Sunday, February 11, 2007


Orchids produce flowers on their own schedule. A catleya I bought long ago after a trip to Key West bloomed well initially, then sat dormant for several years before coming alive last winter after I put it in the warmth and humidity of the upstairs bathroom. Five Decembers ago, when my mother died, my sister chose the cymbidium plant pictured above for its profuse flowering. We cut the stems, wrapped them in satin ribbon, and placed them atop our mother's casket to be cremated with her. I haven't had the heart to toss the plant, even though it too has remained dormant all these years. True to the mysteries of the species, six buds appeared suddenly last week, opening slowly to reveal a delicate beauty well worth the long wait.

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