About this time last year, I decided to reclaim my kitchen table, home to the orchid collection I’ve nurtured since 2012. None of my orchids showed any sign of blooming. Some haven’t bloomed for years. Several didn’t look very healthy, and a couple appeared to have crossed to the other side.
I wanted to throw the entire collection in the trash. They’d lived longer and bloomed more than I ever expected. Time to move on. I couldn’t do it. Except for a couple too far gone to rescue, I put them outside under a magnolia tree and more or less forgot about them.
Thanks to the wettest summer on record here in Athens and contrary to my expectations, they survived. More accurately, they thrived.
Having grown accustomed to a bare table, I waited for night-time lows to drop below 40 (F) degrees to bring them inside. That would have been sometime in November or early December. By Groundhog’s Day, bloom stalks had sprung from six of eight plants.
In Athens, there’s at least twenty-degree difference between the high and low temperature just about every day. Turns out, that’s excatly what orchids need to bloom.
Guess I’ll get my table back when it warms up enough to put them back beneath the magnolia tree.