Punish Me

Something very bad was done here. By me. I need to be punished. Sit me in the corner. Rub my nose in chalkdust. Send me to my room with no TV. Put me on a stool in the front of the class with the dunce hat on my head. I am trying not to think about it. Why dwell on badness when the tulips are blooming. Tulipa greigii ‘Ramapo’ in bud.
It rained and the top heavy blossom was too much for the stem to hold with the extra weight of the water. This shows a good color echo with the pink hyacinth. Don’t think for a minute that I deserve any credit for this match up, I had never even heard of that concept when these were planted two years ago. I deserve no credit for anything ever again. Make me sit in the cafeteria during recess.

Oops, I was trying to put this out of my mind. It snuck in here somehow. Oh well, you might as well be told to look at that healthy stem with the cell structure showing life next to the dead stem all brown and dried up. Make me do litter duty picking up trash along the highway.

And you might as well be shown this stem with the end that matches up perfectly to the stem in the picture before. The stem with the living cell structure showing. Yes, that one. Ground me for the whole month, well except for the Spring Fling.

Find your happy place, Frances, you know where it is. Flowers, flowers, flowers, think. See this dark hyacinth, Midnight Mystique Black, from Thompson and Morgan, that was ordered last spring, waited until fall for it to be shipped, planted it carefully and waited some more for it to open. It was for the black garden, a black hyacinth, pretty close actually. You don’t deserve to be in your happy place, you should go to your scary place, and be scared.

Back to the nightmare, there were even two flower buds.

There has been an algae bloom in the recently cleaned pond. During the winter the pump is unhooked and just bubbles in the water to give oxygen to the fish and keep the water from freezing solid. The ordeal of cleaning the pump filter and getting the water to circulate through the tubing properly was done last month. Then the algae decided to enter the tubing and has formed evenly spaced green drip lines for the water to cascade over the large flat rock. In a million years I could not get this to happen if I was trying to get this effect, it did it by itself. You would think that would be something to cause cheerfulness around here. Maybe a slight smile is allowed for this.

And normally we are fairly cheerful. Except when we mistakenly cut the bloom stalk of our prized paphiopedilum BEFORE it has even opened, with TWO flower buds. It was early morning, still dark, I went into the greenhouse/sunroom to tidy up some fallen leaves from the abutilons, and remembered that P. Oriental Mystique, shown here on the left in a photo from 2003, had finished blooming and needed the stem to be cut and the stake removed. Except that job had already been done. In the lesser light with no sunshine to help these sorry eyes, and scissors in hand, the deed was done to P. Raven Forevermore whose budded stalk seemed to look like a spent stalk whose flower had fallen off. If it had been allowed to bloom it would have looked like it did in 2003, shown on the right. Someone please punish me.

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31 Responses to Punish Me

  1. kjohnson says:

    Hi Fraces, It is sometimes hard to remember from year to year “what” is “where”, especially bulbs. Call it serendipity and enjoy.

    When I first saw your picture of the waterfall I immediately tried to figure out how you did that – leaky pipe , fine comb-like apparatus, or what? Algae! Again serendipity. Enjoy the moment!


  2. tina says:

    you need no punishing. beautiful pics and the favorite orchid will bloom again.

  3. Frances, says:

    Kjohnson, thanks, the water coming off the algae makes me very happy, I wonder if it will last all season. The stem I cut, unfortunately was an orchid rather than a bulb :-< Tina, thanks, I needed that, for once it was realized what had been done, it felt like a punch in the stomach.

  4. artistsgarden says:

    opps, but as Tina rightly said it will bloom again. Lets concentrate instead on your yummy Hyacinth Midnight Mystique Black. That picture has completely changed my views on Hyacinth. I think it is wonderful, well worth the wait.

  5. Dave says:

    Sorry Frances!

    Mistakes happen don’t worry too much about it. Think of it this way, bud clipping the buds off the orchid will spend more energy making a better root system and a better plant for more blooms later. 🙂 You could drop the flower stalk in water and see if it opens. I don’t know that that would work but it wouldn’t hurt to try.

  6. Frances, says:

    Karen, thanks. Would it affect your opinion to know that one bulb cost $20? I think they now offer three for something like that. It would look good in a container with some contrasting colors.

    Dave, thanks, that’s a good idea, maybe it will bloom in water, I’ll try it.

  7. GardenJoy4Me says:

    Frances .. how could that water drip be any more perfect than it is ? that is amazing !
    I would love a space for a black garden .. that Hyacinth was stunning .. even with the price .. I would choke that back for such a gorgeous “black” specimen .. I would call it my Halloween Garden !
    Joy : )

  8. Nancy J. Bond says:

    Frances, by the look of your beautiful photos, you’ve done a lot more *right* than you did wrong — take comfort in that and know that the orchid will bloom again. Your water feature is absolutely GORGEOUS!

