Orchids can become an obsession. As one who possesses that obsessive type of personality by nature, one who doesn’t just skip lightly into a new interest but rather jumps feet first and whole body and soul into it, the orchid-mania hit me around 1996 with the first purchase.
Needless to say, there were more purchases, many of them. In between collecting every orchid we could find, we moved twice, from Tennessee to Texas and then back to another area of Tennessee, where we now reside. The orchids were brought along each time in the back of the vehicle with a clever system involving plastic bins and wood shelves.
A greenhouse/sunroom was built specifically to house the orchids over the winter at this house, more information about that can be read about by clicking here. Immediately it was discovered that there was not enough room for all the orchids and other peripherals that needed sunny, humid shelter during the cold months. Something had to be done.
It began, that something, by leaving the orchids outside that had not bloomed or rebloomed for me, except the Paphiopedilums, my favorites. Waiting ten years for certain paphs to rebloom had been a lesson of stubborn patience. These were the easiest, so it had been written, and if their exacting needs could be met, rebloom should happen. It finally did.
All of the Paphiopedilums were kept since they were small and somewhat attractive even when not flowering. One by one, the other orchids were left outside to freeze to death, the only way I seemed able to do the deed. Hidden out of sight in the corner, covered with leaves, they perished. But one Cattleya continues to resist my efforts of eradiction, Pumpkin.
Pumpkin, full name Cattleya Slc. (Pumpkin Festival ‘Fong Yuen’ x Naomi Kerps ‘Fireball’) is large, unruly and has ugly foliage. It should have gotten the death sentence long ago, except that is keeps producing new blooms. Not only does it bloom unfailingly, it blooms soon after being brought indoors each September.
So it is, the greenhouse shelves contain the nicely budded Paphiopedilums that will bloom well into March, giving us the flower fix in the coldest and frostiest times, and Pumpkin, among other odds and ends of cuttings and succulents. It melts this hard heart.