Sunday, January 22, 2023

Another Foundling

I took Olga to the cemetery yesterday. It's been so cold that ice has built up on the shady side of some of the gravestones. This is the grave of Rowland Neate Perrin, who died in 1899 at 61, and his wife Anne, who died in 1901 at 64. I suppose that was old age back then.

It was one of those days when we kept finding things.

First, at Fortune Green, I found a perfectly good orchid in the trash can. It was sitting right on top and obviously hadn't been there overnight, since it wasn't frozen. The flower stem was broken off and it had a sad-looking leaf, but I grabbed it anyway, which made for an awkward walk since I then had to carry it through the cemetery.

Olga found an old deflated football, her favorite toy, which she proceeded to worry and shake and tear to pieces. We played a couple of vicious games of tug-of-war, which wasn't easy with an orchid in one hand. Olga may be a grande dame but she is still surprisingly strong.

Finally I had to throw the football away, because Olga wanted to stand and gnaw on it rather than walking. Argh! Fortunately she's very in-the-moment and once it was in the trash can she seemed to forget it immediately. Can dogs have age-related short-term memory loss?

In a stroke of luck, I found another discarded orchid, but this one had been frozen -- it was the sickly color of overboiled green beans. It was still in its plastic wrap, though, so I took the plastic to carry the first orchid. That made handling it much easier and protected it from the elements for the rest of our walk.

I will never understand why people throw out orchids when they're finished blooming. Just give it a bit of care (they don't require much) and it will flower again the next year. When I got this one home I removed the yellowed leaf and it's now living on our end table in the living room. Hopefully the cold didn't shock it too much.

We now have THIRTEEN orchids. I keep saying that I want fewer plants, but I couldn't very well leave it in the trash, could I?

That's about the most exciting thing that happened around here yesterday. I cleaned up the garden in the morning, picking up a few stray twigs left behind by the tree trimmers. I did laundry. I vacuumed the house. I changed the sheets. Ho hum.


David said...

I love hearing about your "ho hum" life! Sounds a bit like ours. So much for the "gay lifestyle" that conservatives and religious folk keep teasing us about!

Andrew said...

A decent bunch of supermarket flowers might cost $10 here. For $25 you can buy a flowering orchid in a 15cm pot that will stay in bloom for a few weeks, making it a good alternative to fresh flowers each week. But what to do when it's finished flowering? We don't have any place to store and water an orchid, so we've never bought one. Orchids we used to have when we were in a house were given away when we moved.

It's strange the one you didn't cart home was still in its plastic wrap. Who would keep an orchid like that?

Good to read that Olga can still be playful.

River said...

It's possible the orchids were part of the Christmas decorations, to make the dining room look good for guests and now they are not wanted.
Here in Australia orchids used to be (and may still be) the classy vase of flowers on display at "open for inspection" homes and get tossed once the house has sold.

Frances said...

I just counted my orchids.....I have 11. One just come into flower and 3 with new flower spikes/buds. I would have taken the lost orchid home too.It will be exciting seeing what colour it is if/when it flowers.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Old dogs can have short term memory issues. Then again, so can puppies. Glad Olga had so much fun. It might be time for you to build an orchid house in the back garden.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"It was one of those days when we kept finding things..." You mean like EVERY day in Reedworld?
"Oh! Fantastic! Another orchid!" grinned Dave as Steve and Olga returned from their most recent scavenger hunt.

Bohemian said...

I had brief success with Orchids at the McManse in the ridiculous sized Spa Master Bathroom with a Garden Tub they seemed to enjoy growing around. I never got mine to Flower again, but they lived a long time and I'd rescue one too if I found one discarded. I can't stand for a Living Plant to be thrown out as Trash. I still have an Ivy that I rescued over 30 Years ago, it had One Leaf when I got it and is still going strong three decades later with marginal care, so it wouldn't have taken any work to keep it alive and not thrown out. Olga being geriatric strong is how I'd like to be as an aging Human, for as long as possible. I do think Animals get Memory Care Issues as they Age Out too, we've had some Geriatric Fur Babies that clearly seemed to get the forgetfulness of their people, yet somewhat like us Humans get at a certain Age. I keep wanting to Walk the Cemetery near our Mini Farms, it's huge and a beautiful one.

Bob said...

I thought that was a thing in the UK ... National Toss Your Orchid Day!

Boud said...

I've had quite a few orchids. Some have rebloomed faithfully, others were one and done, forced for the season. They stay alive and green and don't rebloom.

My neighbor brings me plants he finds in the trash! He considers me Plant Rescue Central. Around here when people move to bigger houses, the plants are dumped because movers can't get them alive to their destination.

Ms. Moon said...

I would have brought that orchid home too. Absolutely!

Marcia LaRue said...

I have the one purple orchid that a friend gave me and it has bloomed faithfully every year ... it currently has a single open flower with numerous buds getting ready to open up!

ellen abbott said...

You seem to be the orchid whisperer. I didn't realize you had that many. A couple of my friends grow orchids, one of which has a greenhouse full of them, really big specimens. I was given one of those little ones the grocery stores sell in their flower department but I didn't manage to keep it alive after it bloomed. I would like to try again but not one of those. I think they are forced to bloom so people will buy them but it depletes the plant.

NewRobin13 said...

