Orchid Love

Got up this morning only to realise I had promised Kanda, the chairman of Malaysian Nature Society, that I’d be dropping off some stuff for their jumble sale next Sunday. (If you go to the MNS Jumble sale on 1 June, you will see some of my stuff there! Eeek! I can imagine someone walking around wearing some baju of mine!)
We reached MNS at the Botanic Garden just in time to see him locking the gate. Thank god he was still around and we managed to drop off our old clothes, knick-knacks, old books and CD jewel cases (plenty of those).
Nic and I had nothing planned for the morning except maybe grab some brunch but we spied some horticultural event happening not far from the MNS premises. Anything horticultural is my cup of teh tarik. I love plants. I love flowers. I consider myself rather good at nurturing plants.
What luck to have stumbled upon the Golden Anniversary Orchid Show organised by the Federation of Malaya Orchid Society (beginning today till 1 June).
While my 3 orchid plants at home aren’t exactly blooming huge orchids, I find the exotic orchid one of the most fascinating tropical flowers. Their colours are magnificent and their light perfume rather intoxicating. Deep purples, palest baby pinks, intense oranges, and sunshine yellows with spotted leopard- and tiger-like patterns… orchids can turn a blah day into a wild adventure.
Our ‘little stroll’ around the tents took more than 1 hour. I was so fortunate to have remembered my Canon this morning and had a satisfying time snapping away at the blooms.
It was a garden-lover’s dream come true. It had vendors selling everything to grow that perfect blossoming garden, including fertilizers, mulch and soil.
But if you’d rather go home with a perfect pot of roses, strawberries (yes, even strawberry plants were for sale), begonias, petunias, anthuriums, daisies, carnations, orchids, pitcher plants, venus flytraps, kucing misai herb, rambutan tree, mango tree, etc, you could do so too. It was wild in a good way!
And we met a garrulous man, Mr Ansari, who is a retired gardener from the Botanic Garden. He proudly told us he was a 3rd generation gardener, starting from his grandfather who came to be the Botanic Garden gardener first. Mr Ansari had lots of tips and knowledge about orchids and it was evident that he’s one deeply passionate gardener. There’s an orchid named after his father in the Botanic Garden hothouse (but I forget what it’s called now).
From him, I learnt that there’s orchid specie and there’s orchid hybrid. A specie was the wild /original version and the hybrid is the marriage of the wild and the regular orchid. Any orchid lovers out there, please correct me if I am wrong. He also told us about pitcher plants, where the pitcher is actually a leaf. The pitcher plant does flower and he had taken one from Balik Pulau some 20 years ago to plant in the Botanic Garden itself and the plant is still there! I must open my eyes the next time I get to the garden.
I found my favourite plant too – the tillandsia or air plant. It’s spindly and stuck to a rock, never needs soil and can live even if neglected. It’s the kind of plant you’d give to a person who has no affinity for growing anything (they kill anything by either overwatering or underwatering). The tillandsia needs an occasional misting but even if you forget, no problemo. It still lives happy getting moisture from its environment. Cool huh?
It’s the school holidays and it’s about time you took some time to appreciate some flowers and plants, or maybe even cart home one or two pots. Some vendors come as far as Kuala Kangsar so don’t miss this if you’re a green finger sort.
Feast your eyes on Mother Nature’s gifts!

3 thoughts on “Orchid Love”

  1. Hmmmm…. I am not a ‘green finger’ since young but with orchids, I found my confidence again handling, growing and nurturing plants. I have since forge a bond with orchids and found them to be ‘inspirational’. Let me explain where they are so to me personally. Orchids have so many types, ranging from species to hybrid. Each of them differs in spefifications e.g. colour, size, leaf, stem. They can found almost anywhere, on mountain cliffs, on the surface of rocks and they are hardy plants. The impression of orchid.. beautiful, special but tough. Once bloomed, the flowers can lasts for weeks even months. Don’t need much maintenance and care as opposed to other types of flowers. I can simple ‘connect’ to orchids in this way

  2. Hi Kate: Yes, isn’t it amazing that such delicate-looking flowers are actually toughies? My orchid plant once bloomed and the flowers were still pretty after 2 weeks! I heard that showering orchids with urine gets them to bloom faster! Any green finger can attest to this? Are you growing them in your new home now?

  3. My balcony is unfortunately facing west which means hot and unconducive sunlight for plants at my new home unlike the previous home. I love plants dotting my balcony but due to this circumstances, I have to settle for hardy plants i.e. orchids. IKEA was running a sale on plants about 2 months back and they brought delectable orchids species and selling for RM15 a pot from RM25. I went there early and without thinking plonked several in my trolley. The ones that I bought are already flowering and most of them buds still. Today, after 2 months hanging on my balcony, they are still pretty and eye-catching.


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