My Mother In Law's Orchids, the Race Against Time, Thanks

03 February 2011 00:19 by SarainAkko
We're not big on physical gifts to adults for birthdays or holidays in my husband's family. Maybe a family dinner but that's usually where we draw the line.

However, my mother-in-law does like to bring me potted orchids that I somehow manage to turn around and kill within weeks.

But there is more to this phenomenon than the orchid entering my care and then suddenly dying. There is first a hopeful stage where a new plant is gifted to me. I vow that it will not die on my watch and then I feeble try to assess which mineral water will best sustain the life of my new pant. I dutifully grimace at my plant and will it to live with all the good intentions I can muster. I have heard  that talking to your plants can help them grow and I have taken to gently whispering to the these fledgling flowers "Grow damn you!" But all to no avail. Within a few short weeks I find the petals wilting from the yellowing plant and I know I have failed again.

Sometimes I am lucky, and my mother-in-law rescues the orchid and magically nurses it back to health. I'm not sure what she does to resurrect these delicate buds but I am almost positive it involves love, patience and some sort of flower doping. Really, this is the only possibility for the success of all orchids once out from under my watchful eye. My mother-in-law cheats nature by pumping the orchids full of some super-botanical flower drugs. These things are probably so hyped up they could pedal in the Tour De France.

But I digress. Another birthday has come and gone and I am left with the seemingly not so large burden of caring for another floral thing. When it entered the house I checked to make sure it wasn't last year's orchid making a reappearance from beyond the grave. It was not. I asked my mother-in-law to set up the plant in the optimal place, in her expert opinion, to receive appropriate sun and humidity. Check. I review the care instructions of watering once a week with mineral water for set amount of time from the pan below. Yes. I then run to the internet and check the facts that I already know to be true. OK... so what now?

Now I sit staring at this ticking time-bomb, waiting for the day when I will have to relinquish custody back to the family flower caretaker.

Is my inability to keep these orchids alive some sort of in-law issue lurking just bellow the surface? Is it possible that of all the species I have dutifully cultivated over the years, orchids are just my Achilles heel? Is "someone" poisoning these plants to later step in and save the day?

February 2, 2011 Thank you little orchid plant

Dear Orchid Plant,

Although we have only known each other a short while, I am thankful for everyday you continue to flower and grace my home with splendor. I hope we continue to grow together. Your resilience despite my ineptitude is a triumph of natural beauty and I hope we share a long and healthy future together.

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