Monday, May 26, 2014

Really tiny feet

When my parents moved from their country home into a condo, the one garden plant my mom insisted on taking was her orchid. Mom is an epically avid gardener, and after 30-some years of these particular gardens, the orchids were her prize. I recall scrambling for time in the last days of moving, grabbing a shovel and a cardboard box, and digging where she said "Dig". The orchid-containing dirt clump made it to my garden where I unceremoniously shoved it into some likely ground and hoped the roots would make it.

Fast forward through a particularly harsh Wisconsin winter, I frankly forgot where I had stuffed the clump. I spotted "something I shoved in the ground" coming up, ID-ed them as the orchids, was pleased (and relieved) they survived. Now that they are in full bloom, I totally get my mom's dedication to them. I'm shocked at how much I want to just stare at these; they look too exotic to be growing in this crazy scragly wooded plot we call a garden. I wander into the backyard as often as sanely possible to just ogle them. I would be charged with harassment if they had anything to say about it. In my defense, how can you not be totally awed by this?!

Yellow Lady-Slipper Orchid (Cyprimedium parviflorum)

(Beautiful photo credit to my husband and his mighty camera - he's my macro mac-daddy)

At the right angle, it really does look like a tiny shoe. Maybe it's the size of orchid blooms that makes us think of tiny fairy-folk. On that thought, we also have orchid hats to offer. The yellow ones go nicely with the slippers, although these purpley-pink ones would work in a cheerful jelly-bean theme kind of way.

Lilac Fairy Bishop's Hat orchid (Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee')

The hat size seems out of proportion to the shoes though (we could think of this for the dainty fairy with honkin' big feet - maybe she'll be a tall fairy and grow into them). Yesterday when we went to the candy store for pot goodies (we live in Wisconsin people, so think plants for the front porch containers), we found yet another orchid (I know, right?!). A Bishop's Hat in white. Three or more is a collection, so with five types in the yard, we are officially orchid collectors now. Cool.

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