Orchid Dreams

DSCN0393

five buds bloomed my orchid this year

I have lived in Los Angeles for 8 years 7 months, and counting. I’m going to guess that I have been trying to make an orchid part of my decor for approximately 8 years 1 month. I have killed exactly 7 of them to date, but this time I did it! I have successfully nurtured this orchid plant for close to one year now, and not only is it alive, it is blooming!

DSCN0390

my happy, healthy orchid

You’ll have to forgive my excitement. After several people telling me it’s easy to care for orchids, and then me subsequently killing them, this is something I never thought I could accomplish. And much to my chagrin, itactually was pretty easy!… With a couple of new conditions in play:

1) I have this awesome gardening window in my new house. It does not get direct sunlight, but that’s great because orchids don’t like direct sunlight. The window is shaded by a huge ficus tree, so it gets plenty of light but no harsh direct sun rays.

DSCN0398

some of the new roots that developed in the past couple months

2) The gardening window is over the kitchen sink. What does this have to do with anything, you may ask? Well, every time I do the dishes, I am reminded to check it to see if it need watering. And I just water it in the sink when it does. Piece of cake!

DSCN0396

the base of the stalk that grew this year

3) This particular orchid is a Phalaenopsis, which likes to get completely dry between watering. So it was always easy for me to tell when it was time to water it again. Water it when the bark in the pot feels dry.

DSCN0394

Phalaenopsis with red lips

So to encourage those of you who might have felt like me, and think that you can’t take care of an orchid, I’m here to tell you that you can! Here are a couple links that will make it easy:

DSCN0401

five blossoms

Have you tried to maintain an orchid? Did you find it easy or difficult?

A Beautiful Day at the Arboretum

DSCN0299

an unsuspecting entrance to the beautiful grounds at the LA County Arboretum

Last Friday a friend and I took advantage of a beautiful, warm and sunny day by spending it outside at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. What can I say about this place, except that it is a gorgeous reprieve from the sprawl that surrounds it! What a fantastic way to remind yourself of all the amazing vegetation in the world.

The Arboretum is sectioned off into different areas of vegetation, including Africa, Australia, and their Prehistoric Forest. They even have a pond, a lake, and a waterfall! They also have some smaller greenhouses to cultivate the more tropical plants, like orchids, that need a lot of humidity since we don’t have a whole lot of that here in Southern California.

Here are some of my favorite things about the Arboretum.

DSCN0258

an orchid trio (Tropical Greenhouse)

DSCN0259

orchids much like mine at home (Tropical Greenhouse)

DSCN0260

beautiful colors speckling the greenhouse (Tropical Greenhouse)

DSCN0265

looking up through the eucalyptus (Australia)

DSCN0266

glass inlays along Serpent Trail (Australia)

DSCN0268

a little taste of down under (Australia)

DSCN0270

Tule Pond

DSCN0271

I want to have story time under this tree!

DSCN0273

Canadian Geese remind me of being back in the Northeast

DSCN0274

another view through the trees

DSCN0275

The magnolias are blooming! (Meadowbrook)

DSCN0280

And so are the cherry blossoms! (Meadowbrook)

DSCN0281

My favorite part of the day was discovering the waterfall behind the magnolias and cherry blossoms!

DSCN0283

makes me feel like I might be in Hawaii

DSCN0288

a second baby waterfall next to the bigger one

DSCN0289

the view from above the waterfall (Tallac Knoll)

DSCN0290

This could be the best reading spot in the whole place! (Tallac Knoll)

DSCN0291

a big old Cypress tree

DSCN0293

Queen Anne Cottage (1885) – You can’t go inside, but you can peak into the windows to see the period accurate furnished interiors!

DSCN0296

lots of very big, very old cacti along the main walkway