rain and sleet and flurries. Even for contended folks like me, the greyness gets a little dreary.
And so I look forward every year to the winter Cape and Islands Orchid Society’s orchid show and sale.
I became an orchid fan when Dan and I were first getting to know each other, and he had inherited an orchid that needed some TLC. After repotting it, it flourished and sent out dozens of blossoms that lasted for over seven months. I read up on orchid care and learned what I could about light, feeding, and watering. When those long-lasting blooms dropped, I thought I might have killed it, but I realized that it was just doing what nature intended. A few months later it sent up another spike and prepared to bloom again in its amazing annual cycle.
The winter Orchid Show brings light and joy to thousands of cold and damp New Englanders as they travel from around the region to get treated to an eye-popping array of orchid wonder. From the tiniest little orchids to huge stalks covered in hundreds of blooms, there is an orchid for everyone. Even if you don’t like the look of one, you only need to turn around and another will cast its spell on you. Even the names — paphiopedilum, phalaenopsis, dendrobium, psychopsis — are magical (and fun to say). Most of the orchids you see in the supermarket are scentless, but for those who like scented flowers there are some orchids that are VERY fragrant — way too much so for my taste, but to each their own, right?
Orchids can resemble other things — butterflies, moths, dancing ladies, weird little figures, animal faces, owls, and more. Can you spot some of these in the images below?
After viewing the show each year, I stop by the grower’s booths and treat myself to a few varieties I can’t find at my local garden center. They bring us many months of delight.
If it’s grey and dreary where you are, get thee to an orchid show! And don’t forget your camera.