We have one orchid plant. We've had it for almost 30 years. It bloomed once. ONCE! It has two leaves. I water it once a week. It has been languishing since its bloom 30 years ago. I would love to see it bloom again. Steve, orchid-whisperer that you are, please give me some hints. What kind of soil does an orchid love? How much water? What words of wisdom might I say to it to coax it back to blooming?

Sharon said...

I'm going for a walk later today when the temp is supposed to be 55 degrees. I can assure you I'll be bundled up with scarf and jacket. I can't imaging walking with frost on the ground. I really am a wimp when it comes to cold weather. Too many years living in the desert I guess.
You are so good with orchids. I'm sure this one will respond to your touch.

Ellen D. said...

Orchids are lovely but I never was able to get an orchid to bloom again so I know I am doing something wrong...

Kelly said...

Sounds like you and Olga both had a fun visit to the cemetery! I'm still smiling at the mental image of y'all playing tug-of-war. Does Dave ever bring things home or does he just leave that to you? 😉

Allison said...

I don't buy plants, I know they'll die, so they're best left at the store.

Chris and Mike said...

I second NewRobin - please give us a mini-course in orchid care. Just in case I find a discarded one...

Olga is thriving this winter!

Chris from Boise

Margaret said...

I could never throw a live plant in the trash. I'm weird that way. I have a hideous ivy thing that was part of a poinsettia arrangement that my boyfriend gave me; everything else died but the ivy lives on and on and is taking over my den. Still, I can't toss it.

Catalyst said...

What a dumpster diver! Next thing you'll be bringing home leftover fish and chips from somebody's bin. And your chef, Dave, will throw a tantrum! You see where this is leading?

Red said...

Both of you had a good walk. Alga was happy attacking the ball and you found a perfectly good plant. People buy plants and know nothing about the care of them.

Fresca said...

Do you ever catch people taking photos of you and Olga? Maybe somewhere on social media there's a photo of "guy w/ pit bull in one one hand, orchid in the other". :)

Pixie said...

I don't have luck with orchids and I have a cat who wants to eat my plants, drives me crazy. Sadly, the cat stays away from all poisonous plants:)

sparklingmerlot said...

As soon as someone tells me something is easy to grow or hard to kill it turns up its toes. I admire your green thumbs. You could say I am green with envy.

Debby said...

13 orchids...that strikes me as unlucky. I believe that you should rush out to collect one more.

Steve Reed said...

David: Ha! Yes, walking the dog and growing houseplants. The height of depravity!

Andrew: I know, it seems weird someone would just leave that orchid in the plastic. The price tag on it said £12, which comes out to 22 Australian dollars -- just about what you said.

River: Oh, that's a thought -- holiday decorations. I think some people just treat them like a fancy bouquet.

Frances: We're having a banner year here in terms of flower spikes. Almost every plant has one. We should have lots of flowers in a couple months.

Mitchell: I'm going to need one if I keep this up!

YP: Actually Dave doesn't mind the orchids. He appreciates those more than random dishware or another chair.

Bohemian: I would think clustering around a bathtub would be the ideal orchid environment! (Assuming there's a window for light.)

Bob: Another British holiday I have to figure out! LOL

Boud: Being a plant rescuer is a good reputation to have. So far I've been very lucky with our orchids. I think I've had at least one rebloom from all of them.

Ms Moon: Right?! What are people thinking?

Marcia: And the great thing is, the flowers last a long time.

Ellen: I've heard that some grocery store orchids just aren't in very good health. Maybe, like you and Boud said, because of the forcing.

Robin: I use free-draining orchid compost (bark compost). But I let the orchid stay in its original pot, if possible. I water once a week, and let the water drain completely before putting the plant back in its planter or saucer. Orchids should NEVER sit in water. I don't mist or feed or anything like that. Bright indirect light is best. Ours are all on windowsills facing east and west. Oh, and keep them away from heat sources and drafts. Hope that helps!

Sharon: 55 sounds positively balmy!

Ellen D: I think it's mostly about moderation -- moderate light, moderate water, moderate temperature.

Kelly: I'm not sure I've ever seen Dave bring anything home. He doesn't walk much, though, so he doesn't come across all the crazy stuff that I do!

Allison: But look at your agave! It's doing fine! (At least it was the last time you mentioned it.)

Chris: Olga is doing well in her old-lady way. See my comment to Robin above for my very un-expert orchid hints!

Margaret: I agree. I have a terrible time discarding a live plant. I don't even like discarding cuttings.

Catalyst: Ha! I draw the line at food. I am not a "freegan." :)

Red: I think people tend to either over-care for a plant or under-care for it. Plants mostly want to be left alone except for a weekly water and occasional pruning and repotting.

Fresca: Only once have I come across a photo of me out and about, and that was on Flickr, years ago.

Pixie: Yeah, houseplants and cats don't tend to coexist well! I shudder to think what would happen if we let a cat loose in here. Our windowsills would be forcibly swept of plants and all other belongings, I suspect!

Caro: Ha! Well, I don't have 100 percent success. I did have an orchid die last fall.

Debby: Ha! I'm sure I'll have the opportunity soon enough!

Jeanie said...

I know nothing about growing orchids. So glad you rescued another for your collection!

Donna said...

Hello! New here...Really like the blog!
Finding flowers while on a walk would be wonderful! The first batch is Still gorgeous! Why, I wonder, was it tossed...smh.
Enjoy your day.
Donna in Texas