Blooming Orchids in the Garden

I don't know much about Orchids, except that I've never seen an ugly one.  My mother and grandmother are the experts when it comes to caring for them, I just sit back and enjoy the show.  Believe me, I've tried, but all my orchids end up at my mother's house for what we like to call "rehab" - as in plant rehabilitation. Obviously I will have to improve my gardening skills in the orchid department at some point in the future, but in the meantime succulents and cacti remain my specialty (and hey, sometimes those die on me too).  Anyhow, I do know that orchids tend to grow better and thrive when attached to trees…
 Not to mention, they look darn sexy this way, especially on palm trees.  My mother usually uses a cut up stocking to tie them to palms around the yard, and cuts the stocking off once the roots take hold of the trunk - though I'm sure there's a more glamorous method out there.  Whatever works right?  The women in my family are endlessly resourceful, and that's a good quality to have.

Another resourceful woman was my boyfriend's grandmother, a wonderful gardener with a real passion for orchids.  In fact, she was a successful entrepreneur here in Miami for a long time, operating her own business - both growing and selling orchids!  I'm sorry to say I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but her spirit clearly lives on in the garden that she left behind and I'm sure she'd love to know that all her hard work is still being appreciated by someone.  That's where you all come in…  At the moment, many of her orchids are beginning to bloom and it's spectacular, take a look...

Hidden amongst the branches of a giant Staghorn fern (Platycerium) and dozens of gorgeous green and purple striped Bromeliads is this beauty...

And it appears they're livin' in perfect harmony, wouldn't you agree?

Around the other side of the palm tree cluster is this guy, looking a bit tattered - perhaps due to too much sun or because the flowers have been in bloom a bit longer than all the others? I'm not sure, either way, I love how it contrasts with the Bromeliads in the background!

Along the side of the house there are more palms and nearly every one has a unique orchid, no two are the same!  

This is one of my favorite photos of the bunch… I love how the sunlight is highlighting the silky gleaming texture of the petals, but most of all I find the vivid contrast of the fuchsia orchid against the variegated lime leaves of the Corn Plant in the background to be mesmerizing. The Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) is another fascination altogether, my mother has had the same one growing in our yard since I was young. For many years I didn't give it much thought, until the day I saw it had flowers!  Up until that point, I never knew it flowered, I had never noticed before…. Well let me tell you, I was captivated, the flowers are so funky and beautiful - and they smell incredible too. I have a entire post on that plant in the works, including photos of ours in full bloom, stay tuned.


If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my past garden tours:

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