In late November, at the beginning of this winter’s drought, I noticed that some old, half-forgotten orchids set back in our side yard were sending out floral spikes. Orchids respond beautifully to water-deprivation. During the summer I water our lawn, so the yard also gets frequent/ocasional splashes of water, but during the fall I water much less, so they had gone without for a while. Voilà!
I mentioned them to the missus, who moved them out from their reclusive nook to one of our raised beds, but as we were preparing to travel they didn’t get much attention. Except that, whenever I was out in our yard, I’d look over and admire them.
Then, in early December, we had a cold snap with freezing temperatures at night. I thought that might do them in, but to my surprise it didn’t. We came back from our mid-December trip to Minnesota, and the spikes were still there, brilliant as ever.
I kept meaning to take pictures, but was usually preoccupied and never managed to hold the thought camera in mind long enough to go back in the house and get it until mid-February. By that time the original two spikes were withering, but one of the orchids was prolific enough to have sent out a second spike.
Our hardy, winter-blooming cymbideums.
One of the withered older spikes in the foreground with the new spike behind it.
Throughout the winter, we leave the house at dawn in the morning and get home after dark, so we haven’t been able to enjoy them much, but I’m glad they’ve lasted this long, and the blossoms have done so well.