The flower that refuses to die

Last November and December I went through an orchid spending spree. It was the combination of the grey, miserable British winter and the ability to buy beautiful plants for excellent value. Orchids are a particularly robust plant, which excel on calculated neglect.

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The only trick to growing orchids is not to over-water them; don’t leave them standing in water. Apart from that, you can water every 5-14 days; so even if you go away for two weeks, they will barely look out of sorts.

Sri Chinmoy says it’s good to have fresh flowers for your meditation shrine. But, it can be quite a commitment to buy fresh flowers every week – so instead, I often go for the relatively easy option of pot plants, of which orchids are the best.

Orchid flowers can last for 2-3 months. Even into March and April, some of the 2015 bought Orchids were still flowering strongly. However, by the month of May, they had mostly finished flowering and I cut down the flower stems and started to prepare for next winter – hoping to get a repeat flowering.

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However, there was one orchid plant which hung on to it’s last couple of flowers with remarkable perseverance. The flowers stayed so long, they have became part of the furniture, and I forgot how remarkable it is to keep flowering for nine months undimmed.

After a couple of weeks away from Oxford, I was amazed to return and see this lone flower still hanging on. It has continued flowering for several months – at least one month all on its own. It is remarkable tenacity and an unbelievable flowering period; now everyday I make a point of noticing and appreciating this star flower, which for some reason is still thriving after so many other flowers have moved on to the nearby compost heap.

 

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