musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

flower power...

Turn the clock back nine months to February 27th, 2015. Here in Toronto, it was beginning to feel as if winter would never end. Temperatures hovered around minus 25 Celsius, snow and slush lined the roads, sidewalks were slick with ice. At home, Samcat had settled into hibernation mode atop his favourite radiator, and I was battling a gloom-inducing case of SAD.

That last Friday of February dawned clear and (no surprise) bitingly cold. But the sky was a crisp, cloudless blue and the sun shone brightly for the first time in more than a week. Being a red-blooded Canadian woman, I seized the opportunity, bundled up in parka and boots, and went shopping. Shoes? Books? No. I hit the local garden centre. When it comes to fighting the February blahs, there's nothing like a touch of the tropics and, as my mother always said, if you can't go south, go for fresh flowers and hothouse humidity.

I browsed for a while, not really intending to buy, until I encountered the orchid display – a glorious riot of purple, white, and yellow blooms – with (bonus!) everything on sale. The choice was easy: a sunny yellow Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis), sporting a bright pink centre that reminded me of a funny, smiling face. I hurried the little Phal home, double-wrapped in a paper cone as protection from the cold. With luck, it would last through March, maybe even into April, a cheerful presence on my dining room table. 

In fact, the hardy little orchid held its blooms until the end of May. After so many months of pleasure, I couldn't bring myself to dispose of it, so when the last bloom dropped, I found a place for the pot on a table out on the balcony and… well, pretty much forgot about it.

Once upon a time, I had a kitchen with two enormous, west-facing windows, each with the kind of broad sill perfect for coaxing all sorts of plants to bloom, or bloom again. Those sunny window sills are the one thing I really miss in my condo. There's simply no good spot for growing a houseplant that wants a lot of light. So, if I can't give it away, a plant past its bloom will eventually wind up sad and spindly in the green bin. (Fact: Nobody wants an orchid past its bloom.) But I'm SO glad I didn't hurry to bin this one. Just look at what greeted me on August 1st!

Three weeks later, by August 19th, my little Phal pal had produced a total of seven lovely flowers on a sturdy new branch off the original spike. I'm equally glad I didn't hurry to trim that spike.

Super Phal is back indoors now, and still going strong. This next photo was taken less than a week ago on November 19th. I won't be a bit surprised if some of the blooms last through Christmas – but no matter when the final flower drops, this little beauty isn't going anywhere. Not even if I have to build a special shelf to hold it. 

Permalink to this post: flower power

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington 


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At 12:12 pm, Blogger Joanne Guidoccio said...

Beautiful floral journey! You take great pictures, Cheryl :)

At 12:30 pm, Blogger Heidi said...

Wonderful! My flowers are my friends.

At 2:39 pm, Blogger Kath Unsworth said...

Orchid's are so beautiful. My husband and I use to go to an orchid show every year. I don't have a green thumb but hubby does. Lovely that this little plant is giving you much joy.

At 10:29 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Joanne, Heidi, and Kath - thanks so much for reading. Glad you enjoyed my cheerful little orchid.

At 10:00 am, Blogger Simple Nomad said...

Wonderful writing and pictures

At 5:18 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

What a lovely thing to say. Thank you, Simple Nomad! Glad you enjoyed it.

At 5:20 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

What a wonderful and uplifting story on so many levels - never give up on things, light from the darkness, etc. And your photos show if brilliant colour what an amazing thing happened here. I hope it last far past Christmas. What a gift you were given.

At 10:13 am, Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks for reading flower power, Susan, and for staying to comment. You really homed in on what I was feeling as I wrote. A gift, indeed.

At 1:20 pm, Blogger Sheila Seabrook said...

Gorgeous, Cheryl. I love flowers! That's pretty much all I have in my yard (with the exception of the tomato plants my mom grows from seed each year, then passes them around to us kids). And flowers in the middle of winter are so uplifting!

At 10:12 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Mmm, fresh tomatos. Okay, now there are two things I really miss having in the condo! Thanks for reading, Sheila.


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