  9. Frances, says:

    Joy, thanks. I like that, a Halloween garden. My black garden also includes red flowers, but orange would be good too, thanks for the idea.

    Nancy J., Thanks. Sometimes there is a wait of several years between blooms on the orchids, but that is one I’ve had for ten years so it will be kept. I am getting less patient with the others, no bloom and they’re out!

  10. mashley says:

    I feel a little sorrowful for the slow but beautiful orchid, but I don’t feel bad for you-one mistake out of thousands of wonderfly planned plantings and landscapes only shows us that you are still human (not the supernatural growing goddess we all supposed you blossomed from) love- and thanks again for our magnificent coral barked beauty.

  11. Frances, says:

    Mashley, what kind words and you are so very welcome for the tree. Many mistakes happen around here, some turn out for the best, like algae in the pond plumbing, some are awful, like the loss of flowers for another year for the orchid. love.

  12. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    Alas poor P. Raven, we knew her not. Never mind Frances, this sort of thinghappens to the best of us. Come to think of it, it just did. 😀 So sit yourself down and have a nice cuppa, OK?

    Your tulips look outrageously frivolous (sp?). 😉 Stunningly dark hyacinth, very pretty.
    Your water feature looks really great,so well done algea! 😉

  13. Gail says:


    So sorry, forgive yourself, accidents happen…you deserve your happy place!


  14. Frances, says:

    YE, thanks for that. A cup of hot chocolate and a truffle, yes that helps the shame. Alas, yes, poor P. Raven. You are very sweet.

    Gail, thanks. This post has been a cleansing of the bad feelings about the untimely cut.

  15. Carol says:

    Who among us has not done the same thing before? We all understand how bad it makes you feel. Would it continue to open if placed in a vase of water, like daffodils will (even though it is an orchid)?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  16. Blackswamp_Girl says:

    Ouch… but your bad feeling today, that was punishment enough! More than you deserved, in fact, so you should be done–and maybe surprised by another bloomstalk sooner than you think?

  17. Frances, says:

    Carol, thanks. Dave suggested putting the stem in water, and it has been done. I was too distraught to even think of that. Looking forward to meeting you, possibly carpooling?

  18. The Giraffe Head Tree says:

    Sounds as though you’ve done a thorough job inflicting mega self-punishment, Frances. This too shall pass and the plant will bloom again. Sit still and quiet and just breathe, and enjoy the rest of the beauty that’s coming up around you. The purple hyacinth?! OMG. OMG. That’s a vision. Worth every penny. Do you charge admission when it’s blooming? You should. I’d pay.

  19. Frances, says:

    Kim, thanks for helping. Maybe it will bloom sooner, maybe a little extra food for her.

    Debi, thanks. It’s a what can you do situation, as soon as it was realized, where is that traveling back in time thing when you need it?

  20. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Now now now Frances. Look at your hands. You have all of your fingers right? Now lets think about this it could have been much worse. I can appreciate your disappointment though.

  21. theysaywordscanbleed says:

    those violet flowers are so lush!

    Puyallup florist

  22. chuck b. says:

    It sounds like you’re doing an exceptional job of punishing yourself!

  23. chuck b. says:

    (I always tried to get my parents to believe I was punishing myself so they wouldn’t have to, as much.)

  24. SA says:

    Frances, I agree with everything said above but want to add – “what an amazing post”. They way you wrote it – kept me in suspense. I nearly cheated and looked to find out what the plant was! Not having grown orchids, except for two miserable failures I didn’t recognise it. Thank you Sylvia (England)

  25. Frances, says:

    Lisa, thanks. You are so right, and I do try and always think that way, it could be worse. Thanks for bringing it into perspective.

    Arlene, thanks. The hyacinth is a beauty.

    chuck b., we are a lot alike.

    Sylvia, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed it. ;->

  26. Kay says:

    Oh dear! I think you have had punishment enough losing the buds – no need to beat yourself up over it. Just keep thinking of those fabulous tulips. And maybe Dave’s suggestion will pan out and you can enjoy the blooms after all.

  27. Frances, says:

    Kay, thanks, the tulips have begun and they are fabulous. Fingers crossed for the bud to open in the vase.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The self punishment is not necessary. I agree with one of the above posts that the loss of the flower bloom is punishment enough. It is good you have a place to vent your creativity, be it good or bad.
    Seeing Similarities:
    Much Love, CP

  29. Frances, says:

    Chickenpoet, thanks for the pick me up. As soon as the post was published, a weight was lifted from my psyche. love.

  30. bestdank says:

    Oh Frances, I am wiping the tears from my eyes for your paph loss. I had to do a double take on these photos from this post. It will comeback. That is all you can keep telling yourself.

    I just wanted to add how much I love your blog. You have some beautiful photos. Keep up the good work!

  31. Frances, says:

    Mike, thanks. I have recovered from this mistake and some day or some year it will rebloom, but what a terrible thing to do! I appreciate your kind words, thanks for stopping by.

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