I almost gave up then but there is a stubborn streak in me that refused. So I bought another one and my daughter gave me one and this time I went to Chapter's and found a good, simple book on orchids. The title attracted me: Easy Orchids: The Fail-safe Guide to Growing Orchids Indoors by Liz Johnson. "Fail-safe" sounded perfect although I did pause for a moment or two at the "Indoors". Up here in the middle of Alberta where we're lucky if we get five months that don't have frost overnight (or, worse still, temperatures all the way down to minus 40) I wondered whether anyone could ever have tried growing an orchid anywhere but indoors.
One of the first things I read was that most people kill their orchids by over-watering. Another no-no was putting an orchid right in a window where the direct sun could scorch the leaves. I was getting a very strong feeling that these "orchid sins" had probably been suffered by my own poor departed plants.
Well, I read, I followed instructions, I bought another couple of orchids, I read more. Strangely enough all my orchids were surviving. And not only were they surviving, they were having babies, or as the Hawaiians would say "keikis". And those keikis, once they developed sufficient air-roots were put into their own pots and they, in turn, survived. To make a long story much shorter, I am now up to 18 orchids with 4 more keikis on their way.
That's a lot of orchids! I'm going to have to begin to find good homes for a few because I'm running out of ideal spots for them. There are, after all, only so many spots in a house where one can provide good but indirect light without drafts. I don't have that large a house.
You see I don't only have orchids in my home. I have a lot of other plants, as well. I counted one day as I was watering them all (a chore that takes more and more time as my plant population grows) and discovered that I have a total of 53 plants. That discovery came as quite a shock to me. Until I knew the actual number, I hadn't really admitted to myself that I had an unusual number of plants.
I have a long, built-in shelf in my craft room that holds more than half my orchids. Seeing them as I'm creating frequently leads me to colour choices I might not otherwise have tried.
And so I suppose I can call them my inspiration. Bottom line, however, they simply bring me pleasure now that I've finally figured out how not to kill them with too much care.